CFP Board of Standards Code of Ethics
Principle 1 – Integrity
An advisor will provide professional services with integrity. Integrity demands honesty and candor which must not be subordinated to personal gain and advantage. Advisors are placed by clients in positions of trust by clients, and the ultimate source of that trust is the advisor’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
An advisor will provide professional services objectively. Objectivity requires intellectual honesty and impartiality. Regardless of the particular service rendered or the capacity in which an advisor functions, an advisor should protect the integrity of their work, maintain objectivity and avoid subordination of their judgment.
Principle 3 – Competence
Advisors will maintain the necessary knowledge and skill to provide professional services competently. Competence means attaining and maintaining an adequate level of knowledge and skill, and applies that knowledge effectively 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. Advisors make a continuing commitment to learning and professional improvement.
Principle 4 – Fairness
Advisors will be fair and reasonable in all professional relationships. Fairness requires impartiality, intellectual honesty and disclosure of material conflict(s) 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 and is an essential trait of any professional.
Principle 5 – Confidentiality
Advisors will 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
Advisors will act in a manner that demonstrates exemplary professional conduct. Professionalism requires behaving with dignity and courtesy to all who use their services, fellow professionals, and those in related professions. Advisors cooperate with fellow advisors to enhance and maintain the profession’s public image and improve the quality of services.
Principle 7 – Diligence
Advisors will 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.