2021 Survey Of Cfp Professionals

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CFP BOARD MISSION“To benefit the public by granting the CFP certification and upholding it as the recognizedstandard of excellence for competent and ethicalpersonal financial planning.”Copyright 2021 Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. All rights reserved.2

SURVEY BACKGROUND Periodic survey of CFP professionals (lastone conducted in 2019)Objective: Explore the perceptions of CFP professionals related to: Satisfaction with financial planning careers Satisfaction with decision to obtain CFP certificationImportance of a range of CFP Board initiativesSatisfaction with services from CFP Board3

METHODOLOGY AND SCOPE Conducted by Fondulas Strategic ResearchRepeated methodology used in 2019, 2017,2015 and 2013 surveysRandom sample of CFP professionalsproduced 950 completed surveys, with asampling error 3.2% at the 95% level ofconfidenceInterviewing targets were established to ensureadequate representation of CFP professionalsby business model, ethnicity and genderData collection by telephone April-June 20214

KEY FINDINGS Satisfaction with financial planning careers remains high:93% are satisfied with their career choiceCFP professionals value CFP certification: 93% aresatisfied with their decision to pursue CFP certificationCFP professionals strongly believe in the value of CFP certification for financial professionals: 93% wouldrecommend CFP certificationAbout half of CFP professionals saw increased client inquiriesduring the COVID-19 pandemic and increased the frequency oftheir contact with clientsCFP professionals strongly believe in the importance of CFPBoard’s priorities and initiativesCFP professionals agree that the service from CFP Boardmeets their expectations5

CFP PROFESSIONAL 677,88077% / 23%77% / 23%77% / 60‐6918.16%18.26%18.11%70‐795.35%5.17%4.40%80 0.47%0.42%0.38%No age provided0.10%1.00%3.92%Total Number ofCFP ProfessionalsMale/FemaleAge RangesData reported from published CFP Professional demographics reports published during the data collection period of the 2021,2019 and 2017 surveys. The demographics report is updated each month at www.CFP.net/demographics6

SATISFACTION WITHFINANCIAL PLANNING CAREERThe proportion of respondents “very satisfied” with their career choice hasreached the highest level we’ve seen since we started asking the question: 76% now give the highest rating to career satisfaction, vs. 74% in2019 As in 2019, 93% rate their satisfaction as 1 or 2 on a 6-point scale2Satisfaction with Financial PlanningDecision2021Total2019Total2017Total1 – Very Satisfied76%74%72%217%19%19%33%4%4%41%1%1%51%1%1%6 – Very Dissatisfied1%1%1%93%93%92%*Top 2 BoxQuestion: On a scale from 1 to 6, where 1 is very satisfied and 6 is very dissatisfied, how would you rate your level ofsatisfaction with your decision to pursue a career in financial planning? * Numbers reflect rounded totals of 1 and 2 ratings7

SATISFACTION WITHCFP CERTIFICATIONWe see a similar increase in the proportion who give the highest rating to thedecision to obtain CFP certification: 78% say they’re very satisfied with their decision to pursue CFP certification, the highest level we’ve seen compared to past surveys Overall, 93% rate their satisfaction as 1 or 2 on a 6-point scaleSatisfaction with CertificationDecision2021Total2019Total2017Total1 – Very Satisfied78%75%76%215%17%15%34%5%4%41%2%2%51%1%1%6 – Very Dissatisfied1%1%2%93%92%91%Top 2 BoxQuestion: On a scale from 1 to 6, where 1 is very satisfied and 6 is very dissatisfied, how would you rate your level ofsatisfaction with your decision to obtain the CFP certification?8

CFP CERTIFICATION’S IMPACTRespondents continue to strongly agree that most attributes of the CFP certification positively impact their professional lives, as reflected by significantincreases in perceived value of specific aspects of the certification’s value.% Agree (Top 2 6%70%66%67% I would recommend the CFP certification to otherfinancial professionals CFP professionals have a "competitive edge" overfinancial planners who do not hold the credential Becoming a CFP professional has directlycontributed to my success as a personal financialplanner The value of the CFP certification justifies the costsof renewing the credential Becoming a CFP professional has had a positiveimpact on my salary and/or other compensationQuestion: On a scale from 1 to 6, where 1 is definitely agree and 6 is definitely disagree, please agree or disagree with the followingstatements 9

PROFESSIONAL ROLES OFCFP PROFESSIONALSThe vast majority of respondents (86%) work directly with clients astheir primary professional role – a return to the level seen in 2017.Slightly fewer work in a supervisory capacity than in 2017.Primary Professional Role202120192017Work directly with clients86%84%86%Work mostly in a supervisory capacity6%7%7%10

TOP CHALLENGES DURINGCOVID-19 PANDEMICThe top 3 challenges include virtual meetings, working remotely and new clientacquisition. The 2 top challenges reported in CFP Board’s April 2020 surveyearly in the pandemic – “the emotional factor” and maintaining communicationwith clients and prospects –were reported by significantly fewer respondents.Biggest Challenges During CovidConducting client meetings by phone or videoconference and not in person21%Working remotely13%Establishing relationships with new clientsThe emotional factor: Clients are leaning on me asa therapist first, planner secondBalancing the needs of my clients with my ownpersonal/family needsPlanning in anticipation of possible economicrecessionMaintaining more frequent communications withclients and prospects12%6%4%4%3%OtherQuestion: “Since the COVID-19 outbreak, what is the biggest challenge you are facing in your practice?“28%11

CLIENT INQUIRIES INCREASEDURING COVID-19 PANDEMICHalf reported that inquiries from prospective clients increased as thepandemic evolved – significantly higher than the 34% reported in an April2020 survey CFP Board conducted early in the pandemic.Change in Prospective Client Inquiries During COVIDSignificant increase23%Slight increase27%No changeSlight decreaseSignificant decrease40%3%1%Question: “Have you seen a change in the volume of inquiries from prospective clients as the COVID-19 pandemic has evolved?“12

CFP PROFESSIONALS INCREASECONTACTS WITH CLIENTSMore than half boosted the frequency of client contacts during thepandemic.Change in Proactive Contacts During COVIDIncreased significantly26%Increased slightly32%No changeDecreased slightlyDecreased significantly36%4%1%Question: “Did your frequency of outreach to your clients change during the COVID-19 pandemic?“13

OUTREACH TO CLIENTS DURINGCOVID-19 PANDEMICA strong majority of CFP professionals proactively reached out totheir clients 3 or more times during the past year.Proactive Contacts with Clients In Past YearNot at allOnce or twice5%17%Three to five timesSix to twelve timesMore than twelve times39%17%15%Question: “How often did you proactively reach out to your typical clients during the past year?“14

CFP PROFESSIONALS CONTINUEDVOLUNTEERING DURING PANDEMICNearly three in four CFP professionals (74%) report engaging involunteer activities during the past year.Volunteer Activities Participated In During Past YearOffered advice on different ways people candonate money or time to charitable organizations46%Served on a board or as an advisor for acharitable organization37%Established or helped organize a fundraiser forpeople or groups in need27%Participated in workshops to help people dealwith financial difficulties18%Participated in a program to deliver meals orother essentials to front-line medical workers, 18%Any other ways you’ve volunteered your time inthe past year25%Or, none - You were not able to volunteer anytime during the past year26%Question: “In the past year, have you participated in any of the following as a volunteer?“15

BUT NUMBER OF PRO BONO HOURSDIPS DURING PANDEMIC62% of CFP professionals reported providing some pro bono financialplanning hours during 2021, compared to 65% in 2019.The number of hours provided remains higher among those who have heldCFP certification for longer periods.Mean number of pro bono hours provided202120192831Less than five years25235-15 years2831More than 15 years3037Among those providing pro bono By Length of time holding CFP certificationQuestion: “If you’ve individually provided pro bono financial planning services within the past year, how many hours of service did youprovide?“16

INCREASING PRO BONO ENGAGEMENTRespondents who provided no pro bono hours in the past year indicated thestrongest incentive for them to begin providing pro bono work would be theability to choose from a range of opportunities.% Agree (Top 2 Boxes)Likelihood to Provide Pro Bono Service if:20212019You could pick from pro bono opportunities that varied in timerequired and population served65%63%It was easier to access volunteer opportunities, either virtual or inyour community59%60%Your employer actively supported pro bono work, for example byletting you use some work hours to offer pro bono opportunities59%53%You had more training and resources to use in helpingunderserved people53%48%Question: On a scale from 1 to 6 where 1 is very likely and 6 is not at all likely, please tell me how likely you’d be to provide pro bono service if each of the following were true.17

CFP BOARD’SSTRATEGIC PRIORITIESIn 2016, CFP Board adopted a 5-year plan based on these “Four A”strategic priorities:1. Growing Awareness of CFP certification as the recognizedstandard for competent and ethical financial planners and offinancial planning as an attractive career choice;2. Expanding Access to competent and ethical financial planning byincreasing the number and diversity of CFP professionals, anddelivery of pro bono financial advice to underserved communities;3. Assuring Accountability by holding CFP professionals to rigorousstandards, recognition of financial planning as a profession, andeffective oversight of financial planners and;4. Serving as the respected Authority for the profession by settingstandards, certifying financial planners, and by advancing theCenter for Financial Planning.18

AGREEMENT WITH CFP BOARD’SPRIORITIESRespondents continue to rate as “very important” the CFP Boardactivities and priorities included in the 2019 and 2017 surveys.% Agree (Top 2 Boxes)CFP Board Activities-Priorities202120192017Builds and promotes CFP certification brand92%91%95%Enforces standards for use of CFP certification90%90%93%Increases understanding, acceptance, and use ofCFP certification88%89%91%Creates opportunities for CFP professionals toenhance their knowledge, skills and abilities84%81%89%Question: “On a scale from 1 to 6, where 1 is very important and 6 is not at all important, how important is each of the following to you as anindividual CFP professional?“19

PRIORITIES FOR THE CFP BOARDCENTER FOR FINANCIAL PLANNINGIn November 2015, CFP Board launched the CFP Board Centerfor Financial Planning to create a more diverse and sustainablefinancial planning profession so that every American has accessto competent and ethical financial planning advice.The Center for Financial Planning conducts research, convenesforums and supports initiatives in three key areas:1. Talent Pipeline: Cultivating a quality workforce toensure the profession can recruit and retain the talent itneeds to grow.2. Diversity and Inclusion: Fostering a more diversefinancial planner workforce that reflects the changingdemographics of wealth in the United States.3. Knowledge for Practice: Building an online body ofknowledge for practitioners and elevating the rigor offinancial planning as an academic discipline.20

AGREEMENT WITH PRIORITIES OFCENTER FOR FINANCIAL PLANNINGMore than 7 in 10 respondents consider each Center forFinancial Planning initiative important.% Agree (Top 2 Boxes)Center for Financial Planning Initiatives20212019Facilitates academic research to elevate the discipline of financial planningto increase the stature and recognition of financial planning faculty andprograms84%81%Provides practitioners with access to an online financial planning body ofknowledge to enhance their service to clients*81%81%Focuses on attracting and developing the next generation of financialplanners to replace the retiring workforce80%79%Provides opportunities to train faculty to help address the shortage ofqualified faculty in financial planning programs76%77%Advances gender, racial and ethnic diversity in the financial planningprofession's workforce73%71%Question: “I am now going to describe some of the Center’s recent initiatives. As I read each item, I will ask you to rate the importance of each item to you as an individualcertificant, on a scale from 1 to 6, where 1 is very important and 6 is very unimportant.“*2019 question: Provides practitioners with cutting-edge knowledge to provide service to clients in developing areas such as client psychology21

AGREEMENT WITH RECENTCFP BOARD INITIATIVESRespondents give strong importance ratings to CFP Board activitiesand initiatives, including strong support for pro bono services byCFP professionals.% Agree (Top 2 Boxes)20212019It is important that CFP professionals have a strongunderstanding of the Psychology of Financial Planning*91%92%It is important that CFP Board promotes financial planning as anattractive career choice for high school & college students80%77%It is important that CFP Board convenes thought leaders andresearchers to explore and advance the profession's integrationof developing areas such as technology, the psychology offinancial planning,* and other topics78%72%It is important that CFP professionals provide pro bono servicesto people in need. By pro bono, we mean free, no-stringsattached, one-on-one financial advice to underserved people.76%69%Question: I am now going to describe some of CFP Board’s recent initiatives. As I read each item, I will ask you to rate the importance of each item to you as an individualcertificant, on a scale from 1 to 6, where 1 is very important and 6 is very unimportant.*2019 survey question asked about “client psychology” where 2021 question asked about “psychology of financial planning.”22

AGREEMENT WITHPOLICY POSITIONSNearly all respondents believe financial planning should be arecognized profession. A strong majority of respondents agree withother key elements of CFP Board’s public policy positions and longterm goal of establishing financial planning as a recognized andregulated profession.% Agree (Top 2 Boxes)202120192017Financial planning should be a recognized profession97%96%96%A fiduciary standard of care is appropriate for allfinancial service providers who deliver personalizedinvestment advice to retail investors90%85%89%Financial planning should be a regulated profession87%83%76%Question: On a scale from 1 to 6, where 1 is definitely agree and 6 is definitely disagree, please agree or disagree with the followingstatements 23

SATISFACTION WITHPUBLIC AWARENESS CAMPAIGNIn April 2011, CFP Board launched a Public Awareness Campaign integratingpaid advertising and media outreach.82% of respondents were aware of CFP Board’s Public Awareness Campaign –a 6 percentage point increase since 2019. Nearly half of respondents aware ofthe campaign say they’re satisfied with its overall effectiveness.46% - Satisfied41% - Neutral10% - DissatisfiedQuestion: On a scale from 1 to 6, where 1 is very satisfied and 6 is very dissatisfied, how satisfied are you with the overalleffectiveness of the public awareness campaign during its first 9 years24

VALUE OFPUBLIC AWARENESS CAMPAIGNCFP Board’s Public Awareness Campaign is funded by a portion of CFP professionals’ annual certification fees dedicated to the costs of thecampaign.A majority of respondents aware of the campaign say they feel it is worththe additional certification fee.55% - Worth the Additional Fee10% - Undecided35% - Not Worth the Additional FeeQuestion: Some of the annual fees you pay for your CFP certification help cover the costs of the campaign. All in all, would you saythat that the campaign has been.25

CFP BOARD’S CODE OF ETHICS ANDSTANDARDS OF CONDUCTIn March 2018, CFP Board adopted anew Code of Ethics and Standards ofConduct that took effect October 1,2019.Between the announcement and theeffective date, CFP Board and itsStandards Resource Commissiondeveloped a library of guidanceresources to assist CFP professionals and their firms inunderstanding and complying with thenew Code and Standards.26

OBLIGATIONS UNDER THECODE AND STANDARDSAn overwhelming majority of respondents believe the Code and Standardsclearly lays out their ethical obligations when serving clients.86% - Agree9% - Neutral3% - DisagreeQuestion: On a scale from 1 to 6 where 1 is strongly agree and 6 is strongly disagree, please agree or disagree with the following statement: Ibelieve CFP Board’s new Code and Standards sets out clearly the ethical obligations of CFP professionals in delivering services to clients.27

GUIDANCE RESOURCES ONCODE AND STANDARDSMore than 7 in 10 respondents report knowing how to access the library ofguidance resources on the Code and Standards.56% - Yes, Access from CFP.netWebsite10% - Yes, Access from Linksin Newsletters or Emails5% - Yes, Access from OtherSource29% - No, Don’t Know How toAccessQuestion: CFP Board and its Standards Resource Commission have developed a robust library of guidance materials related to the new Codeand Standards. Do you know how to access these guidance resources? PROBE IF YES: How did you find out how to access the resources?28

CFP BOARD’S UPDATEDENFORCEMENT PROCESSESIn May 2020, CFP Board adopted new Procedural Rules, effective June 30,2020, which is part of a number of recent actions CFP Board has taken tostrengthen enforcement of the Code and Standards.More than three-fourths of respondents are aware that CFP Board updatedits policies for enforcing the Code and Standards.76% - Aware24% - Not Aware/UnsureQuestion: In recent years, CFP Board updated a number of policies and procedures to strengthen its enforcement of the Code and Standards for CFP professionals . Were you aware that the Board had made updates to its policies and procedures for enforcing the Code and Standards?29

APPROPRIATENESS OF UPDATEDENFORCEMENT PROCESSESAbout 7 in 10 respondents agree that updated enforcement policies areappropriate.69% - Agree22% - Neutral4% - DisagreeQuestion: On a scale from 1 to 6 where 1 is strongly agree and 6 is strongly disagree, please agree or disagree with the following statement: The recent updates to 30CFP Board’s enforcement policies and procedures were appropriate—neither too strict nor not strict enough, addressing the right types of issues, etc.

EFFECTIVENESS OF UPDATEDENFORCEMENT PROCESSESAbout 7 in 10 respondents agree that updated enforcement policies willprovide more effective enforcement.71% - Agree22% - Neutral4% - DisagreeQuestion: On a scale from 1 to 6 where 1 is strongly agree and 6 is strongly disagree, please agree or disagree with the following statement: Therecent updates to CFP Board’s policies and procedures will provide for more effective enforcement than in the past.31

SATISFACTION WITHCFP BOARD SERVICEIn 2021, the percent rating service from CFP Board as strong early in thesurvey is at 64%. As in 2019 and 2017, satisfaction levels increasedwhen the question was asked a second time near the end of the survey,but with a smaller increase than in previous years.4-point increase13-point increase7-point increase2021Late inSurvey2021Early inSurvey2019Late inSurvey2019Early inSurvey2017Late inSurvey2017Early inSurveyStrong rating: 1-268%64%70%57%71%64%Moderate rating: 3-424%26%25%32%23%26%Weak rating: 5-66%8%5%7%4%5%Question: Please tell me the extent to which you agree or disagree that the level of service you receive from the CFP Board meetsyour expectations?32

BoardofStandardshttp://www.cfp.netGeneral Questionsmail@cfpboard.orgRenewal Questionsrenewal@cfpboard.orgMedia Questionsmedia@cfpboard.orgCFP Board1425 K Street NW #800Washington, DC 20005https://twitter.com/cfpboard(800) 487-1497 (Toll-Free)(202) ndardsFax: 202-379-2299CFP Board's regular business hoursare 8:30 AM to 6:00 PM ETMonday through fileContact the Board of DirectorsBOD@cfpboard.org33

Periodic survey of CFP professionals (last one conducted in 2019) Objective: Explore the perceptions of CFP professionals related to: Satisfaction with financial planning careers Satisfaction with decision to obtain CFP certification Importance of a range of CFP Board initiatives Satisfaction with services from CFP Board SURVEY BACKGROUND

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