Financial Planning

CFP® professionals grow by 3.3%

25 February 2019

Jayson Forrest

Jayson Forrest is the managing editor of Money & Life Magazine.

The global number of CFP® professionals now stands at 181,360, as more planners seek the profession’s highest designation.

The number of global CFP® professionals grew by 3.3% in 2018 to now stand at 181,360. This is an increase of 5,787 practitioners over the previous year, according to the Financial Planning Standards Board (FPSB) – the owner of the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER® Certification Program outside of the United States.

“To establish financial planning as a recognised global profession, FPSB has set itself an ambitious goal to have 250,000 CFP® professionals in 40 territories by 2025,” said FPSB CEO, Noel Maye. “With a global CFP® professional growth rate of 3.3% within FPSB’s 26-territory network, talks are currently underway in several new territories. And with the rollout of our pathway education and certification programs last year, the FPSB is making solid progress in its efforts to increase the public’s access to competent and ethical financial planners who work in their clients’ best interest.”

Looking at the growth of CFP® professionals worldwide, the United States continued its strong showing, with a net growth of 3,071 CFP® professionals, finishing the year with 83,106 professionals. China came in second by ending 2018 with 20,047 CFP® professionals based on an annual gain of 2,524 and a 14 per cent annual growth rate.

Rounding out the top six countries with strongest CFP® professional growth last year were:

  • Brazil with solid net growth (592 new CFP® professionals) and a double-digit growth rate (17 per cent) for a year-end total of 4,001 CFP®
  • Japan with net growth of 480 for a year-end total of 21,631 CFP®
  • Taiwan adding an impressive net number of 310 CFP® professionals for a growth rate of 25 per cent, and a year-end total of 1,540 CFP®
  • Indonesia ending the year with 1,729 CFP® professionals through a net gain of 225, and a growth rate of 15 per cent over the previous year.


Australia finished 2018 with 5,694 CFP® professionals.

Chart: CFP® professional by country