Sunday, May 26, 2024

The number of female Certified Financial Planners grew by 13.9%. Here's a closer look at who is joining the profession—and where

SmartAsset compares data on Certified Financial Planners to reveal findings about who is joining the profession and which states had the highest growth.

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The total number of Certified Financial Planners, or CFPs, in the U.S. grew by 11.5% over the last three years, with a net of more than 10,000 individuals who passed the training and certification examination and joined the profession. But this growth was not equally spread across the country, and some demographic trends were more dominant than others. Observing such trends could lend a strategic advantage to the advisory business, as pricing and availability may depend on the supply and demand for advisors in a particular state. 

To identify the location and demographic trends among U.S. CFP professionals, SmartAsset compared CFP Board data from 2024 to that of three years ago.

Key findings

  • At 45%, Wyoming had the most growth in the number of CFP professionals nationally. In 2021, Wyoming had 71 CFP professionals, compared to 103 by 2024. Meanwhile, Wyoming also had the nation's highest average net worth for ultra-wealthy residents during the same time period. 
  • Mountain states saw the highest growth in advisor numbers. After Wyoming, Idaho (32.9%) and Utah (31.4%) had the second and third-highest growth in CFP professionals. Montana and Nevada also made the top 10.
  • Nationwide, Florida's share of CFP professionals grew more than any other state. The state's share of all CFP professionals nationally increased from 6.7% to 7%. In 2024, Florida has 920 more CFP professionals than it did in 2021. Overall, it has the third-most advisors at 6,901 individuals. 
  • More than 10% of CFP professionals are in California. Despite losing 0.5% of its national market share to other states over the last few years, one in ten CFP professionals in the U.S. is California-based. There are a total of 10,200 Californian advisors, after a net addition of 581.
  • New Mexico is the only state that lost CFP professionals. There was a net loss of four individuals, making for a current total of 227.
  • Most advisors are 40 to 49 years old. This age group had the largest growth, with the share of total advisors increasing from 24.5% in 2021 to 25.7% in 2024. Just about 25,500 advisors are in this age group. There were also slight increases in the shares of advisors in the 20 to 29 and 30 to 39 age groups, while the relative proportion of advisors 50 and older fell behind.
  • About 630 CFP professionals are 80 years old or older. A total of 634 actively-licensed CFP professionals are octogenarians or beyond in 2024. This is up from 413 in 2021.
  • The number of female advisors grew by 13.9%, outpacing a 10.7% growth in male advisors. Almost 2,900 female advisors were added between 2021 and 2024, for a total of 23,554. Comparatively, 7,270 male advisors were added over the same time period, totaling to 75,413.

10 states that added the most CFP professionals

chart showing top 15 states with growth in the number of CFP professionals

SmartAsset

States are ranked by the percent increase in the number of CFP professionals in each state between 2021 and 2024.

  1. Wyoming
    The number of CFP professionals increased from 71 to 103 over the last three years, representing a 45.1% increase.
  2. Idaho
    Idaho has had a 32.9% increase in CFP professionals since 2021, going from 255 to 339. 
  3. Utah
    Utah's CFP professional network has grown by 258, marking a 31.4% rise and bringing the total number to 1,079.
  4. South Dakota
    The number of CFP professionals in South Dakota has risen 28.5% in the last three years, adding 49 individuals for a total of 221.
  5. Montana
    Montana added 57 CFP professionals since 2021, for a 27.1% increase. There are now a total of 267.
  6. Nevada
    Nevada expanded its CFP professional workforce by 94 since 2021, resulting in a 23.6% increase and a total of 493 advisors.
  7. South Carolina
    South Carolina's cohort expanded by 232 individuals over the last few years, for a 21.6% increase. This brings the state's total to 1,305.
  8. Nebraska
    Nebraska added 98 CFP professionals, for a total of 591 in 2024 after a 19.9% increase.
  9. Alaska
    Alaska's CFP professional population grew by just 15, but that was enough for 18.8% growth over three years. There are now a total of 95.
  10. Missouri
    Missouri rounds out the top 10 with an addition of 303 CFP professionals since 2021. This marks a 18.5% increase and a total of 1,945 individuals.

Data and methodology

This study compared demographic data from the CFP Board from February 2024 to that of January 2021. Data is based on individuals licensed as a Certified Financial Planner through the CFP Board.

This story was produced by SmartAsset and reviewed and distributed by Stacker Media.