A normal conversation that most people encounter on a regular basis is the introduction to someone new either in a social or business setting. For most, the small talk upon an initial introduction to someone new follows a similar pattern.
“Hi I am Steve”
“Hi Steve, my name is Joe, so what do you for work Steve? Etc. etc.”
For most people that have a well-known occupation or an easy to explain job this isn’t a problem, however being in the financial planning industry this initial meet and greet of someone new can become a bit more difficult and usually follows something like this:
- Joe Blogs: So what do you do for work?
- FP; I am a financial planner, I help people manage their money.
- Joe Blogs: Aw great, so like an accountant right?
- FP; No not really, I help people achieve their financial goals.
- Joe; Ok, so it’s pretty much like accounting then?
- FP; No not quite, I help people make the most of their money and plan for the future.
- Joe: Ok, ok I get it now you’re a stockbroker.
- FP: Ok I give up, yer sure I am a stockbroker
Now this common problem of trying to explain what it is a financial planner does is entirely our own industries fault as we have never really been able to clearly explain to people what it is we do or what the benefits of working with a professional financial planner are.
So to avoid further confusion and to help clarify what different professions do here are some simple definitions. (Found in a Kaplan article)
A financial adviser is someone who is licensed to provide financial advice. A licensed adviser may also be called a financial planner. Financial planners and advisers are professionals who provide advice to help their clients:
- Set and achieve financial goals
- Make the most of financial assets
- Get any appropriate government assistance to which their clients are entitled
- Protect their client’s financial assets
There are many financial institutions offering credit and mortgages. Many customers are confused by the choice and decide to get a finance or mortgage broker to do the legwork in choosing a credit provider and a mortgage product most suitable for their circumstances. A mortgage broker is someone who specialises in home loans. Finance or mortgage brokers can:
- Offer a variety of loan options or products
- Assist a customer to select a loan
- Manage the loan negotiation process through to settlement.
A stockbroker is a professional, usually associated with a brokerage firm, who buys and sells stocks and other securities for both retail and institutional clients, through a stock exchange or over the counter, in return for a fee or commission.
Accountants are qualified professionals trained in bookkeeping and in preparation, auditing and analysis of accounts. Accountants prepare tax returns, annual reports and financial statements for planning and decision making, and advise on tax laws. For most Australians, an accountant is a registered tax agent engaged to assist them with their tax return each year. However, accountants can also be engaged to provide advice on more complex financial situations.