More people than ever held the certified financial planner credential last year, and the number of those sitting for the exam to earn the credential also hit a record, according to the organization that grants the mark.
The CFP Board of Standards Inc. said Thursday that there were 98,875 CFPs in 2023, an increase of 3.9% from 2022, while 9,839 aspirants took the CFP examination.
The class of 2023, which totaled 6,089 new CFPs, “represents the most diverse class in CFP Board’s history, with the most new women and racially and ethnically diverse CFP® professionals in a single year,” the board said in a statement. More than half of the newcomers were under the age of 35.
The number of new women CFPs increased to 1,692, an 11.5% increase over 2022, while the overall number of women CFPs increased to 23,484, or 23.8%, the board said.
New CFPs who are racially and ethnically diverse grew to 858, a 12.6% increase over last year, while their overall numbers increased to 9,408, or 9.5% of all CFPs.
More gender, racial and ethnic diversity among CFPs will help financial planners reach clients from underserved communities, advisors said.
“As we continue to mirror the beautiful mosaic of our country, our industry will be that much more impactful in changing lives,” said Autumn Knutson, founder of Styled Wealth. “For the profession, that means we can competently serve a wider array of people that come from various culture and value backgrounds [and] allow them to feel comfortable and safe in accessing fiduciary planning advice.”
“Female planners sometimes can make female clients more comfortable asking for help with their financial lives,” said Laura Mattia, CEO of Atlas Fiduciary Financial.
“I’m thrilled with how many women are coming into the profession,” Mattia said. “I have a lot of women who come to me because they feel less intimidated than going to a man.”