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CFP Board Raises Planners' Ethical Standards


The Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards has raised the ethical standard guidelines for the 55,000 planners in the nation with CFP credentials, in order for investors to get better help in selecting among increasingly complex financial choices.

The new standards outline all of the topics a financial planner should discuss with a client, what they should disclose and how they should keep the best interest of the client in mind.

The CFP Board has also developed a series of investor-oriented questions that financial planners should voluntarily answer for potential clients, even if they do not ask them, including: what experience they have, their approach to financial planning, the services they offer, their fee structure and whether they have ever been disciplined for any unlawful or unethical actions. In addition, they should provide in writing what they plan to offer their clients.

"Each day, millions of Americans must make important financial decisions, from Baby Boomers on the verge of retirement to the younger generations looking for ways to build their nest eggs," said Karen P. Schaeffer, chair of CFP Board's board of directors. "As company-sponsored pensions are being replaced by self-administered 401(k)s and IRAs, and as more responsibility for medical coverage shifts to individuals, Americans today are often required to make a broader range of financial decisions than their parents made, and more people are finding financial planning assistance a necessity."

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