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What Is Financial Planning & How Is it Different From Investment Management?

What Is Financial Planning & How Is it Different From Investment Management?

April 05, 2023

Many people make the mistake of assuming financial planning and investment management mean the same thing—and often tend to use the terms interchangeably. 

While financial professionals offer a range of services that include investment advice, investment management, financial advice, financial planning, and wealth management, each service has its own unique processes and outcomes. The following guide will explain the differences between financial planning and investment management, and what clients can expect when working with Wellstone Wealth Management.

Financial Planning vs. Investment Management

According to the CFP Board, financial planning is a collaborative process that helps maximize a client’s potential for meeting life goals through financial advice that integrates relevant elements of the client’s personal and financial circumstances. Essentially, it is a holistic process that looks at all parts of a client’s financial situation to create a customized plan to achieve their financial goals. It includes the following subject areas:

  • Retirement planning
  • Education planning
  • Tax planning
  • Investment planning
  • Estate planning
  • Risk management and insurance planning

Investment management, on the other hand, aims to meet particular investment goals for the benefit of clients whose money a financial professional has the responsibility of overseeing. It is a siloed service that does not necessarily incorporate the other aspects of a client’s unique financial situation. Financial planning usually includes investment management, but investment management does not automatically include financial planning.  

Our Life-Centered Financial Planning Process

At Wellstone Wealth Management, our team focuses on 5 key areas: retirement, investment, estate, insurance, and tax planning services. While other advisors often do a few of these things, they typically do not do all; and many times they only focus on investment management. 

Throughout our process, we put all hands together to design a customized, strategic approach to your affairs. We base our strategy on the comprehensive life-centered financial planning process, and we always keep your most important goals and values in mind. Below is an outline of the steps we take with every client:

  1. Initial Call: During this free consultation, we start by getting to know each other and learning more about what matters most to you. We ask if we are a good fit for each other and if we can create a strong partnership.
  2. Goal Identification: We formalize our engagement and build your personalized profile by taking the time to set the foundation for your plan and identify your personal objectives, lifestyle, and legacy goals.
  3. Plan Development: With your goals and our guidance, we create your personalized financial road map. We align your road map with your goals while building the timeline for implementation.
  4. Plan Implementation: Once developed, we spend time helping you put your customized plan into action while recommending your personalized investment strategy.
  5. Bigger-Picture View: During this step, we work closely with a team of professionals to verify your complete financial house is in order. We guide you in the estate planning process, help you develop a tax plan, and establish your risk management strategies. 
  6. Ongoing Support: This is just the beginning. Once your plan is in motion, we help you stay the course by monitoring your plan and results and providing proactive, transparent client service. We work together to continuously review and optimize your plan.

At the end of this process, we have created a living document that can be updated over time as your financial goals change and evolve. The process does not stop just because the plan was completed. Comprehensive life-centered financial planning is a continuous service that allows us, as planners, to truly maximize your ability to move toward your long-term financial goals.

A Team You Can Trust

If you find yourself seeking a financial plan that includes strategic investment management, we would be glad to help. At Wellstone Wealth Management, we take pride in our all-encompassing approach to wealth management while assisting our clients in pursuing their financial objectives with confidence. Schedule a complimentary introductory meeting by contacting us at 503-594-1210 or to get started today.

About Greg

Greg Allen is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional, Life-Centered Financial Planner, Managing Member, and second-generation owner of Wellstone Wealth Management, a life-centered financial planning firm that takes a unique Return on Life (ROL) approach to help their clients live the best life possible with the money they have. With over 20 years of experience, Greg holds fast to his mission of helping clients plan their finances around their lives, instead of the other way around, resulting in fulfillment, confidence, and a meaningful life. Greg also provides a caring, trusted long-term relationship and life-centered financial behavioral counseling. He specializes in working with people who have recently retired or are close to it (typically five years or less) and relates well to corporate executives and upper-management couples who often have complicated financial pictures and need help maximizing their wealth, reducing their taxes, and preparing for retirement so they can maintain their ideal lifestyle. 

When he is not helping his clients find meaning and purpose, you can find Greg spending time with his friends and family, especially his wife, Sandy, children, and grandchildren. As a native Oregonian, Greg loves the outdoors, visiting the Oregon Coast, and retreating to their family cabin in the mountains. He enjoys staying involved with his church, reading, watching sports, and anything to do with exercise and wellness. To learn more about Greg, connect with him on LinkedIn.

Information provided herein is provided by Wellstone Wealth Management, LLC. This information is for general informational purposes only and does not intend to make an offer or solicitation for the sale or purchase of any specific securities, investments, or investment strategies. Information was compiled from third-party sources believed to be reliable and accurate but cannot be guaranteed. Investment advisory services are offered through Oswego Wealth Advisors, Inc., an SEC Registered Investment Advisor. Neither Wellstone Wealth Management, LLC nor Oswego Wealth Advisors, Inc render any legal, accounting, or tax advice. All investments involve risk, are not guaranteed, and may lose value. We recommend that all investors consult with a qualified adviser to assess your personal situation before implementing any strategy.

Please remember to contact your advisor when your financial circumstances or objectives change. Your advisor may recommend adjustments to your financial planning and investment strategies to better suit your current situation.