Spring 2016

For Employers of CFP® Professionals


Spring 2016

Study: Significant Increases in Revenue for Practices with CFP® Professionals

An independent study by the Aite Group shows that there are significant benefits of becoming a CFP® professional, with the research indicating that the certification has great value to clients, financial advisory firms and advisors seeking to become certified.

The study provides an in-depth look at the differences between financial advisors who hold the CFP® certification and those who do not, as well as compares financial planning firms that employ CFP® professionals to those that do not. Comparisons are made across several measures, including revenue, adoption of investment management planning, and shares of clients who are high-net-worth and ultra-high-net-worth.

Some of the key findings include:

  • Practices with CFP® professionals are more productive than other practices: Both solo and team CFP® professional practices generate at least 40 percent more in revenue compared to other solo and team practices;

  • Practices with CFP® professionals are more successful at attracting ultra-high-net-worth clients: The share of HNW and UHNW clients at CFP® professional practices is 53 percent higher than at other practices;

  • CFP® professionals earn 26 percent more in compensation than other financial advisors, adjusted for years of experience;

  • 70 percent of CFP® professionals surveyed believe the CFP® certification has had a positive impact on client trust, their confidence with clients and technical expertise.

To download a copy of the study, click here. If you have questions about the study, or would like to discuss it with a member of CFP Board's Corporate Relations team, contact John Loper, CFP®, Director of Corporate Relations, at JLoper@CFPBoard.org.

CFP Board Launches Center for Financial Planning 

In November 2015, CFP Board launched the Center for Financial Planning, a broad profession-wide initiative to bring firms, educators and practitioners together to leverage collective resources and engage in a research-to-solutions approach to address the current talent shortage and build capacity for the financial planning profession.

The financial planning profession faces significant challenges as its workforce ages while the demand for financial planners continues to increase. The current workforce does not represent the diversity of the public that it serves. Further, there is no academic home to support current and aspiring faculty in their efforts to achieve tenure and promotion.

The Center's focus will be to conduct research, convene forums and support initiatives in three key areas:

  • Workforce Development: The Center will attract and develop the next generation of financial planners to replace the retiring workforce. These efforts will build upon CFP Board's existing work to connect employers with skilled and competent financial planning professionals through the CFP Board Career Center.

  • Diversity: The Diversity Initiative will build on CFP Board's Women's Initiative (WIN) to address the lack of gender and racial diversity within the profession so that it can meet the growing and increasingly diverse needs of the American consumer.

  • Academic Home and Body of Knowledge: The Academic Home will offer opportunities for conducting, showcasing and publishing new research, adding to the financial planning body of knowledge, and supporting tenure and promotion of financial planning faculty.

Partnering with the CFP Board Center for Financial Planning offers firms unique opportunities and benefits, including:

  • Positioning your firm to attract the best financial advisor talent;

  • Supporting the growth and development of your firm;

  • Participation in the development of research projects and implementation of initiatives;

  • Opportunities for participation and recognition on Center working committees; and

  • Positioning your firm as a leader in advancing the financial planning profession.

To learn more about the Center and its initiatives, visit CenterforFinancialPlanning.org. For information on how your firm can get involved, contact CFP Board's Managing Director of Corporate Relations, Joseph Maugeri, CFP®, at JMaugeri@CFPBoard.org or 202-379-2254.

Upcoming Webinar: Leveraging Credentials to Earn Your CFP® Certification Faster

Do many advisors at your firm possess existing designations? They could be eligible to streamline their studies on the path to CFP® certification.

Join John Loper, CFP®, Director of Corporate Relations at CFP Board, for a webinar on May 12 as he describes two opportunities to waive parts of the education requirement – which would allow advisors to sit sooner for the CFP® examination.

  • Challenge Status: Allows advisors to waive the core CFP® education curriculum. After they take a single course, the capstone course, they'll be eligible to sit for the CFP® examination. To qualify for Challenge Status, an advisor must have one of the following designations or degrees: licensed attorney, CPA, ChFC®, CLU®, CFA®, Ph.D. in business or economics, or a Doctor of Business Administration.

  • Capstone Course Alternative: Allows advisors who qualify for Challenge Status and have met the experience requirement to submit a comprehensive financial plan in lieu of sitting for the capstone course. Learn more about the capstone alternative here.

Please consider listing the webinar on your intranet or in your internal firm newsletters. The details for the webinar are as follows: 

Leveraging Credentials to Earn Your CFP® Certification Faster
May 12, 2016: 1pm – 2pm EST

If you have questions about the webinar or are interested in CFP Board holding a webinar for your firm, John Loper can be reached at JLoper@CFPBoard.org or 202-379-2250.

New Advertisements Released for Public Awareness Campaign

CFP Board recently released new online banner advertisements and online videos as part of its Public Awareness Campaign. The new advertisements will join the existing "DJ" television ad in underscoring the need for consumers to find someone with the CFP® marks when looking for a financial planner who will take a comprehensive look at their financial picture.

Now in its sixth year, the Public Awareness Campaign is intended to raise awareness of the CFP® certification among the public. In 2016, the first flight of TV and radio ads ran earlier in the spring and will again air in the fall.  In addition to TV and radio, the campaign features social media and online advertising throughout the year.

The Public Awareness Campaign continues to have great success in reaching consumers. According to the 2015 brand tracking study conducted by IPSOS, unaided awareness of CFP® certification amongst the "mass affluent initiator" target audience has doubled since the campaign began in 2011, going from 17 to 34 percent. Additionally, 52 percent of mass affluent initiators surveyed indicated they would intend to use someone with the CFP® certification – a 22 percentage point increase since 2011.

To view the new banner advertisements and online videos, click here and here.  To read more about consumer awareness of CFP® certification, click here.

LetsMakeaPlan.org Website Redesigned and Highlights Search for CFP® Professionals

CFP Board has launched a completely redesigned site for LetsMakeaPlan.org, providing consumers with an easy-to-use resource on finding a CFP® professional in their area and learning more about financial planning. The new design prominently features the CFP® search function, allowing consumers to easily search for local CFP® professionals.

To show up in the search results, CFP® professionals must have opted in through their online CFP Board accounts at www.CFP.net/login.

As consumer preference for CFP® certificants continues to increase, we encourage certificants seeking new clients to ensure they're present in the search function. If certificants have questions about how to show up in the online search function, or need instructions on how to opt in, CFP Board's Stakeholder Services department is available to assist them at 1-800-487-1497.

CFP Board Establishes Commission on Standards

CFP Board has formed a Commission on Standards to review and recommend to CFP Board's Board of Directors changes to CFP Board's Standards of Professional Conduct.

The Commission will review and make recommendations that are in keeping with CFP Board's mission. It is made up of CFP® professionals and others in the financial services industry who operate under diverse business models, as well as regulatory experts, a consumer advocate, and a representative of the public. It is chaired by the immediate past Chair of CFP Board's Board of Directors, Ray Ferrara, CFP®.

The four sections of the Standards of Professional Conduct that the Commission will review include the Terminology, Code of Ethics and Professional Responsibility, Rules of Conduct, and Financial Planning Practice Standards.

To learn more about the Commission, including the process for reviewing and revising the Standards, click here.

Study: Use of Financial Advisors and CFP® Professionals Rises

Key findings from CFP Board's 2015 survey of Americans' perceptions on the U.S. economy and advisors showed a growing confidence in the need for advisors.

Among the key findings:

  • Consumer use of financial advisors has increased significantly in the last five years: from 28 percent in 2010 to 40 percent in 2015. That figure is significantly higher (67 percent) for those with incomes over $100k.

  • Of the individuals who currently work with a financial planner or advisor, nearly seven in ten respondents indicate their financial advisor is a CFP® professional.

  • Nine out of ten Americans agree (with 76 percent strongly agreeing) that when they receive investment advice from a financial advisor, the person providing the advice should put the consumers' interests ahead of theirs and should have to tell consumers up front about any conflicts of interest that could potentially influence that advice.

  • Long-term expenses, such as retirement goals and savings goals, were top concerns among respondents. Rounding out the top five concerns were cash and debt management, balancing short-and long-term goals, and investment goals.

For additional information, view the full survey results here.

Important CFP Board Dates 

As always, we welcome your feedback and questions. Don't hesitate to reach out to us at JLoper@CFPBoard.org and SMuehlbauer@CFPBoard.org.


John Loper, CFP®, Director of Corporate Relations
Sara Muehlbauer, Firm Relations Manager

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