Survey: By Wide Majority, Most Advisors Say They Need Help From Professional Groups With Earning Fees On Financial Planning

Monday, September 10, 2012 15:02
Survey: By Wide Majority, Most Advisors Say They Need Help From Professional Groups With Earning Fees On Financial Planning

Tags: Advisor businesses | CFP Board | financial planning


By a 78% to 22% margin, financial advisors say they need help in addressing the issue of how to earn fees on writing financial plans, according to an survey conducted by Advisors4Advisors.

This Website Is For Financial Professionals Only

While the sampling was not scientific survey and only polled 98 respondents, it does reflect a broad cross section of financial planners.
The survey was posted to A4A on August 20 under the headline “Survey: Do You Make Money By Writing Financial Plans?”
While 885 A4A readers clicked on a link to read the story about the survey, less than 10% of them actually filled in the seven-question poll.   
Of those who took the poll, 74% said they held a CFP license.
In addition, 77% of the respondents said they charge a separate fee for writing a financial plan, and 63% agreed with the statement that financial planning represented “a small part” of their business income while 37% of those surveyed said that was not true of their practice.
The survey was conducted after I wrote a blog post on August 18 applauding the CFP Board for proposing a revision to its professional education credit requirements that would provide up to four hours of continuing education every two years for practice management topics, but chided the CFP Board for not going far enough.
Michael Kitces wrote a blog post on September 5 saying he thought giving CE credit for practice management “strays away from the fundamental purpose of continuing education.” While Kitces is a a really smart guy, I obviously do not agree with him on this issue.
While the survey conducted here on A4A was far from perfect, it shows pretty clearly that the vast majority of financial planners do want help in figuring out how to make money on financial planning. Increased competition from Web-based advice applications is causing a lot of pain for financial advisors right now. These professionals, many of whom are just getting started in their careers, need much more help than they’re getting from the CFP Board and FPA.

Please go ahead and take the survey. The more respondents, the better.



Create your free online surveys with SurveyMonkey, the world's leading questionnaire tool.

Comments (2)

Jeff Weiand
Are we talking about writing financial plans or doing financial planning? While I would love to participate in this survey, the entire context and wording of this strikes me as odd at least from my perspective. We never look to "make money" by writing financial plans. Financial planning is something we do that is done on an ongoing basis (planning - not writing a plan). With that said, I'll assume that this was meant to say, CFPs need help in addressing the issue of how to earn fees on financial planning (and not on writing financial plans as indicated in survey question #7).

Most importantly, our approach was not even an option for me to choose from in this survey which makes me concerned about the integrity of the survey. Our approach is the complete opposite of what is described in #3 which is, we charge for financial planning and provide asset management as part of the financial planning fee - not the other way around. I was just surprised not to see that as an option even if we're considered unique in this regard. With that said, I know what you're trying to accomplish so I will go back and answer the best way I could.
Jeff Weiand , September 11, 2012
Your criticism of the wording is valid. It's imprecise. But the main finding -- that advisors are needing help in earning fees on financial planning -- is on target.

Your firm's fee structure sounds unique. But isn't it basically a retainer fee? Not many advisors are comfortable asking for a retainer but I think that structure will become more common.

I appreciate the tactful way you expressed your criticism.
agluck , September 14, 2012

Write comment

You must be logged in to post a comment. Please register if you do not have an account yet.