top of page

March Madness of Financial Titles, Fees, and Certifications

Demystifying the myriad of financial planning options to help you through the madness.

If you are like most people I meet, you are likely confused by the seemingly endless titles, certifications, and fee structures associated with personal financial guidance.

Confused woman

The process of finding help shouldn’t require help, but that’s the world we are living in. The guide below will walk you through how to find the best seeded option for your specific situation so that your financial bracket doesn’t go bust.


There are two primary titles that you will come across: Financial Advisor and Financial Coach. A financial advisor is typically registered at the state and/or federal level and provides specific investment advice. Typically, the advisor also manages your assets or investments. A financial coach provides financial education and guidance, without the required registration and specific investment advice. The downside of the coaching model, which is how my firm, Walk You To Wealth, operates, is that anyone can call themselves a financial coach regardless of their education and expertise. In practical terms, a financial advisor will actively manage your money and provide specific stock, bond, fund, etc. recommendations while a financial coach will help you to successfully manage your own money. Neither model is perfect, it simply depends on your needs and budget. This is a draw.


There are too many fee structures to cover, but the key piece of information you want to know is whether they are fee-based or fee-only. Fee-based means that you pay them an amount as a client, but they also earn additional income or commission by selling you products or services. Fee-only means that their compensation comes directly from what you pay them. Fee-only is the clear winner of this round and is what you should be looking for.

Barbie meme of investing fees


Again, there are too many to list here as well, but let’s start with the one seed. I would never work with anyone who wasn’t a Certified Financial Planner (CFP). If they aren’t a CFP, then you are really hoping for a Cinderella story and gambling your financial future on a true underdog.

Meme about someone giving investment advice with no knowledge

Ultimately, if you need specific advice or want someone else to manage your money, then you should pay for a financial advisor. If not, then you should evaluate financial coaching options, but either way, make sure they are a fee-only CFP. Hopefully this will help you find your number one seed.

If you are looking for a financial coach to help you create a better financial future, then take your first step below. For less than $5/day, Walk You To Wealth is the most affordable way to access professional help.

Disclaimer: The information in this post is provided for your convenience only and is not intended to be treated as financial, investment, tax, or other advice. The information is intended to be educational and is not tailored to the investment needs of any specific individual.  It is also not intended to be relied upon as a forecast and is not an offer or solicitation to buy or sell any securities or to adopt any investment strategy.  The opinions expressed are those of the author.  Reliance upon the guidance and information in this presentation is at the sole discretion of the individual.


Rated 0 out of 5 stars.
No ratings yet

Add a rating
bottom of page