The term "financial planning" covers a lot of area. On the high end, it can mean managing millions of dollars in assets, and continuously analyzing the results, yields and needs to determine the best allocation of capital.Financial planning also refers to the accountant or tax preparer who sees or hears from a client once a year, and uses the annual tax preparation appointment as a way of offering planning advice as well.

Obviously, there are also a lot of practices that fall somewhere between these extremes.

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