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Who Is an Independent Financial Advisor?

Who Is an Independent Financial Advisor?

An independent financial advisor can be either a financial advice firm or an individual. While independent advisors’ services are often identical to those of any other advisor, they are not affiliated with any larger financial organizations. 

As a result, they are not constrained by particular interests and can recommend a wide range of financial goods and services. If you need assistance locating an australian financial advisor, Omura Wealth Advisers’s services might help.

What Makes a Financial Advisor “Independent?”

A financial advisor assists clients with a wide range of personal financial planning and investment needs. In many situations, they collaborate with customers to create investment policy statements that define a client’s risk tolerance, financial status, time horizon, and other information that might assist the advisor work with the client appropriately and efficiently. 

These services are widely regarded as the gold standard for all financial advisors, whether independent or not. To tell an independent advisor from a non-independent one, look at who owns the firm and whether they’re directly associated with other (usually larger) firms. 

A firm’s independence is directly tied to these attributes, as affiliation with another firm might change how an advisor works with a client. Independent consultants and firms operate entirely on their own, which typically allows them greater flexibility in how they work.

Related: Financial Advisors Vs Financial Planners: How Do They Differ?

Who Is an Independent Financial Advisor?

How to Determine Whether a Financial Advisor Is Independent

Asking your financial advisor or their firm if they are independent is the easiest method to find out. However, it is not difficult to determine on your own. Because independent firms and advisors are not associated with larger institutions, large, well-known advisors are unlikely to be independent. Even registered representatives of larger corporations are not truly autonomous.

When looking for an advisor to work with, be aware of those who only provide a restricted selection of investment products. If you see this, it’s a red flag that your advisor isn’t truly independent.

Non-independent advisors frequently provide products linked to their parent organization, such as investment funds and insurance coverage. While this isn’t always a bad thing, an independent advisor may have a more comprehensive range of services.

It’s also worth noting that independent advisors might be either individuals or businesses. Independent advising firms, like parent corporations, are not subject to any particular interests. Independent advisors might work for oneself or for firms of independent advisors.

The Benefits and Drawbacks of Independent Financial Advisors

While working with an independent financial advisor usually offers more benefits than negatives, it’s vital to understand how they compare. To begin with, independent advising businesses are often owned by their in-house advisers, allowing them to develop personal ties with customers. A large, non-independent firm, on the other hand, may have a less personable vibe.

Another advantage of working with an independent advisor is that you will receive advice that is truly personalized to you and is not affected by any outside pressures. Non-independent advisors may be restricted in how they can invest your assets, with investment ideas sometimes being predetermined. Independent advisors should be able to create your portfolio with more customization and this makes them the best financial advisors.

Independent advisors typically use third-party custodians to secure your funds. This is frequently advantageous because there is no conflict of interest if your advisor holds your assets at his or her own firm. Working with a non-independent advisor who owns your assets at the same financial institution may appeal to some.

Another disadvantage of working with an independent financial advisor is that you may have fewer options for financial specialists with specific skills. Larger, non-independent businesses, for example, may have a multitude of advisors that specialize in estate planning, ETFs, or other specific needs.

Who Is an Independent Financial Advisor?

Financial Advisors: Independent vs. Non-Independent

The ability to operate totally independently, without influence, oversight, or rules from a larger institution, distinguishes an independent financial advisor from a non-independent advisor.

Non-independent financial advisors are frequently obligated to offer securities and other financial products through a certain firm. This restricts the recommendations they can make to clients.

On the other hand, advisors at non-independent firms will likely have access to more research resources than those at smaller independent firms. Although this does not always imply superior investment performance, having the support of a large corporation has its advantages.

Fee schedules are another area where independent and non-independent firms may differ. Many independent advisors are fee-only, which means they are paid only by client advice fees and do not receive commissions from other companies for selling their investment or insurance products.

Fee-based advisors, on the other hand, do earn the aforementioned commissions. Because of their affiliation with a larger firm, a non-independent advisor may be more likely to collect such rewards and hence be incentivized to advocate such transactions.

With that said, there are fee-based independent advisors and fee-only non-independent advisors who do not accept commissions and are thus fee-only. If this distinction is essential to you, ask the advisor with whom you are considering working.


When it comes to hiring someone to assist manage your money and prepare for your financial future, an independent financial advisor is frequently the best option. While independent and non-independent advisory services may be functionally comparable, the quality and breadth of counsel you’re likely to receive from an independent advisor may put you ahead. With no outside forces pressing an independent advisor to sell specific goods or operate in a certain way, you can be confident that any RIA is acting in your best interests.

Financial Advisors Vs Financial Planners: How Do They Differ?

Financial Advisors Vs Financial Planners: How Do They Differ?

Many consumers don’t understand the distinction between a financial advisor and a financial planner. In this post, we will go over each of their tasks as well as their roles in assisting clients in reaching their financial goals. This article might help folks who are unclear about which type of expert to consult with make an informed decision before engaging one.

A financial planner is also a financial advisor, although not always the other way around. A financial planner usually has a degree in finance, relevant expertise, or has worked in a related sector, but a financial advisor can have any number of degrees or credentials.

One significant distinction between these two professions is that financial planners, while acting in a fiduciary role, must always act in the best interests of their customers, whereas financial advisors do not have this legal requirement.

Who is a Financial Planner?

A financial planner is a specialist who assists people in developing and implementing financial plans. They can advise on investments, insurance, and retirement planning, among other things. Financial planners often have a degree in finance or economics, or equivalent experience, and many are certified by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards (CFP) or other designation groups.

Financial planners are in charge of creating detailed financial strategies for their clients. This involves developing budgets, assisting with sensible financial investments, and recommending appropriate insurance plans. In addition to these responsibilities, financial planners frequently provide advice on debt reduction, college savings, and estate preparation.

Financial Advisors Vs Financial Planners: How Do They Differ?

Selecting a Financial Planner

When seeking for a financial planner, various criteria must be considered. To begin, ensure that the planner has planning experience and has been through numerous market cycles, not simply the most recent bull market. Second, ask friends and family for recommendations.

Finally, interview potential financial advisors and inquire about their experience and approach to financial planning.

Who is a Financial Advisor?

A financial advisor is a specialist who gives clients investment advice. Advisors often hold a bachelor’s degree in finance or economics, and many are certified by organizations such as the (CPWA) Certified Private Wealth Advisor, Certified Investment Management Analyst (CIMA), or Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA).

Financial advisors are in charge of assisting clients in making prudent financial investments and achieving their financial objectives. Individual investors, as well as corporations and financial institutions, are common clients of advisors. Financial advisors frequently assist with tax planning and retirement savings in addition to advising investments.

Choosing a Financial Advisor

When seeking for a financial advisor, numerous criteria should be considered, including their degree, experience, and depth of financial specialists. Before hiring, you should also investigate their investment methods and cost arrangements.

Finally, ensure that they are licensed or registered by your state securities regulator so that you have legal redress if something goes wrong. It’s not wrong to start your search on google by searching for ‘financial advisor near me.’ However, be sure to verify their credentials afterwards. 

Comparing Financial Planners and Advisors

A financial planner often assists clients in developing comprehensive financial plans, whereas a financial adviser can advise on how to invest money sensibly within these plans. You’ve found the ideal group if you can discover a company that offers both or a team of professionals.

Financial planners often specialize in the execution and implementation of strategies related to investment advice, whereas financial advisers typically specialize in the execution and implementation of strategies connected to financial planning. When looking for one of these professionals, examine what you require the most assistance with so that you may select the ideal person for your needs.

Finally, financial advisors and planners both play essential roles in assisting people in achieving their financial objectives. You can make an informed selection on who to work with if you understand the distinction between a financial planner and an advisor.

Accountant Vs Financial Advisors

An accountant keeps track of, summarizes, analyzes, and reports on financial transactions. Public accountants work for independent businesses that audit financial accounts, which is a legal necessity for any publicly traded corporation. 

Internal accountants work for private businesses and are responsible for tasks such as audits, inventory accounting, and financial forecasting. Other than the process of marketing oneself and services to potential clients, sales is not a part of the work. With such similarities in wealth management, what differentiates them from financial advisors? Let’s find out.

Financial Advisors Vs Financial Planners: How Do They Differ?

Differences Between Financial Accountants and Financial Advisors 

Education Requirements

Although neither occupation has explicit academic requirements, the majority of effective accountants and financial advisors have a bachelor’s degree or higher. The only time a licensing board demands a certain amount of education for accountants is while pursuing the certified public accountant (CPA) certification.

A CPA takes 150 hours of post-secondary education, which is more than a bachelor’s degree but does not require a master’s degree. Otherwise, education requirements for accountants are decided by individual firms, not state or federal boards.

Individuals without a bachelor’s degree can become financial advisors if they pass the required securities tests. Financial planners, on the other hand, frequently hold specialized licenses and designations, the most popular of which is that of a certified financial planner (CFP). A CFP must pass tough exams in a variety of asset management and finance topics. A bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution is required to obtain the CFP designation.

Skills Required

Accounting talents include being attentive, detail-oriented, and numerate. For the first few years of a public accountant’s profession, the hours are long. Financial advisors are primarily salespeople. Financial advisors must network around the clock. Additionally, financial advisors also like watching the markets.

Starting Wages

The pay structure distinguishes accounting from financial planning. Accountants are paid a flat rate. Bonuses are usually determined by the overall performance of the company. Financial advisors, on the other hand, either receive a straight commission, charge fixed or hourly rates, or receive a combination of commission and fees. It is very much a performance-based job.

Accounting organizations such as Ernst & Young, Deloitte, KPMG, and PricewaterhouseCoopers typically pay entry-level CPA candidates between $56,000 and $67,000 in their first year. Aside from the Big Four, starting salaries vary widely based on the firm’s size, the scope of the work, and the region of the country. As they build their business, first-year financial advisors in Australia are typically granted a small income or draw of between A$50,000 and A$75,000 annually. 

Job Prospects

While the financial industry was devastated by the Great Recession, accounting and financial planning have bright career prospects in 2019 and beyond. Accountants and auditors are expected to expand by 7% between 2020 and 2030, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Personal financial advisors are expected to rise at a 5% annual pace during the same time period.

Work-Life Integration

Expect to work long hours in your first several years as an accountant or financial advisors. As an accountant, the busiest months are January through April, with weekly work hours in excess of 60. Accounting provides a good work-life balance throughout the rest of the year, with 40-hour work weeks being the norm.

During their first several years, most financial advisors devote a significant amount of time on acquiring and marketing clients. This responsibility alone can increase weekly hours working to more than 40. Developing great word-of-mouth marketing can drastically reduce the number of hours worked.

If you are thinking about hiring a wealth management business, please contact Omura now to schedule a meeting with a financial advisor in Sydney.