Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. (CFP Board) is a regulatory organization founded in 1985 to benefit the public by establishing and enforcing education, examination, experience and ethics requirements for CFP® certificants. CFP Board has exclusive authority to determine who may use the CFP®, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ and certification marks (the CFP® marks) in the United States. CFP Board conditions the permission it grants individuals to use these marks on their agreement to abide by certain terms and conditions specified by CFP Board, including
those set forth below.
As part of the CFP certification process and the terms and conditions imposed upon certificants and registrants, CFP Board maintains professional standards necessary for competency in the financial planning profession. Through its Code of Ethics and Professional Responsibility (Code of Ethics), CFP Board identifies the ethical principles certificants and registrants should meet in all of their professional activities.
As CFP certificants, Donald L. St. Clair and Andrea R. Hilderbrand have agreed to comply with all applicable laws and regulations, including the CFP Board’s Code of Ethics, and to act in an ethical and responsible manner in all professional activities. At the foundation of the Code of Ethics are seven principles which express CFP certificants’ recognition of their responsibilities to the public, to clients, to colleagues and to employers. The principles are:
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.
reasonably prompt and thorough manner, including the proper planning for, the rendering of professional services.