Trust remains a sticky issue in the financial services industry. Consumers are leery of many advisors because of things completely outside advisors’ realm of control. All an advisor can do is act ethically, do the right thing every time and steer clear of trouble.
In a nod to creating a better image within the industry, the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards has strengthened the ethical standards for planners authorized to use the CFP certification. The increased standards are effective as of July 2008, and they are in response to a CFP board survey that found 97 percent of consumers ranked trustworthiness as the most important factor they consider when looking for a financial advisor. Ninety-six percent said adherence to a professional code of ethics and practice standards is extremely important.