A majority of Certified Financial Planners (CFP) expect public demand for their services to increase over the next five years as more people prepare for retirement (61 per cent), younger generations look for financial planning help (35 per cent) and global economic uncertainty remains (41 per cent), according to a survey by the Financial Planning Standards Board (FPSB). 

Many of the top items they expect clients would want them to address in the future include retirement security (69 per cent), investment planning (64 per cent), managing inheritance/wealth transfer to the next generation (61 per cent) and finances associated with aging and long-term care (47 per cent). 

Technology to have big impact on CFPs 

The survey also indicates that CFP professionals view financial technology (42 per cent) as the factor likely to have the greatest impact on how they work with clients over the next five years. Two thirds (66 per cent) said they have increased their efforts to shift to a more virtual practice during the COVID-19 pandemic, and a majority expect at least 40 per cent of their client meetings to continue to be virtual. 

CFPs also expect their relationships to become more collaborative. During the pandemic almost one third (32 per cent) of CFPs reported being more involved with their clients in managing emotions. When asked about the value financial planners will provide to clients in the future, more than half said they expect to be more collaborative with clients in helping them set and achieve financial goals (29 per cent) and provide objective advice to aid in decision-making (27 per cent).

Work still needs to be done 

CFP professionals indicate there is significant work that needs to be done to promote the value of financial planning and working with a financial planner. Respondents cite a lack of awareness of the value of financial planning (79 per cent) as the top reason people do not seek out financial planning services, followed by a lack of trust in financial advisors (46 per cent). 

The survey was conducted among 4,250 CFPs in 23 countries, including Canada.