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Financial Advisor vs. Financial Coach: What’s The Difference?

by | Updated: Dec 5, 2023 | Published: Jul 10, 2023 | Insights

financial advisor vs financial coach

Financial Advisor vs. Financial Coach: What’s The Difference?

The Advantages of a Financial Advisor Over a Financial Coach


When it comes to managing your personal finances and making important investment decisions, seeking professional guidance can be immensely beneficial. However, choosing between a financial advisor and a financial coach can be a daunting task. While both roles offer valuable assistance, there are compelling reasons why opting for a financial advisor is often the superior choice.

In this article, we will explore the advantages of working with a financial advisor. Their expertise and specialized knowledge can help you achieve your financial goals with confidence and efficiency.

Who Are Financial Coaches and Financial Planners?

A financial coach is someone who is able to help you reach your near-term goals. This is done through education on cash flow management and basic financial principles. They are sometimes referred to as money coaches as they help you build good money habits in the near-term.

On the other hand, financial advisors are professionals who can help you in developing long-term financial plans. This includes continued walking beside you and advising you on financial decisions throughout your career and into retirement and beyond.

Comprehensive Financial Planning

Financial advisors are trained professionals who possess a deep understanding of complex financial matters. They are equipped to provide holistic and comprehensive financial planning services.

Whether you need assistance with retirement planning, tax optimization, estate planning, or investment strategies, a financial advisor can offer expert guidance tailored to your unique circumstances.

Their in-depth knowledge allows them to evaluate your entire financial landscape and create a personalized roadmap to help you achieve your short-term and long-term goals.

But the guidance usually does not end there. Financial advisors walk with you through your career and help bring guidance and insight to all of your changing financial needs and desires. They understand that after a roadmap is created there can be unexpected financial twists and turns that will need to be navigated and are there to help you at every turn.

Investment Expertise

One of the primary areas where financial advisors excel is investment management. They possess a deep understanding of asset allocation, diversification, risk management, and investment selection. By leveraging their expertise, financial advisors can develop investment strategies that align with your goals while considering factors such as your time horizon and risk tolerance. They have access to a wide range of investment options and can help you navigate the complexities of the financial markets, aiming to maximize returns and minimize risk.

With Financial coaches, you do not have ongoing and in-depth involvement in your investment assets. Financial coaches are good at pointing you to good investment options as of the time you meet but do not continually evaluate if your investments are meeting your specific goals and risk appetite like a financial advisor does.

Objective and Unbiased Advice

Financial advisors have a fiduciary duty to act in their clients’ best interests. This legal and ethical obligation sets them apart from financial coaches, who may not be bound by the same standards.

Financial advisors prioritize your financial well-being and provide objective recommendations tailored to your specific needs and circumstances. They are not driven by the sale of financial products, ensuring that their advice is unbiased and solely focused on your financial success. This is important in a day and age when there are many social media financial coaches that are pushing financial and insurance products with high commissions that benefit them and do not necessarily benefit you. In many scenarios, it can make sense to purchase term life insurance rather than high commission alternatives. In this article, our very own Kyle McClain, CFP®, CIMA® discusses the advantages of term insurance.

Ever Changing Investment and Regulatory Environment

The financial industry is subject to evolving regulations and compliance requirements. Financial advisors are well-versed in these regulations and can guide you through complex legal and tax implications, ensuring you remain compliant. With their in-depth knowledge of the ever-changing financial landscape, they can help you navigate potential pitfalls and make informed decisions, reducing the risk of costly mistakes.

Financial advisors ensure that your financial plan is able to change and adapt to these ever-changing landscapes. By comparison, since financial coaches are only used every so often, they are unable to recommend certain money and tax saving techniques to you until it is too late, or the window of opportunity has closed.

Professional Qualifications and Experience

Financial advisors undergo rigorous education and training to obtain professional certifications such as Certified Financial Planner (CFP®) or Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA). These designations require adherence to ethical standards and continuous education, ensuring that financial advisors remain up to date with the latest industry practices. Their experience in dealing with various financial situations, market fluctuations, and economic trends enables them to offer informed advice and make sound recommendations that align with your objectives and risk tolerance.

It is also important to bring in more tax-minded specialists such as Certified Public Accountants (CPAs) who are able to help build, implement and monitor tax plans and strategies for you. Unfortunately, financial coaches do not usually have the long-term view and continued connection needed to navigate and moderate complex tax strategies. Here at Rhame & Gorrell we have multiple CFP®, CFA, and CPA professionals that have years of experience helping clients meet their financial goals and doing so in a tax efficient manner.

When talking about financial coaches, there is no specific certification needed to discuss financial matters with you. As we mentioned before, it is important to find someone who will act as a fiduciary for you and does not have their self-interest hinder the advice they give.

While financial coaches can offer support and motivation, the expertise and comprehensive guidance provided by financial advisors often make them the preferred choice for individuals seeking professional assistance in managing their finances. With their qualifications, experience, and dedication to their clients’ best interests, financial advisors bring a level of expertise and objectivity that can greatly enhance your financial journey. By partnering with a financial advisor, you can benefit from their specialized knowledge, customized strategies, and ongoing support, ultimately improving your financial well-being and working towards your long-term goals with confidence.

Need Some Help?

If you’d like some help from a CPA or CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER (CFP®) professional regarding this strategy and how it applies to you, the Rhame & Gorrell Wealth Management team is here to help.

Our experienced Wealth Managers can help you review your financial, estate, and tax situation to come up with a custom strategy going forward.

Feel free to contact us at (832) 789-1100, [email protected], or click one of the buttons below to ask a question or schedule your complimentary strategy session today.


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Wealth Manager
Tyler Miller joined the Rhame & Gorrell Wealth team in the Spring of 2020 and serves as a Wealth Manager. In this role, Tyler leads the process of creating and implementing comprehensive financial plans for clients and prospects of RGWM. As a CPA, he also acts as one of our in-house tax experts.

After growing up in The Woodlands area, Tyler received a full academic/athletic scholarship to The University of Incarnate Word in San Antonio. While a student athlete, Tyler graduated Summa Cum Laude with a Finance degree concentrated in financial planning. With his Bachelor’s under his belt, he decided to pursue his Master's of Science in Accounting (MSA) and graduated with Distinction. After college, Tyler was heavily recruited and took a position with Deloitte working within their corporate tax group. While Tyler enjoyed the analytical and research aspect of working at Deloitte, he realized that he had more of a passion for helping individuals directly, fueling his career change into financial services. Tyler has earned his Certified Public Accountant (CPA) license, his Certified Financial Planner (CFP®) certification, and his Certified Investment Management Analyst (CIMA®) certification.



Rhame & Gorrell Wealth Management, LLC (“RGWM”) is an SEC registered investment adviser with its principal place of business in the State of Texas. Registration as an investment adviser is not an endorsement by securities regulators and does not imply that RGWM has attained a certain level of skill, training, or ability.

This material has been prepared for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for, tax, legal or accounting advice. You should consult your own CPA or tax professional before engaging in any transaction.  The effectiveness of any of the strategies described will depend on your individual situation and should not be construed as personalized investment advice.

For additional information about RGWM, including fees and services, send for our Firm Disclosure Brochures as set forth on Form ADV Part 2A and Part 3 by contacting the Firm directly. You can also access our Firm Brochures at www.adviserinfo.sec.gov. Please read the disclosure brochures carefully before you invest or send money.

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