CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERTM Career At-a-Glance
Are you looking to advance your career by getting your CFP®certification or are you trying to break into the financial planning industry? If you are looking for more information about the profession, you are in the right place. Learn more about what the day-to-day of a financial planning professional is like, as well as expected job growth over the next decade below.
What Do CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERS™ Do?
Financial advisors and CFP® professionals help clients with investment decisions, taxes, and selecting insurance policies and retirement plans. While no two days will ever be the same, much of the job involves meeting with clients, analyzing financial information, and researching new opportunities.
Typical job duties for financial advisors include:
- Meet with clients to discuss and set financial and investment goals
- Explain the kinds of financial services and investments they provide to clients
- Assess clients’ financial health by examining assets, liabilities, income, taxes, investment, and estate plans
- Help clients plan financially for specific events like college or retirement
- Monitor accounts and recommend or select investments for clients
- Research new investment opportunities
Important Skill Sets for CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERS™
CFP® professionals are often thought of as number crunchers, but the reality is that they need to have strong relationship and communication skills to successfully attract and retain clients. Some important skills for CFP® professionals include:
- Communication Skills: While number crunching is important, a financial advisor needs to be able to communicate and present their knowledge and recommendations to clients in meetings, writing, and over the phone.
- Sales and Marketing: Financial planners need to be able to market their skills and knowledge to potential clients. It is important for advisors to have the ability to convey how financial advising can benefit their clients’ long-term financial needs.
- Relationship Management: Being a financial planner involves a great deal of listening and asking the right questions. It is also important for financial advisors to understand the emotions behind decision-making and work to educate and counsel clients effectively.
- Self-Motivation: To succeed in this industry, a financial advisor must take initiative, recognize opportunities, and continually follow up with prospective and current clients. There is a lot of competition in financial services and going above and beyond what is expected is the norm.
- Long-Term Thinking: To successfully maintain clients long-term, it is important to continually anticipate future situations and the needs of your clients.
Is CFP® certification right for you? Get a preview of our required education materials in this free download.
Job Outlook for Financial Planning Industry
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook, employment of financial planners is expected to increase by 27% from 2012 to 2022. This is significantly higher than average for all occupations, which is just 10%.
Decreases in funds for corporate and state pensions are expected to contribute to the growth of the industry as more individuals will require financial planning.
Financial planners who obtain the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ certification will likely obtain the best job prospects over the next decade. A recent CFP Board study revealed that more than 69% of surveyed consumers said they would insist that their financial planner have the CFP® certification, compared to 49% who would insist on CPA certification, 34% CFA certification and 31% CPA-PFS certification.
How Much Do CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERS™ Make?
According to CNN Money, the median pay for a CFP® professional is $89,500 annually with the top pay at $171,000. The median pay for a professional in the larger umbrella of personal financial advisors is $67,620 annually or $32.46 per hour.
Advisors who work for financial investment firms or planning firms, or who are self-employed, generally charge their clients a percentage of the assets they manage. They may also charge an hourly fee or get fees for stock and online insurance policies purchased. In addition, advisors often get commissions for financial products sold.
How Do You Become a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™?
To become a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ , you must complete the required education, pass the certification exam, and meet the experience and ethics requirements. For more details, visit our How to Become a CFP® Professional article.
Looking for more information on CFP® certification? Kaplan Financial Education offers CFP® certification education and exam prep review study solutions for the CFP® exam. Check out our courses for CFP® certification or call 800.237.9990 Option 2 for more information.
Free eBook: Is CFP® Certification Right for You?
Are you considering CFP® certification, but are unsure if you can handle it? Get a sneak peak at the beginning of the College for Financial Planning®—a Kaplan Company education program to get a feel for whether CFP® certification is the right fit for you. This free eBook will provide you with information about the financial planning process learned in FP 511: General Financial Planning Principles, Professional Conduct, and Regulation. It also includes several analytical problems that will allow you to apply your knowledge to real-life scenarios.