As a designee of the CFP®, we are sworn to uphold the CFP® Board’s Code of Ethics and Standards of Conduct. This code protects our clients and outlines the standards we must follow for creating financial plans for you, your family, and your business. Should we violate any elements of the code, we will be subject to legal discipline. Below is a brief explanation of the code we must adhere to. Please visit their website for a complete description of the entire CFP® Board Code of Ethics and Standards of Conduct.
The CFP® Standards of Conduct¹
1. Fiduciary Duty
Always act in the best interests of the client. This includes the Duty of Loyalty, the Duty of Care, and the Duty to Follow Client Instructions.
Integrity demands honesty and candor, which may not be subordinated to personal gain or advantage.
A CFP® professional must provide Professional Services with competence, which means with relevant knowledge and skill to apply that knowledge.
A CFP® professional must provide Professional Services, including responding to reasonable Client inquiries, in a timely and thorough manner.
5. Disclose and Manage Conflicts of Interest
When providing Financial Advice, a CFP® professional must fully disclose all Material Conflicts of Interest with the CFP® professional’s Client that could affect the professional relationship. CFP® professionals must adopt and follow business practices reasonably designed to prevent Material Conflicts of Interest from compromising the CFP® professional’s ability to act in the Client’s best interests.
6. Sound and Objective Professional Judgement
A CFP® professional must exercise professional judgment on behalf of the Client that is not subordinated to the interest of the CFP® professional or others. A CFP® professional may not solicit or accept any gift, gratuity, entertainment, non-cash compensation, or other consideration that reasonably could be expected to compromise the CFP® professional’s objectivity.
A CFP® professional must treat Clients, prospective Clients, fellow professionals, and others with dignity, courtesy, and respect.
8. Comply with the Law
A CFP® professional must comply with the laws, rules, and regulations governing Professional Services.
9. Confidentiality and Privacy
A CFP® professional must keep confidential and may not disclose any non-public personal information about any prospective, current, or former Client (“client”), except that the CFP® professional may disclose information for ordinary business or legal purposes.
10. Providing Information to the Client
When providing or agreeing to provide Financial Advice that does not require Financial Planning in accordance with the Practice Standards, a CFP® professional must provide certain specific information to the Client prior to or at the time of the Engagement and document that the information has been provided to the Client.
11. Duties When Communicating With a Client
A CFP® professional must provide a Client with accurate information, in accordance with the Engagement, and in response to reasonable Client requests, in a manner and format that a Client reasonably may be expected to understand.
12. Duties When Representing Compensation Method
A CFP®professional may not make false or misleading representations regarding the CFP®professional’s or the CFP®Professional’s Firm’s method(s) of compensation.
13. Duties When Recommending, Engaging, and Working With Additional Persons
When engaging or recommending the selection or retention of additional persons to provide financial or Professional Services for a Client, a CFP® professional must provide certain specific information to the Client.
14. Duties When Selecting, Using, and Recommending Technology
A CFP® professional must exercise reasonable care and judgment when selecting, using, or recommending any software, digital advice tool, or other technology while providing Professional Services to a Client.
15. Refrain From Borrowing or Lending Money and Commingling Financial Assets
A CFP® professional may not, directly or indirectly, borrow money from or lend money to a Client unless the client is a family member of the CFP® or the lender is a business organization. A CFP® professional may not commingle a Client’s Financial Assets with the Financial Assets of the CFP® professional or the CFP® Professional’s Firm.
CFP Board's Code of Ethics and Standards of Conduct