What does an Independent Financial Planner do?

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  • Written By: N. Madison
  • Edited By: Jenn Walker
  • Last Modified Date: 07 March 2020
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An independent financial planner helps his clients set financial goals and develop plans for reaching them. He may help his clients plan for a wide variety of financial issues, including paying for their offspring to attend college, making investments, funding retirement, buying insurance, paying taxes, and passing businesses on to successors. Depending on each client's unique needs, he may handle several aspects of financial planning or just a couple. An independent financial planner uses his expertise to create a detailed financial plan that is tailored to meet each client’s goals.

One of the most important aspects of an independent financial planner's job is providing unbiased help and advice for his clients. Since he is an independent financial planner, he is not supposed to favor any particular company or financial product when advising his clients. Many consumers prefer to avoid financial planners who are affiliated with particular companies and products. They fear that these planners will create less beneficial plans in order to ensure their clients will patronize a particular company or invest in a specific product.


In order to begin creating a financial plan for a client, an independent financial planner meets with him to discuss his goals for his finances and future. He then gathers the information needed to help him create an effective plan. This includes details about the client’s financial situation as well as certain other information that may be relevant to creating the plan, such as whether he has children, plans for retirement or elderly parents needing care. Once he’s collected the information he needs, an independent financial planner sets to work on analyzing the information he’s gathered.

After analyzing his client’s financial situation and determining whether the resources are available to accomplish the client’s goals, an independent financial planner gets to work on creating a financial plan. If the client is pleased with the plan, the next step is implementing it using the strategies the financial planner has developed. The independent financial planner may also monitor and review the plan he’s created on a regular basis. If the plan fails to work toward his client’s goals or the client’s situation changes, he may revise the plan to better suit the client's needs.

The educational path a person takes to become an independent financial planner may depend on the country in which he plans to offer his services. Typically, a person interested in this field seeks education to become a certified financial planner, which may include an exam at the end of the educational program. A person who chooses this career may also need to attend insurance school and pass related tests. Often, aspiring financial planners work for a company for a few years in order to gain experience before striking off on their own.



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