Financial planners with CFP certifications are mostly satisfied with their careers, despite seeing their median incomes drop in 2005, according to a new survey.
   The 2006 Survey of Trends in the Financial Planning Industry, published by the College for Financial Planning in Greenwood Village, Colo., also found that 53% of planners earn a combination of fees and commissions.
   The survey found that 80% of planners who hold a CFP certification have a high level of career satisfaction and median 2005 annual earnings of $232,995. The earnings are down from $277.800 from 2004, according to the survey.
   Based on 419 responses to e-mail queries to CFP certificate holders, the survey also found that 67% of planners are 40 to 59 years old and that 57% have 10 to 24 years of experience in the field. Survey participants with 20 to 24 years of experience reported a median income of $427,937.
   Typical clients consist of a two-income couple, 55 to 64 years old, with annual gross income of $100,000 to $149,000 and annual discretionary income of $10,000 to $19,999.
   Among the other findings:
    Fee and commission planners constituted 53% of the respondents, while 35% were fee-only planners.
    Median annual earnings were up from $200,000 in 2001.
    Planners continue to place considerable emphasis on people and communication skills, referrals from clients and having the CFP certification.