As consumer demand for financial advice grows, it is imperative that the financial planning profession work toward expanding and diversifying the ranks of financial planning professionals who can meet the needs of increasingly diverse consumers. However, based on self-reported data provided to CFP Board, only 3.5 percent of the more than 83,000 CFP® professionals in the United States are black or Latino, which is significantly less than the representation of blacks and Latinos in the U.S. population.
To address this challenge and its root causes, the CFP Board Center for Financial Planning commissioned a comprehensive research study in 2017 to identify the barriers to racial and ethnic diversity in the financial planning profession. Findings from that research led to the 2018 release of Racial Diversity in Financial Planning: Where We Are and Where We Must Go, the Center’s groundbreaking thought leadership paper that outlines actionable, research-based solutions for industry stakeholders to create a more inclusive profession. The paper was developed in consultation with the Center’s Diversity Advisory Group composed of experts in diversity and inclusion, executives in financial services firms, program directors from colleges and universities, representatives from organizations serving people of color, and CFP® professionals.
This study was funded by generous contributions from the Charles Schwab Foundation and Capital One, as well as TD Ameritrade Institutional, the Center’s Lead Founding Sponsor, and Northwestern Mutual, the Center’s Founding Sponsor.