Survey of Financial Planning Trends

May 1999
Journal of Financial Planning;May99, Vol. 12 Issue 5, p19
Academic Journal
This article presents the findings of the study "Survey Trends in Financial Planning" by the College for Financial Planning in 1998. Although for the most part there are no dramatic changes from the last year or two, the survey does confirm some interesting trends. Fee-and-commission continues to strengthen as the most common method of compensation. ln 1998, 48 percent of the planners reported it as their way of earning income. That's up from 43 percent the year before and 35 percent in 1994. The percentage of planners working as sole practitioners continues to shrink. ln 1996, 49 percent were sole practitioners, but that declined to 45 percent in the 1998 survey. Multiple practitioners grew only slightly, from 21 percent in 1997 to 22 percent in 1998. Major financial planning firms now account for ten percent of the work environment, up from eight percent in 1996. Planners reported that their clients were less concerned in 1998 than in 1997 about a raft of issues, including retirement, taxes, investments and estate planning, but they were more worried about personal debt and job loss. The survey took a closer look at Internet usage, finding that 30 percent of planners use the Internet frequently to gather information, 32 percent use it only occasionally, and 38 percent rarely or never use it for that purpose. Only one in five planners felt that the use of the Internet reduced client costs.


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