A financial consultant or financial adviser is someone that offers financial advisory services to potential customers according to their financial circumstances. In the United States, there are currently only three regulated professions that provide advisory services. Certified Public Accountants (CPAs) provide financial advisory services to individuals and companies on a yearly basis. There are no laws that prevent CPAs from offering financial advisory services. Additionally, CPAs must meet a minimum level of education and experience to practice.
There are other types of advisors, including stockbrokers and certified financial planners. A stockbroker trades shares for investors. A certified financial planner, or CFP, works with portfolios and advising clients on their investments. Many times these advisors will hold both licenses and degrees. When working with investment portfolios, these advisors can choose which stocks to include and how much of each to buy.
The good news about advisors is that the regulations that protect them help make their work easy. Most financial advisors are state regulated, which means that they have to follow strict guidelines to stay on the right side of the law. Advisors also have the advantage of having face-to-face meetings with their clients, which help make client interaction more efficient and useful. With all of the services that financial advisors provide, it is easy for clients to find someone who can help them reach their financial goals. If you need help determining your financial goals, a professional financial advisor may be able to help.