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More Than 9 in 10 CFPs Strongly Satisfied With Career Choice: Survey

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What You Need to Know

  • The same percentage of those polled were strongly satisfied with their decision to pursue CFP certification.
  • Half of CFPs reported that inquiries from prospective clients increased as the pandemic evolved.
  • The number of CFPs engaged in pro bono financial planning declined a bit during the pandemic.

Most certified financial planners continue to be strongly satisfied with their career choice and decision to pursue CFP certification, according to the findings of a new survey of CFP professionals conducted by Fondulas Strategic Research for the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards.

Those were just two of the main findings from the latest Survey of CFP Professionals, conducted every two years, CFP Board said Wednesday.

According to the 2021 survey, 93% of CFPs polled said they were strongly satisfied with their career choice in financial planning, compared with 93% in 2019 and 92% in 2017.

Similarly, 93% said they were strongly satisfied with their decision to pursue CFP certification, compared with 92% in 2019 and 91% in 2017.

Meanwhile, 93% would recommend the CFP certification to other financial professionals, compared to 89% in 2019 and 91% in 2017.

Among the other findings: 87% agreed that CFP professionals have a “competitive edge” over financial planners who do not hold the credential, compared with 83% in 2019 and 2017; 82% agreed that becoming a CFP professional had directly contributed to their success as a personal financial planner, compared with 78% in 2019 and 77% in 2017; and 81% agreed that the value of CFP certification justified the costs of renewing the credential, compared with 77% in 2019 and 76% in 2017.

“These results continue to prove that earning CFP certification is the most important step you can take to accelerate your career and help your clients achieve their financial dreams,” according to Kevin R. Keller, CFP Board CEO.

COVID-19’s Impact

The survey also found that CFP professionals’ services have been in demand during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Fifty percent reported that inquiries from prospective clients increased as the pandemic evolved — significantly higher than the 34% reported in an April 2020 survey the CFP Board conducted early in the pandemic.

Also, to address client concerns, 58% of CFP professionals said they boosted the frequency of client contacts during the pandemic, with 71% reaching out to their clients three times or more.

The challenges facing financial advisors, meanwhile, have evolved during the pandemic. CFP professionals reported their top three challenges were: Virtual meetings (cited by 21%), which ranked as the fourth challenge in 2020 at 11%; working remotely (13%), the seventh challenge in 2020 at 9%; and new client acquisition (12%) remained the third challenge (13% in 2020).

Volunteering and Pro Bono Planning

Despite the challenges they have faced during the pandemic, CFPs continued to give back to their communities via volunteer activities, CFP Board noted.

Almost three in four CFPs surveyed (74%) reported engaging in volunteer activities over the past year.

The survey also found the three top volunteer activities CFPs continued during the pandemic were: offering advice on how people can donate money or time to charitable organizations (46%); serving on a board or as an advisor for a charitable organization (37%); and starting or helping people organize a fundraiser for people or groups in need (27%).

Pro bono financial planning also remained a popular activity for most CFPs, with 76% of those surveyed agreeing it was important that they provide pro bono services to people in need.

The number of CFPs engaged in pro bono financial planning, however, declined a bit during the pandemic, with 62% of those polled reporting they provided pro bono financial planning during the pandemic in 2021, down from 65% in 2019.

A random sample of CFPs were selected and surveyed by phone between April and June 2021, producing 950 completed surveys, CFP Board said.

(Image: Shutterstock)