In a survey of 297 certified financial planners released Friday, the vast majority, or 86 percent, described themselves as “very satisfied” with their career choice.

“I have the greatest job…. How many professions have such a highly satisfied career choice?” asked Kevin Keller, chief executive officer of the CFP Board. The board commissioned the survey, which was conducted during July and August, from Westat Research, a research and statistical survey organization known for its work with the federal government. The aim of the survey was to take an unbiased snapshot of its certificants views of the board’s certification process and other practices.
The survey also produced the following findings:

·      - The median age of planners obtaining their first certification is 39.

·      - The median age of CFP members is 52.

·      - 78 percent of certificants are men and 22 percent are women

·      - Most planners anticipate holding onto their certifications for 19 years or more.

·      - Nearly 91 percent of respondents also said they would recommend CFP certification to a colleague.

The 2011 survey builds on data collected in the previous survey in 2008. This year’s survey showed a drop in numbers of sole practitioners from 44 in 2008 to just 25 this year.  The discrepancy may be in part due to the way the categories were defined in 2008 versus this year.
But, board member Alan Goldfarb added that, “anecdotally, you’re finding a lot of small firms merging.”