You may have noticed that on Nov. 12, the CFP Board voted to launch a $9 million a year public awareness campaign that it’s been talking about for the past few months, to “raise the awareness of the CFP certification.” To pay for it, starting in July, the fees for CFPs will increase from $180 a year to $325, an increase of 81%. I’ve voiced most of my concerns along with those of the majority of CFPs I’ve talked to about this boondoggle in previous writings, but the Board claims CFPs are overwhelmingly behind the move, writing in a recent release: “Findings from [a CFP Board] study showed that a public awareness campaign is supported by 83% of CFP certificants, even knowing it wouldbe funded, in part, through an increase in fees.”
Funny, that there would be such a disparity between my anecdotal polling and the Board’s study. My skeptical guess is that like most polls, the answers are largely dependent upon the questions asked: for instance, I’ll bet more CFPs are in favor of “an increase in fees” than would be for an “81% increase” in fees. As one advisor I talked to put it: “Why did the Board have to do a study? Why didn’t they just send us all an email spelling out the details of the proposed campaign, and let us vote on the real thing? Then they’d know exactly how we felt about it.” Why indeed.