A financial planner is a person who provides advice to clients regarding how to achieve their financial goals. The planning process includes an examination of a client’s current financial circumstances and long-term goals. The financial planner provides advice regarding whether the client’s goals are realistic. Once reasonable goals have been set, the financial planner creates an investment plan that takes advantage of the tax laws, mitigates risk where possible, and leaves an estate as desired by the client. A financial planner can be certified as a Certified Financial Planner, showing that the individual has a certain baseline knowledge level, as evidenced by his or her successful completion of the certification test.