Certified financial planners’ median income $144,850, survey shows


Most certified financial planners are “very satisfied” with their career choice and agree that their CFP certification contributes directly to their professional success, a new survey says.

Exactly 86% of survey respondents are “very satisfied” with their career choice in financial planning, according to a survey by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards.

The survey found that 75% of respondents “strongly agree” that the CFP certification contributes directly to their own professional success. Exactly 91% of respondents would recommend the CFP certification to other financial professionals.

Surveyed CFP professionals said they expect to hold their certification for 19 years, up from an anticipated 15 years in 2008.

The number of CFP professionals has increased every year (except for 1996, which remains inexplicable) since the creation of the certification, according to Dan Drummond, director of public affairs for the CFP Board. He said about 6,500 people a year take the certification exam.

CFP demographics

CFP professionals earn a median of $144,850 a year. They serve an average of 100 clients who have a median of $450,000 in investable assets.

The median age of CFP professionals is 52, according to the survey. Exactly 78% of CFP professionals are men, and 22% are women.

The study showed 39% of CFP professionals work for large or national firms; 25% work for small or independent firms; and 25% are solo practitioners.

The study, using telephone surveys from 297 randomly selected CFP professionals, was conducted in late July and early August.

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