Wealth management and financial advising are two terms we often see used interchangeably. And for good reason—both financial professionals can help high net worth individuals and families reach their financial goals.

But there are a handful of key differences between the industry credentials, tax advice, and specific services these two kinds of advisors typically offer. Before you choose a financial professional to help guide your family’s future, it’s important to know exactly what you can expect when you partner with a wealth manager vs. financial advisor.

Wealth Manager vs. Financial Advisor: What’s the big difference?

Financial advisors and wealth managers can have similar credentials. Both professionals often hold the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER (CFP) credential and may also hold a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) license. And the fees charged by both wealth managers and financial advisors can be similar, usually based on your assets under management.

The primary differentiator between wealth managers and financial advisors is the kind of clientele each financial professional works with. Both professionals may seem to offer similar services, but wealth managers—a specialized kind of financial advisor—provide comprehensive expertise for complex financial situations.

Financial advisors offer helpful retirement planning and personal financial planning support

Financial advisors—specifically those with the Certified Financial Planner (CFP) designation—are knowledgeable professionals trained to offer a variety of financial services and support. Depending on their specialty and background, they can help with personal financial planning, tax planning, retirement planning, budgeting, debt management, and more—all to help clients reach their financial goals.

With a more holistic approach than a traditional business advisor, investment advisor, CPA, or tax planning professional, financial advisors are able to offer a broader range of guidance and support. Plus, when you work with a fiduciary fee-only or assets under management fee-based financial advisor, you can trust that their advice on insurance products or investment management services are in your best financial interests.

Wealth managers empower the financial goals of high net worth individuals

While financial advisors offer a broad range of financial planning and support services to a wide base of clients, private wealth managers typically support high net worth clients who have complex financial situations and meet the minimum level of assets under management.

Business owners, investors, those with trusts, and high income professionals like doctors, attorneys, or consultants can benefit from the expert investment advice and tax savings strategies wealth managers offer.

Financial planning firms can help high earners manage their investments and meet their future goals. But wealth management firms have the specific expertise required to handle the tax optimization, risk management, and large-scale investing needs of clients with $500,000 or more in assets.

Plus, because private wealth managers work with individuals who have a wide range of professional and personal finance needs, they often have access to a vetted network of support professionals who can help with legal planning, tax filing, insurance coverage, business banking, estate management, trust planning, and more.

Wealth management goes beyond financial planning to help high earners prepare for a confident financial future

“Cook Wealth clients tend to have multifaceted portfolios and complex needs, so our holistic approach allows us to tailor our strategies not just to wealth preservation—but to growth and legacy planning. When you partner with us, your wealth isn’t just ‘managed.’ It’s optimized, for tax years and generations to come.”
–Dave McDougall, CFP

We believe our clients shouldn’t have to choose between a wealth manager or financial advisor. (Who cares about those titles anyway? It’s not about us, it’s about you.) Our trained and qualified team includes CFP professionals and CPAs –  advisors equipped to handle your advanced tax needs and impact-driven financial planning.

We’re more than a dedicated group of wealth managers and tax advisors—you deserve a true partner to support every aspect of your financial life.

Our joint team of wealth managers and financial advisors help high net worth individuals live life empowered

When it comes to managing your unique financial situation, we go beyond basic planning. We take the time to get to know every single client, because we know money is about more than dollars and cents. We answer when you call, we proactively monitor your financial plan, and we look after you—not just your assets.

For holistic investment advice, tax planning, financial guidance, and big-picture wealth management services, book a free intro call to learn what’s possible.