Become a CFP® Professional

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Research Shows Benefits of CFP® Certification

Why do individuals choose to become CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professionals?

Research by Aite Group shows that CFP® certification can be a key differentiator for firms and individual financial professionals looking to improve the quality of their advice and provide additional value to clients.

At a time when unemployment is soaring and many Americans are reaching retirement age, the need for personal financial planning expertise is greater than ever. Recruiters and prospective employers recognize CFP® certification as the most desired designation in this growing field. Becoming a financial planner offers:

  • High income potential
  • Dynamic, respected profession
  • Satisfaction from helping people meet financial goals and plan for the future

Your Path to CFP® Certification

Joseph McLaughlin, CFP®, Financial Advisor, First Command Financial Services, is interviewed about how important becoming a CFP® professional was to his financial advising career.


Key findings of the research – which was commissioned by Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. – include:

  • While 20 percent of all financial advisors hold the CFP® certification, more than 70 percent of all team practices have at least one CFP® professional, providing a holistic view of clients’ finances;
  • 87 percent of clients who work with a financial advisor who has CFP® certification are satisfied or very satisfied compared with 72 percent of those who work with an advisor without certification;
  • Sole CFP® professionals generate between 40 and 100 percent more revenue than those financial professionals who do not hold the certification; team practices with a CFP® professional on staff generate 30 percent more in revenue;
  • Financial professionals with CFP® certification “work with more of their clients on a long-term, recurring basis, managing 45 (percent) of client assets for an AUM-based fee;”
  • 87 percent of CFP® professionals said that financial planning was “equally important” or “more important” than investment management to their advisory practice; and
  • CFP® professionals with less than ten years of industry experience are twice as likely to earn more than $215,000 annually (17 percent to 8 percent); and 35 percent of CFP® professionals with more than ten years of experience earn $215,000 annually compared to 23 percent of those advisors without the certification.
Download the Aite Group Research Report (PDF, 978KB)

Exam Dates

Upcoming:

The CFP® exam is transitioning to a computer-based format beginning in November 2014. Learn more.

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The 2013 Household Financial Planning Survey shows that those with a financial plan feel more confident and report more success managing money, savings & investments than those who have not.

Employment for personal financial advisors is projected to grow much faster than the average for all occupations through 2020. Bureau of Labor Statistics

In a March 2012 survey of American consumers, 60% indicated they would benefit from the counsel of a financial planner or advisor.

If you hold one of several degrees, licenses or credentials, you can take the CFP® Exam after completing a single capstone course.

Achieve the certification that is rapidly becoming the industry standard: CFP® certification.

Professionals who have already earned their CFP® certification have enjoyed an average income increase of 30%.

Demand for personal financial advisors is expected to grow 41% by 2016, according to Money Magazine and Payscale.com.

More clients who work with a CFP® professional are satisfied or very satisfied, compared those who work with an advisor without certification.

If you're up for the challenge of helping people achieve their financial goals, financial planning is the career for you.

Classroom or online learning? Full-time or part-time studies? There are CFP Board-Registered Programs designed to meet your needs.