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New study reveals CLUs and ChFCs earn more than CFPs

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Sole practitioners and senior financial planners holding the Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU) and Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC) credentials earn significantly more than Certified Financial Planner (CFP) certificants, according to a new study.

Senior financial planners who hold the CLU and ChFC designations earn 28% to 31% more, on average, than CFP certificants, according to the 2010-2011 Financial Planning Salary Survey conducted by the Financial Planning Association (FPA). The median yearly total compensation for CLU and ChFC senior financial planning professionals ranges from $130,000 to $133,000, while CFP designees have a median income of $101,000.

Data from the FPA earnings study also revealed the median annual total compensation for CLU and ChFC sole practitioners ranges from $83,000 to $89,000, while those with a CFP certification, on average, only earn $80,000 in total compensation.

“This study demonstrates the impact education has on earnings,” says Larry Barton, Ph.D., president and CEO of The American College. “Consumers recognize and appreciate the significant knowledge that Chartered Financial Consultants, Chartered Life Underwriters and Certified Financial Planners bring to the financial advisor/client relationship. Advisors who are serious about career-long learning often pursue multiple credentials. CFP designees looking for additional education often complete the requirement for 50% more education as part of earning the advanced ChFC certification. Professionals interested in achieving career success and better serving their clients’ needs should invest in their future by pursuing these proven credentials.”

The ChFC credential requires the completion of nine college-level courses, making it the most comprehensive financial planning designation available. More than 48,000 professionals have earned a ChFC. The CLU requires insurance professionals to complete eight courses, and more than 100,000 professionals have earned the CLU designation since its creation in 1927.

Each of these credentials also requires three years of full-time business experience, adherence to a rigorous code of ethics and 30 hours of continuing education credits every two years.