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News Release

Survey of CFP® Professionals Shows Continued High Satisfaction with CFP® Certification, Growing Satisfaction with CFP Board’s Public Awareness Campaign

May 15, 2016

Certified Financial Planner™ professionals continue to be very satisfied with their career choice and decision to obtain the CFP® certification, and they are increasingly satisfied with the progress of the Public Awareness Campaign run by Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. (CFP Board), according to a new survey.

Conducted by Fondulas Strategic Research, the survey provides an in-depth picture of CFP® professionals’ perceptions of the value of their CFP® certification, its impact on their careers, and their views of CFP Board and the financial planning profession.  A version of the survey was last conducted in 2013.

“The demand for financial planning advice is growing, and job seekers and financial professionals are desiring rewarding careers. We are pleased to see that CFP® professionals continue to be overwhelmingly satisfied with their career choice as well as the certification itself,” said Chief Executive Officer Kevin R. Keller, CAE. “CFP® professionals are once again affirming initiatives that help fulfill our mission of upholding CFP® certification as the recognized standard of excellence in personal financial planning.”

Key findings of the survey include: 

  • 90 percent are strongly satisfied with career choice in financial planning
  • 91 percent are strongly satisfied with their decision to pursue CFP® certification
  • 90 percent would recommend the CFP® certification to other financial professionals
  • 83 percent agree that CFP® professionals have a "competitive edge" over financial planners who do not hold the credential—a two percent increase from 2013

The survey also found that CFP® professionals strongly believe in the importance of CFP Board’s priorities and initiatives.  

  • 93 percent believe that it is very important that CFP Board builds and promotes CFP® certification brand
  • 95 percent agree with the statement that ”financial planning should be a recognized profession”
  • 82 percent agree that a “fiduciary standard of care is appropriate for all financial service providers who deliver personalized investment advice to retail investors” 
  • 93 percent believe that it is very important that CFP Board enforces standards for use of CFP® certification
  • 82 percent agree that CFP Board’s Standards of Professional Conduct provides them with “necessary guidance for delivering financial planning services to my clients with the highest ethical conduct”

The survey found growing satisfaction in CFP® professionals’ support of CFP Board’s Public Awareness Campaign, currently in its sixth year of advertising featuring the “Let’s Make a Plan” website for consumers, with significant increases over 2013:

  • A 14 percentage point increase in the percentage “very satisfied” with the campaign (21 percent vs 7 percent)
  • A 12 percentage point increase in the percentage who say the campaign is worth the additional annual fee CFP® professionals pay with their certification fee (69 percent vs 57 percent)

In addition, nearly two-thirds (63 percent) of respondents report that the service they receive from CFP Board meets their expectations. 

The telephone survey of 808 CFP® professionals was conducted in December 2015 and January 2016 using a random sample of CFP® professionals. The sampling error is +/- 3.5 percent and has a 95 percent confidence level.  Read the 2015 survey report at: