LFM&P: Your most important financial result is the ability to meet your life goals. Investment products can be important means to reach those goals, but are best considered only to be a secondary part of your overall strategy. Planning for major events like retirement, requires consideration of what future resources will be needed, the time frame, and possible risks as well as investment returns. A portfolio manager, who is also a Certified Financial PlannerTM, professional, can help you design an individual strategy to accomplish your broader financial goals, while integrating and executing your investment approach as well.
Common Industry Practice: Most portfolio managers and full-cost brokers' representatives are not Certified Financial PlannerTM professionals. You are pretty much on your own with discount brokers. Their advice is typically either on-line computer-based, or limited to the products that they sell. Many financial planners limit management services to basic asset allocation. Many others provide only occasional advice, rather than continuous management.