Financial Professionals: who is the right person for you?

By: Oxana Saunders

image courtesy of Wikipedia

image courtesy of Wikipedia

As I tell people what I do for a living, I’ve come to realize that few understand the difference among various financial professionals. I cannot blame them. Our industry has adopted ambiguous titles such as “financial advisor,” “wealth advisor,” and “financial planner,” none of which are properly defined.

Strictly speaking, there are only two categories requiring a license and regulatory oversight: “Investment Advisor Representatives (IARs),” and “Registered Representatives (RRs).” The main difference is that IARs must put their interests before yours, while RRs do not have to.

IARs work for Registered Investment Advisors such as Path Financial and are widely considered to have few conflicts of interests with the clients they advise. On the other hand, RRs work for Broker-Dealers and recent regulatory initiatives specifically address the fact that their advice is often in conflict with their clients’ interests. (Click here to read Path Financial President Raul Elizalde’s March 2017 editorial in the Sarasota Herald Tribune on this topic.)

Understanding the difference between both is very important when deciding who is best suited to your particular goals. The Forbes article linked below expands on describing the different kinds of financial professionals, and describes how each are compensated.

forbes logo image

Differences Between Stockbrokers, Investment Advisors And Financial Planners


Oxana Saunders Vice President Path FinancialOxana Saunders is the Vice President of Path Financial, LLC. She may be reached at 941.894.2571 or

facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedintumblrmailby feather