Code of Ethics
The following are the general Principles of that Code, expressed in plain language. For each Principle, Rules (the "Practice Standards") providing practical guidelines set the standards of ethical and professional conduct that must be followed in particular situations.
Principle 1: Integrity
Clients have to be able to trust CFP professionals and to have confidence in them. The ultimate source of this trust is the CFP professional's personal integrity. Integrity demands honesty and candor. Legitimate differences of opinion can exist but integrity cannot co-exist with deceit. Integrity requires the CFP professional to observe not only the letter but also the spirit of this Code.
Principle 2: Objectivity
Objectivity requires intellectual honesty and impartiality. The services and advice that are perfect for one client may not be right for another client. The CFP professional must be able to judge the suitability of his or her services for each individual client regardless of the professional's personal preferences.
Principle 3: Competence
CFP professionals are required to know what they are doing! They must have the necessary knowledge and skills to provide the best services possible to each client. They must also have the wisdom to know when to refer clients to more knowledgeable colleagues.
CFP professionals make a commitment to continuous learning and professional development.
Principle 4: Fairness
Fairness is treating others in the same way that one would want to be treated and is an essential trait of any professional.
CFP professionals shall perform financial planning in a way that is fair and reasonable to clients, principals, partners and employers. Any conflicts of interest in providing such services shall be disclosed to everyone concerned.
Principle 5: Confidentiality
A client, by seeking the services of a CFP professional, expects to develop a relationship of personal trust and confidence. This type of relationship must be built upon the understanding that information supplied to the CFP professional will be confidential. A CFP professional shall maintain the confidentiality of all client information.
Principle 6: Professionalism
A CFP professional shall behave in a manner that maintains the good reputation of the profession and its ability to serve the public interest. A CFP professional shall avoid activities that adversely affect the quality of his or her financial planning advice.
Principle 7: Diligence
Diligence is the provision of services in a prompt and thorough manner. Diligence also includes proper planning for and supervision of the rendering of professional services.