Financial Planning

What Is Financial Planning?

Financial planning is the process of taking a comprehensive look at your financial situation and building a specific financial plan to reach your goals. As a result, financial planning often delves into multiple areas of finance, including investing, taxes, savings, retirement, your estate, insurance and more. As you might expect, a financial planner typically offers financial planning services, though financial advisors often double as planners themselves. To find an advisor who can help you build a holistic financial plan, try SmartAsset’s free financial advisor matching tool.

What Is Financial Planning?

Financial planning is the practice of putting together a plan for your future, specifically around how you will manage your finances and prepare for all of the potential costs and issues that may arise. The process involves evaluating your current financial situation, identifying your goals and then developing and implementing relevant recommendations.

Financial planning is holistic and broad, and it can encompass a variety of services, which we detail below. Rather than focusing on a single aspect of your finances, it views clients as real people with a variety of goals and responsibilities. It then addresses a number of financial realities to figure out how to best enable people to make the most of their lives.

Financial planning is not the same as asset management. Asset management generally refers to managing investments for a client. This includes choosing the stocks, bonds, mutual funds and other investments in which a client should invest their money.

However, the same professionals who offer asset management services can also offer financial planning. A financial planner is effectively one type of financial advisor. Advisors can earn certifications focused on financial planning, the most notable of which is “certified financial planner (CFP).”

Securities and Exchange Board of India

Financial Education initiatives of the SEBI are for providing general information to the public. For specific information on securities law, rules, regulations, guidelines and directives framed thereunder, please refer to the same at

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