Why a CFP® professional?

You're looking for a financial advisor who acts as a fiduciary – placing the interests of clients above self – and embraces the privilege and responsibilities of serving as one. 

(Note: The information below is reprinted in its entirety.)

CFP® professionals are dedicated to using the financial planning process to serve the financial needs of individuals, families and businesses. Most CFP® professionals have earned a four-year college degree in a finance-related field, and have completed a course of study in financial planning approved by CFP Board. To earn the prestigious CFP® certification and remain certified as a CFP® professional, individuals must meet four main requirements.

Examination
CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ Professionals must successfully complete CFP Board's comprehensive certification examination, which tests an individual's knowledge on various key aspects of financial planning.

Experience
CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ Professionals must have a minimum of three years experience in the financial planning process prior to earning the right to use the CFP® certification marks.

Ethics
CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ Professionals must voluntarily ascribe to CFP Board's Code of Ethics and additional requirements as mandated. CFP Board's Code of Ethics outlines CFP® professionals' obligations to uphold principles of integrity, objectivity, competence, fairness, confidentiality, professionalism and diligence. And the Rules of Conduct require CFP® professionals to put your interests ahead of their own at all times and to provide their financial planning services as a "fiduciary" — acting in the best interest of their financial planning clients.

Education
CFP® professionals must develop their theoretical and practical knowledge by completing a comprehensive course of study at a college or university offering a personal financial planning curriculum approved by the CFP Board. CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ Professionals must complete 30 hours of continuing education every two years to stay current in financial planning knowledge, including ethics.

Why A CFP® Professional? Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. All rights reserved. Used with permission.  

CODE OF ETHICS & PROFESSIONAL RESPONSIBILITY

CFP Board adopted the Code of Ethics to establish the highest principles and standards. These Principles are general statements expressing the ethical and professional ideals certificants and registrants are expected to display in their professional activities. As such, the Principles are aspirational in character and provide a source of guidance for certificants and registrants. The Principles form the basis of CFP Board's Rules of Conduct, Practice Standards and Disciplinary Rules, and these documents together reflect CFP Board's recognition of certificants' and registrants' responsibilities to the public, clients, colleagues and employers.

Principle 1 – INTEGRITY:  Provide professional services with integrity

Integrity demands honesty and candor which must not be subordinated to personal gain and advantage. Certificants are placed in positions of trust by clients, and the ultimate source of that trust is the certificant’s personal integrity. Allowance can be made for innocent error and legitimate differences of opinion, but integrity cannot co-exist with deceit or subordination of one’s principles.

Principle 2 – OBJECTIVITY:  Provide professional services objectively

Objectivity requires intellectual honesty and impartiality. Regardless of the particular service rendered or the capacity in which a certificant functions, certificants should protect the integrity of their work, maintain objectivity and avoid subordination of their judgment.

Principle 3 – COMPETENCE:  Maintain the knowledge and skill necessary to provide professional services competently

Competence means attaining and maintaining an adequate level of knowledge and skill, and application of that knowledge and skill in providing services to clients. Competence also includes the wisdom to recognize the limitations of that knowledge and when consultation with other professionals is appropriate or referral to other professionals necessary. Certificants make a continuing commitment to learning and professional improvement.

Principle 4 – FAIRNESS:  Be fair and reasonable in all professional relationships. Disclose conflicts of interest

Fairness requires impartiality, intellectual honesty and disclosure of material conflicts of interest. It involves a subordination of one’s own feelings, prejudices and desires so as to achieve a proper balance of conflicting interests. Fairness is treating others in the same fashion that you would want to be treated.

Principle 5 – CONFIDENTIALITY:  Protect the confidentiality of all client information

Confidentiality means ensuring that information is accessible only to those authorized to have access. A relationship of trust and confidence with the client can only be built upon the understanding that the client’s information will remain confidential.

Principle 6 – PROFESSIONALISM:  Act in a manner that demonstrates exemplary professional conduct

Professionalism requires behaving with dignity and courtesy to clients, fellow professionals, and others in business-related activities. Certificants cooperate with fellow certificants to enhance and maintain the profession’s public image and improve the quality of services.

Principle 7 – DILIGENCE:  Provide professional services diligently

Diligence is the provision of services in a reasonably prompt and thorough manner, including the proper planning for, and supervision of, the rendering of professional services.

Code of Ethics & Professional Responsibility by Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. All rights reserved. Used with permission.