Credentials matter, at least according to one survey.

Nearly 90 percent of respondents to a Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards survey released Wednesday said they saw a potential advisor’s certifications as important. Eighty-six percent said they would prefer to work with an advisor who had passed a certification exam and had completed a financial education course.

Eighty percent of respondents preferred to work with an advisor qualified to review all areas of their financial life, as opposed to someone who specialized in just one or two subject areas.

In addition, 65 percent said they would avoid or abandon an advisor whose knowledge and training were limited largely to his or her company’s products and services.

“Consumers want financial advisors to understand and offer guidance on all their financial needs,” said CFP Board CEO Kevin R. Keller. “They especially want their entire financial situation and needs to be the focus of an advisor’s approach to their finances.”

Joseph Maugeri, the CFP Board’s managing director of marketing and corporate relations, said the survey suggests advisors must rethink their training models.

The approach must “incorporate financial planning competency from the beginning of a new advisor’s training program -- not three to four years into their career.”

“The days of ‘learning on the job’ seem to not apply anymore,” Maugeri says, “when it comes to what competencies consumers now expect of their financial advisors.”

The survey included 850 investors with at least $100,000 in investable income.