Broker Check

5 Questions to Help Screen a Good Financial Planner From a “Financial Advisor”

| August 08, 2018
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Call it a pet peeve of mine, but every time someone refers to me as a “financial advisor,” I just cringe.  I am not trying to discredit anyone that has that title on their business card – or their website, I just feel that the common perception of what a “financial advisor” does is so much less that what we do at SRQ Wealth, that such a description is wholly inadequate. 

Finally, the Financial Planning Association (FPA) has come to my rescue (and defense) with an article that more accurately describes what our team does at SRQ Wealth.

The term “financial advisor” has come to be perceived as synonymous with just offering investments to clients.   And while offering investments is “on the menu” of what we do for clients, I have yet to figure out how to recommend an investment portfolio to a client without also first looking at their goals, risk tolerance, retirement forecast, cash flow needs, tax situation and asset protection issues, to name a few.   My analogy is simple (since I’m married to a doctor):  if a physician were to start writing a prescription without fully examining a new patient, possibly running some tests, and making a full diagnosis, that may be considered malpractice.  Why wouldn’t it be the same with investments? 

Yet trying to convey this message without sounding overly “passionate” or sales-y is sometimes difficult.  But I worry about those “financial advisors” who are really just providing “lip service” to the financial planning process (and not really doing it) just to gather a client’s assets.  Are those clients really being well-served?   That’s why I am grateful for this recent article, which helps educate the public on the real difference.  Thank you, FPA, for giving CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ practitioners their due!  And for those of you who need more information financial planning for life events, go to:, or check out our own website, at

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