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Most CFPs Think Everyone Should be a Fiduciary

August 29, 2017

As the ranks of certified financial planners continue to grow, more CFPs are very satisfied with their career choice, according to a recent survey from the CFP Board. And the vast majority of them think everyone in the business should be a fiduciary.

Some 88% of CFPs answered in the affirmative when asked if the fiduciary standard was "appropriate to all financial service advisors who deliver personalized investment advice to retail investors." This figure was up from 82% in 2015.

And Seventy-two percent of CFPs are very satisfied with their choice of career, compared to 2013, when only 65% of CFPs were very satisfied, according to a survey of 800 CFP-designated advisors conducted from May through June by the CFP Board. And only 1% say they are very unsatisfied.

Meanwhile, 76% of the CFPs polled are very satisfied with their decision to pursue the CFP designation. CFPs also seem aligned with the CFP Board’s priorities: 92% say they agree with the board’s efforts to serve investors by offering them “competent and ethical financial planners,” the survey found. And 80% of respondents believe the board does a good job enhancing the knowledge base about financial planning, while 79% credit the CFP Board with building awareness about the profession. Those efforts may be paying off already: while only 3.06% of CFP professionals were between 20 and 29 years of age in 2013, that ratio rose to 4.46% in 2017.

On the other hand, while 54% of respondents are satisfied with the CFP Board’s public awareness campaign, it doesn’t seem to have done much for the designees. Only 18% say that more than one client has mentioned the campaign, while 74% say this hasn’t happened at all, according to the survey. Nonetheless, 69% of CFPs say the campaign was worth an additional certification fee.

There were 77,880 CFPs as of May 31, compared to 73,684 CFPs in December 2015, the last time the board conducted the survey.

By Alex Padalka