The Impact of Financial Advice Certification on Investment Choices

Michael Guillemette, Jesse Jurgenson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


The purpose of this study is to investigate whether a professional designation affects consumer choice behavior within the area of investment decision making. Forty-six participants were endowed with real money and received hypothetical investment advice from a certified financial planner (CFP) Professional and a stockbroker. Among low-income households, advice from a CFP altered investor choice behavior within hypothetical education and retirement savings accounts. When participants made investment decisions using education funds and received advice from a CFP, the mean expected value of their investment choices was $43,913, compared to $25,870 given advice from a stockbroker. When investment decisions were made using retirement funds, the average expected value given advice from a CFP and a stockbroker was $53,424 and $33,207, respectively. If an investor was risk-neutral or risk-seeking, investment choices were improved when advice was rendered by a CFP relative to a stockbroker.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)129-139
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Financial Counseling and Planning
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jun 1 2017


  • certification
  • certified financial planner
  • fiduciary
  • financial advice
  • investments
  • stockbroker


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