Don't expect your annual CFP certification fee to drop any time soon.

The CFP Board says its 3-year old marketing campaign has raised awareness of the designation among the organization's target market -- mass affluent investors -- by 6%, to the point where nearly one-third of that audience recognizes the CFP brand unaided.

But success comes at a price: CFP professionals pay the board an annual $325 in recertification fees, of which $145 is dedicated exclusively to the public awareness campaign. 

And certificants shouldn't expect that allocation to end any time soon: The $145 will be included in the fee "indefinitely," CFP Board CEO Kevin Keller said a during a business update webinar, answering a question from a CFP certificate holder.

The campaign has included print ads in publications like The Atlantic, Kiplinger's, Forbes and Money; TV ads on Bloomberg, the Food Network, and Golf Channel, radio spots on National Public Radio and web ads and promotional materials available to CFP members on the organization's web site.


CFP Board executives also emphasized the organization's commitment to grow its numbers.

The number of certificants has increased 30% since 2007, to 70,540 -- but only 20% of practicing financial advisors are CFP certificate holders, and there are more CFP holders over 70 than there are under 30, said Ray Ferrara, chairman of the CFP Board of Directors.

Among the other issues covered in the webinar:

  • Ferrara, Keller and Richard Rojeck, CFP Board chair-elect, said the CFP's new career center will launch online in January.
  • Five new CFP Board members were announced:  Jeffrey Farrar, first vice president at the FDG Group, a UBS Financial Services team;  Charles Fitzgerald, principal and founding member of Moisand Fitzgerald Tamayo; Peggy Ruhlin, CEO of Budros, Ruhlin & Roe; Richard Salmen, manager of financial planning services at BOK Financial; and Neal Solomon, managing director of WealthPro.

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