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Research and Resources

By conducting and publishing new research on the financial planning profession, the Center is serving as a valuable resource for practitioners, firms, educators and the public.


The Center is a catalyst for independent research that provides the foundation for future programs to build a more diverse and sustainable financial planning profession. The Center’s research to date includes:

Metrics that Matter: Report Cover

Metrics that Matter: Best Practices from Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Practitioners and Academics

This 2022 report presents articles from academics and practitioners that outline recommendations and lessons learned based on their research and experience with the goal of diversifying the financial planning profession. Each article addresses a different stage and component of the diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) journey.

Cover Image for Guide to Careers in Financial Planning

Guide to Careers in Financial Planning

This 2021 guide provides students, recent graduates and career changers with information on launching and sustaining a successful career in financial planning. Based on extensive research of workforce development practices at a variety of companies, the guide introduces typical entry points and career tracks, companies that hire financial planners, and guidance on finding the right opportunity.

Diversity in Action: How to Sustain the Financial Planning Profession

This 2020 thought leadership paper compiled a series of case studies from a select number of firms that outlined their current initiatives aimed at increasing racial and ethnic diversity, and provided advice on how others can replicate and scale efforts to diversify their own workforces.


Released in 2019, this literature review outlines why a diverse workforce is critical for both the financial planning profession and financial services firms. Through data compiled from a variety of research studies, the report shows that diversity leads to stronger sales revenue, customer growth, greater market share and higher profit levels. The report also goes deeper and identifies four data-supported explanations for how diversity leads to stronger overall financial performance.

Employer Guide to Financial Planning Career Paths

Released in 2019, the Center’s comprehensive workforce development guide is designed to help firms in the financial planning profession with financial planner recruitment, onboarding, training, career development and retention. The guide highlights the importance of clear and transparent career advancement to attract and retain the next generation of financial planners. It helps firms structure and effectively communicate career path opportunities by examining five rungs of the financial planner career ladder.

Financial Planner Re-Entry Initiative: Career Path for Professional Women in Financial Planning

Published in 2018, this white paper details outcomes from the initial pilot of the Center’s Financial Planner Re-Entry Initiative (FPRI). FPRI is an innovative workforce development program aimed at attracting experienced, professional women into the financial planning profession who are seeking to return to the workforce after taking a career break. The white paper discusses the pilot program’s model and its key components, initial hurdles, successes and outcomes shared by the participating firms, as well as insights from re-interns and firm program managers.

Racial Diversity in Financial Planning: Where We Are and Where We Must Go

Released in 2018, the Center’s thought leadership paper outlines actionable solutions for industry stakeholders to create a more diverse and inclusive profession. The report was developed in consultation with the Center’s Diversity Advisory Group, and is based on findings from the Center’s comprehensive research study on the under-representation of blacks and Latinos in the financial planner workforce.

Making More Room for Women in the Financial Planning Profession

Released in 2014, this white paper from the Center’s Women’s Initiative (WIN) presents the findings from a comprehensive study on the causes of under-representation of women in the financial planner workforce. The paper also presents recommendations for bringing more women into the profession and making it more attractive to women.