New ethical standards for financial planners who are authorized to use the CFP certification marks go into effect on July 1. The recent updates to CFP Board's ethical standards, which were announced a year ago, significantly strengthen the ethical requirements for the more than 57,000 CFP(R) professionals who offer financial planning services to the American public.
Under the revised Standards of Professional Conduct, a consumer seeking financial guidance will have a clearer understanding of what to expect from his or her Certified Financial Planner professional, including:
Discussion of topics a financial planner should bring up with a client prior to entering into a business engagement.
Disclosures that should be given to a client receiving financial services.
Conduct that at all times put the client's interests ahead of the interests of the CFP professional.
Eighty million Americans are nearing retirement, and only 40 percent of the American workforce has a solid retirement plan. In a world of complex financial choices where more than two in three Americans have some concern about the state of their own financial future, "Americans increasingly seek the services of financial planners," said Kevin Keller, CEO of CFP Board. "In its role as a standard-setting and certifying organization, CFP Board is dedicated to making ethical financial planning available to the public. The new Standards offer those seeking financial advice from a Certified Financial Planner professional a greater measure of confidence that they are working with a competent, qualified, responsible individual who knows and abides by some of the strictest ethical requirements in the business."
In performing its service to the public, CFP Board provides consumers with tips on what to look for and what to expect when choosing and working with a financial planner.