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News Release

Survey of CFP® Professionals Shows High Satisfaction with CFP® Certification and Career Choice, Strong Alignment with CFP Board Priorities

August 23, 2017

CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professionals report very high satisfaction with their career choice and decision to obtain the CFP® certification, and they are strongly aligned with CFP Board’s priorities and initiatives, according to a new survey by Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc.

Conducted by Fondulas Strategic Research, the survey results provide 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 2015.

Key findings of the survey include:

  • 91 percent are very satisfied with their career choice in financial planning, with 72 percent giving the highest rating to career satisfaction – a five point increase from the 2015 survey
  • 91 percent say they are very satisfied with their decision to pursue CFP® certification, with 76 percent giving the highest rating to certification satisfaction – a six point increase from the 2015 survey
  • 83 percent say CFP® professionals have a "competitive edge" over financial planners who do not hold the credential
  • 77 percent of respondents strongly agree that the CFP® certification contributes directly to their own professional success
  • 66 percent say that becoming a CFP® professional had a positive impact on their income
  • 91 percent say they would recommend the CFP® certification to other financial professionals

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

  • 69 percent say CFP Board’s Public Awareness Campaign – a campaign to increase public awareness of CFP® professionals featuring a mix of paid advertising and earned media – is worth the additional certification fee
  • 54 percent of respondents say they are satisfied with the overall effectiveness of CFP Board’s Public Awareness Campaign
  • 24 percent of respondents say at least one client has mentioned CFP Board’s Public Awareness Campaign – a seven point increase from the 2015 survey
  • 96 percent of respondents agree with the statement that “financial planning should be a recognized profession”
  • 88 percent agree that a “fiduciary standard is appropriate for all financial service providers who deliver personalized investment advice to retail investors”
  • 84 percent say 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” – a two point increase from the 2015 survey
  • 71 percent of respondents report at the end of the survey that the service they receive from CFP Board meets their expectations, with 36 percent giving the highest rating to service satisfaction – a six point increase from the 2015 survey

“CFP Board’s ambitious set of strategic priorities – focused on Awareness, Access, Accountability, and Authority – are advancing the relevance of the CFP® marks and strengthening CFP® certification’s standing as the highest standard for competent and ethical personal financial planning,” said Chief Executive Officer Kevin R. Keller, CAE. “The support of our nearly 78,000 CFP® professionals is important to CFP Board’s work, especially as we continue to strengthen our standards and actively work to ensure the CFP® mark remains top of mind when the public thinks of financial planning.”

The telephone survey of 800 CFP® professionals was conducted in late May and early June using a random sample of CFP® professionals. The sampling error is +/- 3.5 percent and has a 95 percent confidence level.