How Do Certified Financial Planners Work?

Certified financial planners are financial planners who have earned professional certification by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards. They work much like uncertified financial planners, who help individuals with their decisions regarding insurance, investments and taxes and offer clients general financial advice.

A certified financial planner meets with clients and discusses financial goals while informing clients of the potential risks and investment options involved with those financial goals. A financial planner also finds investments in which clients may be interested and recommends them. A planner might also make investments on behalf of a client. Some certified financial planners choose to focus on a specific area of financial planning, such as risk management or retirement.

After making an investment, financial planners and their clients receive investment reports that let them know how the investment is doing. A planner occasionally meets with clients to go over their current investments, inform clients of new investment opportunities and see if the clients have made any changes to their financial goals.

Besides advising and planning for clients, a financial planner spends time searching for new clients, which is called prospecting. By earning certification, planners may find that it's easier to gain new clients and serve current clients.