It's a pretty good time to be a financial planner according to a recent survey of CFPs conducted by the College for Financial Planning in conjunction with the Financial Planning Association. The 2005 Survey of Trends in the Financial Planning Industry found that the median gross amount of CFP earnings has risen to $277,800, a 27% increase over the $219,000 figure reported in last year's survey. The news wasn't quite as good for how much of that increase planners got to keep, however. The average net earnings were $153,500, an increase of only 8% over 2004. Last year CFPs in the study got to keep 64% of their gross income versus only 55% in 2005. Planners are not the only ones with rising incomes, as the average net worth of clients was reported as $1 million, compared to $750,000 in 2004.
Of the study respondents, only 34% indicated that they derive their income solely from fee-only services, while 56% said they rely on a combination of fees and commissions. With that in mind, it's probably no surprise that 43% of the planners in the survey hold licenses to sell health and life insurance and 27% hold NASD licenses. There were also almost as many salary-only planners (3%) as commission-only ones (4%).
Finally, this year's survey also found a high level of career satisfaction among planners, a continuation of the findings of the 2004 survey.