The rules spell out a code of ethics that requires a CFP professional to:

• act with honesty, integrity, competence, and diligence.
• act in the client’s best interests.
• exercise due care.
• avoid or disclose and manage conflicts of interest.
• maintain the confidentiality and protect the privacy of client information.
• act in a manner that reflects positively on the financial planning profession and CFP certification.

The rules also define in detail the standards of conduct a CFP professional should adhere to, including being competent to provide financial planning, which means having the relevant knowledge and skill to apply that knowledge.

“When the CFP professional is not sufficiently competent in a particular area to provide the professional services required, the CFP professional must gain competence, obtain the assistance of a competent professional, limit or terminate the engagement, and/or refer the client to a competent professional,” the rules stipulate.

CFP Board is one of the few financial professional organizations that actively investigates and enforces its regulations, said Rydzewski, adding that this gives the board credibility in the profession.


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