The Financial Planning Association of Australia The Financial Planning Association of Australia

Research shows ‘double dividend’ benefit of professional advice

Research released today highlights the valuable difference higher standards and an affiliation with a professional association can have on the career of financial planners.

The Investment Trends research shows that CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER® professionals earn on average 25% more than other financial planning practitioners in Australia, and among non-principal financial planners, experienced FPA members typically earn a third more than non-FPA planners with the same level of experience.

Of the CFP® practitioners surveyed, 86% believe that the CFP® designation has a positive impact on their reputation and over half of those practitioners find that having the CFP® designation has a positive influence on business growth.

Speaking at the 20th anniversary event in Melbourne today Matthew Rowe, Chair of the FPA spoke on the significance the financial planning profession has on Australia’s financial future.

“This research highlights the double dividend accrued to the community and our members by continuing the journey to raise standards in financial planning. Not only do Australians turn more often to a CFP® professional than any other designation when seeking a financial planner, they are also willing to pay up to a third more for that trusted service. So we see here the double dividend of financial planners delivering a fundamental social good, while also being remunerated well for their advice,” said Rowe.

Statistics from the survey also confirm that consumers are increasingly aware of the CFP® designation ahead of any other – with 35% of all surveyed stating that the CFP® designation is desired in a financial planner.

“We know that Australians who receive professional financial advice are financially better off than those without. Unfortunately, there is still a high number of potential clients who do not know what qualification they should look for when choosing a financial planner. The FPA community continues to improve education to consumers around financial planning qualifications through advertising promoting the high standards of CFP® practitioners as well as lobbying government on the legislation of the term financial planner.”

The research coincides with the release of a national financial planning degree curriculum launched by the FPA in conjunction with the Financial Planning Education Council (FPEC) today.

“The research shows that financial planning is a viable career for the next generation entering university. The launch of a national financial planning degree will put financial planning in the mindset of those looking to help Australians improve their financial futures.”

Future framework

The national financial planner degree curriculum release today is a result of a national consultation framework on the curriculum and accreditation requirements for financial planning in Australia in April 2012.

The FPA has led the way in raising the bar on professionalism that saw it introduce degree requirements for its professional credential program, the CFP® Certification Program in 2003 and in the intervening 9 years. 17 of Australia’s Higher Education providers have developed programs that align to professional recognition by the FPA.

In 2011, the FPA established an independent educational council called FPEC, made up equally of the Academic and Professional community, to review the existing programs on offer and research the needs of the University community.

The CFP® designation is the highest level of certification that a financial planner can achieve. Internationally recognised, the CFP® marks represent standards of excellence and demonstrate to the public and the industry.

Read more about the CFP Professional Difference.