DENVER – Three-fourths of the nation’s top financial planners hold the certified financial planner (CFP) certification, according to a Worth magazine study. Worth ranked the nation’s top 250 financial advisors and 196 individuals or 78% of those listed have professional accreditation. Certification is becoming valued among other professions that provide financial advice. Nearly two-thirds (65%) of certified public accountants and attorneys are also CFPs, up from 58% two years ago. “CFP participation is how financial planners distinguish themselves from the rest,” said Patricia Houlihan, chair of the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. “It’s how consumers identify the most competent, ethical practitioners.” In 20 states, every financial advisor on the Worth list is a CFP. CFP professionals also dominated the list for the other 30 states and the District of Columbia. Among planners who listed only one professional credential, 84% were CFPs. Worth developed its 2001 list from past participants and new recommendations. Planners answered questionnaires and submitted sample financial plans for evaluation. The magazine’s staff checked nominees’ backgrounds and verified credentials. The best financial planners understand such diverse factors as how to manage risk, hedge against inflation and market volatility, generate income and save on taxes, the study found. More details on the study can be found in Worth’s September 2001 issue.

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