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News Release

Survey: CFP® Professionals’ Primary Recommendation to Clients Is Sit Tight and Wait to Make Major Financial Decisions Until Volatility Decreases

April 21, 2020

New research released today by Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. (CFP Board) found that during the COVID-19 pandemic, more than one in three CFP® professionals surveyed (36 percent) say their primary recommendation to clients is to sit tight and wait to make any major financial decisions until volatility decreases. Additional top recommendations from CFP® professionals to clients include reviewing and updating short- and long-term goals (16 percent) and rebalancing portfolios (17 percent).

Managing Americans’ Stress Levels

Not surprisingly, 64 percent of surveyed CFP® professionals note that their clients are experiencing high or very high levels of stress amidst the global COVID-19 pandemic. The survey found that the top three financial concerns clients have expressed to CFP® professionals during this precarious time are managing volatility (74 percent), protecting assets (72 percent) and liquidity (35 percent).

“The spread of COVID-19 is having a resounding impact on all aspects of our lives,” said Kevin R. Keller, CEO of CFP Board. “While no one could have predicted the magnitude of this pandemic, research has shown that Americans who enlist the help of a CFP® professional to create a holistic financial plan feel more confident when faced with economic uncertainty.”

Nearly all CFP® professionals surveyed (94 percent) agree that Americans with a financial plan are more likely to make progress toward their goals, even during these uncertain times.

Professional Practice Impact

The survey revealed nearly two-thirds of surveyed CFP® professionals (64 percent) agree that more Americans will seek professional financial advice in the wake of COVID-19. Most of the surveyed CFP® professionals are seeing that increased demand play out with their current clients, with nearly eight in 10 (78 percent) reporting an increase in the volume of inquiries from clients as the COVID-19 pandemic has evolved. Additionally, over the last 30 days, one in three CFP® professionals (34 percent) have seen an increase in inquiries from prospective clients.

Since the COVID-19 outbreak, the surveyed CFP® professionals say that the biggest challenge they face in their practice is two-fold: maintaining more frequent communications with clients and prospects (18 percent) and the emotional factor, with clients leaning on them as a therapist first, and financial planner second (17 percent).

“The findings show that during the current health and economic crisis, CFP® professionals play an important role in counseling Americans through stress and uncertainty. It’s inspiring to see that the competent and ethical financial planning advice that CFP® professionals provide to Americans is making a difference in helping people feel prepared to get through this unprecedented time,” continued Keller.

For additional information or to learn more about working with a CFP® professional, visit 

Survey Methodology:

CFP Board designed this survey to understand the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on CFP® professionals and their clients. 1,078 CFP® professionals completed the online survey between April 6 and April 13, 2020.

View The Survey Results

About CFP Board

Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. is the professional body for personal financial planners in the U.S. CFP Board sets standards for financial planning and administers the prestigious CFP® certification – one of the most respected certifications in financial services – so that the public has access to and benefits from competent and ethical financial planning. CFP Board, along with its Center for Financial Planning, is committed to increasing the public’s awareness of CFP® certification and access to a diverse, ethical and competent financial planning workforce. Widely recognized by firms and consumer groups as the standard for financial planning, CFP® certification is held by more than 86,000 people in the United States.


Reed Handley
Bliss Integrated Communication
212 840 0088