The Pulse

Major Financial Firms Drive Growth Of CFP® Professionals

Edward Jones first to achieve 1,000 New CFP® certificants in one year

WASHINGTON, Feb. 13, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — New data from CFP Board reveals that leading financial firms are responsible for the largest increases in new CFP® professionals in 2023. CFP Board added 6,089 new CFP® certificants in 2023, with 1,000 new certificants employed by Edward Jones.

“American consumers trust CFP® certification as the mark of quality financial advice,” said CFP Board CEO Kevin R. Keller, CAE. “As firms look to meet this demand and deliver more value to their clients, they are increasingly turning to CFP® professionals.”

In 2023, four firms increased their ranks of CFP® professionals by 200 or more. Highlights of the exceptional growth in new CFP® certificants at firms include the following:

  • Edward Jones: New CFP® certificants grew by 1,000, a 62% year-over-year increase.
  • Fidelity Investments: New CFP® certificants grew by 313, a 30% year-over-year increase.
  • Charles Schwab: New CFP® certificants grew by 308, a 111% year-over-year increase.
  • Northwestern Mutual: New CFP® certificants grew by 258, a 44% year-over-year increase.

The 2023 class of CFP® professionals was the most diverse in CFP Board history. The cohort trended younger, with 56% of new certificants under age 35, and the number of women CFP® professionals grew by 11.5%. Racially and ethnically diverse CFP® professionals saw a 12.6% increase over 2022.

“As the wealth management and financial planning needs of our clients grow and evolve, Schwab is continuing to invest in the professional development of our employees, ensuring we have the talent and in-depth expertise to help our clients pursue their financial goals,” said Richard Janes, CFP®, Director of Planning at Charles Schwab. “The CFP® certification is the gold standard in financial planning, and the growing number of CFP® professionals at Schwab reflects our long-standing commitment to providing high-quality investing, trading and wealth management experiences for clients.”

CFP® Certification Is A Competitive Advantage

More than 10,000 firms across the U.S. are employers of CFP® professionals, and with good reason. Since 2011, total awareness of CFP® certification among the target consumer audience has increased from 75% to 90%, and “preference for” a CFP professional has increased from 22% to 84%.

Firms have become more intentional and strategic about the designations their advisors hold — recognizing that not all are created equal...

Consumer demand for the certification is robust, with 76% of consumers not currently working with a CFP® professional intending to do so. This demand stems from the trust consumers place in CFP® professionals to act in their best interest, backed by their education and experience in providing competent and ethical financial planning. This makes the CFP® certification a differentiator for firms and the financial planning professionals they employ. In fact, according to the CFP Board 2023 Compensation Survey released earlier this month, 79% of CFP® professionals say the certification provides them with a competitive edge.

The same survey of CFP® professionals reveals that 87% of certificants are satisfied with their career choice and 89% are satisfied with the decision to pursue CFP® certification.

Financial planning firms benefit significantly from hiring CFP® professionals due to several advantages. By hiring CFP® professionals, firms demonstrate their commitment to high ethical standards and professionalism. The CFP® certification additionally serves as a powerful differentiator, signaling to clients that the firm’s advisors meet rigorous standards of competency and professionalism. Ultimately, hiring CFP® professionals enables financial planning firms to deliver superior service, build strong client relationships and position themselves for long-term success in the industry.

“Firms have become more intentional and strategic about the designations their advisors hold — recognizing that not all are created equal,” said CFP Board Managing Director of Corporate Relations Joseph V. Maugeri, CFP®. “CFP® certification has increased significantly at firms because they see the marks as a vehicle for competent and credible advice that inspires confidence.”




About CFP Board
CFP Board is the professional body for personal financial planners in the U.S. CFP Board consists of two affiliated organizations focused on advancing the financial planning profession for the public’s benefit. CFP Board of Standards sets and upholds standards for financial planning and administers the prestigious CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERTM certification — widely recognized by the public, advisors and firms as the standard for financial planners — so that the public has access to the benefits of competent and ethical financial planning. CFP® certification is held by nearly 100,000 people in the U.S. CFP Board Center for Financial Planning addresses diversity and workforce development challenges and conducts and publishes research that adds to the financial planning profession’s body of knowledge.