Issues Affecting the Profession

Interest in and demand for personal financial advice has never been greater in the U.S., as more Americans assume responsibility for managing their own financial futures. With the aging of the Baby Boomer generation, an estimated 10,000 Americans retire every day, and $30 trillion in wealth is projected to transfer to the Millennial generation. [1], [2]

As a result of these burgeoning needs, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts a 27 percent increase in the employment of personal financial advisors between 2012 and 2022, significantly faster than the average growth across all occupations (11 percent).[3]

However, the financial planning profession currently faces a number of critical challenges to meeting this rising need for financial advice:

Workforce Development: A Widening Talent Gap

  • The number of financial advisors is sliding year over year, declining 12 percent since peaking in 2008.[4]
  • More than one fifth of advisors plan to retire or leave the business in the next five to 10 years.[5]
  • There are more CFP® professionals over the age of 70 than under the age of 30.[6]

Diversity: A Workforce Not Reflective of the Public It Serves

  • African Americans represent only 6 percent of financial advisors, yet comprise more than 13 percent of the U.S. population. [7],[8]
  • Hispanics represent only 7.1 percent of financial advisors, yet comprise more than 17 percent of the U.S. population. [7],[8]
  • Only 23 percent of CFP® professionals are women, even as women control more than a third of wealth in the U.S.[9],[10]

Financial Planning Profession Needs an Academic Home

  • With the growing number of CFP Board-Registered Programs (over 50 percent growth since 2010), there is a shortage of qualified faculty.[11]
  • There are limited opportunities for faculty to publish research in financial planning and related disciplines.[12]

[4] Cerulli Advisor Metrics 2014
[5] Ibid.
[6] CFP Board
[9] CFP Board
[10] Boston Consulting Group
[11] CFP Board
[12] Ibid.

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