The typical CFP is a man over 40 who says his main business is financial planning. He holds a securities license and is compensated via a combination of fees and commissions from his client base of 280 people.

This composite comes from the CFP Board of Standards, which last year surveyed 661 members. The board intends to conduct this study annually to track trends among CFPs.

A large group of CFPs (39 percent ) is associated with an independent contractor brokerage, 21 percent are employees of a broker/dealer, and 40 percent are not associated with a brokerage. Women make up 21 percent of the CFP universe.

At 41 percent , CFPs' primary compensation is a combination of commissions and fees. Commissions alone are primary for 25 percent , while 23 percent are fee-only advisers, 9 percent earn a salary and 2 percent are paid some other way. About 63 percent of CFPs say they have an hourly rate, with the average fee being 120 dollars an hour.

A bit more than half of CFPs personally manage assets. The median amount is 20 million dollars, the average is 67 million dollars.

A typical CFP client is at least 45 years old with a net worth of 390,000 dollars, earning 75,000 dollars in income annually, according to median figures from the survey. Clients are prompted to seek CFP guidance most often by their approaching retirement.

Complete survey results are on the Internet at www.cfp-board.org/press_aug1999.html.