The American College Releases Results of Groundbreaking Designation Outcomes Study

Apr 04, 2013, 09:00 ET from The American College

Higher Earnings and Retention; Lower Compliance Risk for Advisors with Professional Education

BRYN MAWR, Pa., April 4, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- In an effort to better understand how designation programs impact earnings and productivity, early career success, retention, field leadership and compliance, The American College, the nation's leading educator of financial service professionals, conducted a groundbreaking industry study of financial advisors.  Unlike other studies that rely on self-reported information from participants, The College's 2013 Designation Outcomes Study gathered information about nearly 32,000 financial advisors using proprietary company data from multiple organizations and a confidential aggregation process to gain highly credible results. 

"In previous studies, The American College examined how completing advanced designation programs affected earnings.  This year, we expanded our research scope to gain a more complete understanding of how earning the top designations helps professionals perform at the highest levels while benefitting their companies and the consumers they serve.  What we found was incredibly compelling," said Dr. Larry Barton, CAP®, President and Chief Executive Officer of The American College.

Research Results

  • Earnings and Productivity: 
    • Financial advisors with a CLU® or a ChFC® are more productive at every stage of their careers.  Overall, advisors with a CLU® earn 22 percent more than their peers without the designation, and advisors with a ChFC® earn 51 percent more.
    • By year nine in the business – moving into mid-career – 13.8 percent of the advisors in the study hold either a CLU®, a ChFC® or both.  These advisors have 40 percent higher aggregate productivity than those with no designation. 
  • Fast Start Advantages:
    • Advisors who complete one of The College's skills-training designation programs (such as the LUTCF or FSS) within their first four years in the business are more likely to survive in the profession: their average tenure is 90% longer than those without a designation.  These programs are designed to give advisors the skills required to better understand products, how to ethically service clients, and how to meet customer needs.  
    • Those earning the LUTCF or FSS within their first four years have earnings that average 72 percent more than those with no designation. 
    • Career-long learning is critical.  Advisors who earn an LUTCF or FSS early in their careers but choose not to continue their education by subsequently pursuing advanced designations will see their earnings advantage erode to just 7 percent by their ninth year.
  • Retention:
    • Financial advisors who hold a CLU® or a ChFC® have 13 percent longer average tenure at their companies over their entire careers than those without these designations.  In their early career stages, the tenure advantage for these designees is even longer.
  • Leadership:
    • Field leaders are 59 percent more likely to hold a CLU® or a ChFC® as compared to their peers.
  • Ethics and Compliance
    • Advisors who hold advanced designations have significantly less compliance risk for companies because they are better equipped to serve their clients in an ethical, professional manner.  Advisors who do not hold the CLU® and ChFC® designations are responsible for 81.4 percent of compliance issues.

Outcomes tied to the prestigious Chartered Life Underwriter® (CLU®), the world's most respected designation of insurance expertise; the Chartered Financial Consultant® (ChFC®), widely regarded as the highest standard of knowledge and trust in financial planning; and the LUTCF and FSS sales-skills programs, were the focus of the research.  For more information about the results of the study visit:

The American College of Financial Services is the nation's largest non-profit educational institution devoted to financial services.  Holding the highest level of academic accreditation, The College has served as a valued business partner to banks, brokerage firms, insurance companies and others since 1927.  The American College's faculty represents some of the financial services industry's foremost thought leaders.  For more information, visit

SOURCE The American College