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Financial Advisor vs. Financial Planner in Australia – Are They Really Different? 

Financial planner vs financial advisor

In the realm of finance, the terms “financial advisor” and “financial planner” are often used interchangeably, leading many to wonder if there’s any substantive difference between the two. 

While legally in Australia, there is no distinct separation between the roles, the titles seem to carry nuanced connotations in practice. In this blog, we unravel the truth behind these titles, exploring whether the distinction is more than just a matter of semantics.

The Legal Landscape

Legally speaking, a financial advisor and a financial planner are one and the same in Australia. Both terms are protected and cannot be used by any unlicensed individual, and any financial planner can call themselves a financial advisor, and vice versa

Individuals using these terms have the same backgrounds, qualifications, and areas of expertise. So, why the apparent disparity in how these titles are perceived?

Perceived Differences in Practice

In theory, individuals who brand themselves as financial planners often do so to highlight their expertise in providing comprehensive, holistic financial plans

On the other hand, those using the title of financial advisor might emphasize their focus on providing advice and guidance tailored to the client’s specific needs. But in reality, the financial professional probably just prefers the title.

Ultimately, it comes down to the professional’s personal choice and desired brand image.

The Client’s Perspective

From the client’s perspective, the question arises: Does the title really matter? In practice, clients often receive identical services, regardless of whether their financial professional is labelled a financial advisor or financial planner. 

Both are equipped to provide valuable insights, guidance, and assistance in navigating the complex world of finance.


While there might be a perceived difference between financial advisors and financial planners in Australia, it’s crucial for clients to focus on the substance rather than the title. 

Ultimately, whether you choose a financial advisor or financial planner, the name has no quantifiable impact on the end product and it’s essential to consider the qualifications, certifications, and areas of expertise of the professional.

Secure your financial future today!