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News Release

CFP Board Celebrates 50th Anniversary of CFP® Certification

Gala to Be Held at Smithsonian National Museum of African American History & Culture

October 12, 2023

CFP Board proudly celebrates the 50th anniversary of CFP® certification, a milestone that highlights a half-century of excellence in personal financial planning. On this momentous occasion, CFP Board pays tribute to the visionary individuals who comprised the inaugural 1973 class of CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professionals, recognizing their pivotal role in shaping the financial planning ecosystem.

“This historic moment is an opportunity to reflect on the significant role CFP® certification has played in elevating and advancing the financial planning profession for the benefit of the public,” said CFP Board CEO Kevin R. Keller, CAE. “As we move into the next 50 years, CFP Board will continue to set high standards for competency and ethics and promote the enduring value of CFP® certification as the standard for competent and ethical financial planning.”

On October 13, 1973, the College for Financial Planning awarded CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ certification to the first class of 42 trailblazing men and women. The College’s initial curriculum and exams for CFP® certification set the profession's first competency standards, soon followed by ethical standards. In 1985, the responsibility for maintaining these standards shifted to CFP Board’s predecessor organization, the International Board of Standards and Practices for Certified Financial Planners, Inc. Today, the number of CFP® professionals has reached a record high of more than 97,000 — and is expected to reach 100,000 CFP® professionals in 2024.

CFP® certification has evolved significantly over the years. The curriculum has expanded to reflect the growing complexity of financial planning. Educational requirements have become more structured and rigorous, with candidates mandated to complete specific coursework from 340 CFP Board Registered Programs at accredited colleges and universities. The comprehensive CFP® certification exam has been updated to be more holistic, testing knowledge across a broader spectrum of financial planning topics. There’s a stronger emphasis on ethics and professional standards, with CFP® professionals making a commitment to CFP Board, set forth in the Code of Ethics and Standards of Conduct, to uphold high ethical standards and prioritize their clients’ best interests. CFP Board Center for Financial Planning, launched in 2015, actively promotes diversity and inclusion within the profession. And consumer awareness of CFP® certification has significantly increased, with many clients actively seeking CFP® professionals for their financial planning needs, recognizing the certification as a symbol of quality and professionalism.

“In commemorating the 50th anniversary of CFP® certification, we pay homage to the remarkable journey it has taken and honor the professionals who led the way,” said Dan Moisand, CFP®, Chair of CFP Board’s Board of Directors. “CFP Board’s ongoing dedication to upholding the CFP® certification standards will continue to enhance the prestige of the CFP® certification and raise consumer awareness about the many benefits of working with a CFP® professional.”

On December 6, 2023, CFP Board will celebrate the 50th anniversary of CFP® certification with a gala event at the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History & Culture in Washington, D.C. The theme of the gala is “Imagine,” reflecting CFP Board’s vision of a future in which every American has access to competent and ethical financial planning. All proceeds from the event will go toward funding the Women’s Initiative (WIN) Endowed Scholarship and the LeCount R. Davis, CFP® Endowed Scholarship, CFP Board scholarships that support the next generation of diverse CFP® professionals.

Ann Compton, renowned former news reporter and White House correspondent for ABC News Radio, will emcee the gala. The high-profile guest list includes prominent financial planners, clients, industry experts, academics and scholarship recipients. In addition to commemorating this half-century milestone, the event will celebrate and showcase CFP Board’s efforts to advance a more diverse and inclusive financial planning profession, with inspiring stories about the transformative effect CFP® professionals have had on the lives of so many Americans.

For more information about CFP Board’s 50th Anniversary of CFP® Certification Gala, including sponsorship opportunities and table purchases, contact CFP Board Institutional Giving Officer Dan Limbago at

about cfp board

CFP Board is the professional body for personal financial planners in the U.S. CFP Board consists of two affiliated organizations focused on advancing the financial planning profession for the public’s benefit. CFP Board of Standards sets and upholds standards for financial planning and administers the prestigious CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERTM certification — widely recognized by the public, advisors and firms as the standard for financial planners — so that the public has access to the benefits of competent and ethical financial planning. CFP® certification is held by more than 100,000 people in the U.S. CFP Board Center for Financial Planning addresses diversity and workforce development challenges and conducts and publishes research that adds to the financial planning profession’s body of knowledge.


Joseph Feese
Director of Public Relations
X: @CFPBoard