Should You See a Financial Counselor or a Financial Adviser?

Although both types of personal finance experts can help get your money matters in order, their strategies are different.

Should You See a Financial Counselor or a Financial Adviser? Photo by Monkey Business Images /

When seeking money help, many people turn to a financial adviser. But another less well-known option — a financial counselor — might be a better choice for some savers and investors.

So how do you know which finance pro is right for you? According to , it depends on what type of financial help you need.

For example, while a financial adviser typically helps clients manage their investments and works with individuals on building wealth, Forbes says a financial counselor “focuses on fundamental financial issues or habits.” Stephanie Genkin, a certified financial planner and founder of My Financial Planner, tells Forbes:

“That might be helping a client see where they can reduce spending to create more savings, or helping them get out of debt or understanding their emotions around money, which may have created obstacles to good financial management.”

Analyzing your financial habits and money behaviors can be key to helping individuals realize their financial goals.

Certified financial planner Sheryl Garrett, founder of the Garrett Planning Network, tells that financial counseling is “a shift away from the technical side to the human side — what’s in people’s lives, what can’t be captured on paper, what they can get passionate about and stick to.”

Planning your own financial makeover

Are you in need of a financial makeover? A lot of people are.

It might seem like a monumental task, but don’t stress. We can help you divide what can be an overwhelming job into bite-sized pieces that you can tackle in just 30 days!

To start, schedule a set time each day — about a 30-minute block of time — to work on your financial plan.’ Nancy Dunham writes:

“It’s easy to fall into the habit of skipping one day of financial tasks and thinking you’ll ‘catch up’ the next. Don’t do it.”

From there, follow a set of tips that will help you get your financial house in order — like reviewing and rebalancing retirement savings or search for missing money — in “Extreme Financial Makeover: 30 Moves in 30 Days.”

Have you met with a financial adviser or a financial planner? Share your thoughts below or on .

Krystal Steinmetz
Krystal Steinmetz
A former television and radio reporter, I stay at home with my two young children, run a small craft business and freelance for I have a BA in journalism ... More


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