Our Ethical Compass is Client Centered. The advisor you place your trust in is of critical importance. We are a multi-generational team of professional fiduciaries who all have one objective in mind – serving you and your legacy.
Cathy Wagner holds the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ (CFP®) designation and has demonstrated competency through rigorous exam, a standard of ethics, and continuing education requirements in all planning disciplines. According to a recent study, only 20% of financial advisors meet the requirements of the CFP® designation.1 You can verify her CFP® designation online here.
CFP Code of Ethics & Responsibility
CFP Board adopted the Code of Ethics to establish the highest principles and standards. The Principles form the basis of CFP Board's Rules of Conduct, Practice Standards and Disciplinary Rules, and these documents together reflect CFP Board's recognition of certificants' and registrants' responsibilities to the public, clients, colleagues and employers.
Principle 1 – Fiduciary Duty: Act in the best interests of the Client.
At all times when providing Financial Advice to a Client, a CFP® professional must act as a fiduciary, and therefore, act in the best interests of the Client. The following duties must be fulfilled:
- Duty of Loyalty. A CFP® professional must:
- Place the interests of the Client above the interests of the CFP® professional and the CFP® Professional’s Firm;
- Avoid Conflicts of Interest, or fully disclose Material Conflicts of Interest to the Client, obtain the Client’s informed consent, and properly manage the conflict;
- Act without regard to the financial or other interests of the CFP® professional, the CFP® Professional’s Firm, or any individual or entity other than the Client, which means that a CFP® professional acting under a Conflict of Interest continues to have a duty to act in the best interests of the Client and place the Client’s interests above the CFP® professional’s.
- Duty of Care. A CFP® professional must act with the care, skill, prudence, and diligence that a prudent professional would exercise in light of the Client’s goals, risk tolerance, objectives, and financial and personal circumstances.
- Duty to Follow Client Instructions. A CFP® professional must comply with all objectives, policies, restrictions, and other terms of the Engagement and all reasonable and lawful directions of the Client.
Principle 2 – 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 3 – 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 4 – 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 5 – 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 6 – 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 7 – 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 8 – Diligence: 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.
1 Certified Financial Planning Board. "CFP® Certification Provides Value to Clients, Firms & Financial Professionals." (30 Aug. 2012)