Are Interactions with a Certified Financial Planner™ – CFP® Confidential
We recently helped a client who was at an exciting, pivotal point in his life. After years of hard work, he was able to sell the company that he built and went from having a small amount of savings to having a life-changing amount of wealth. With the intention of investing this wealth in a proactive manner, he sought out a CFP® and came to us for help.
As the client’s financial advisors, our job was to help him organize and optimize his new-found wealth. We spent time with him, working to understand his goals. Using this information and our financial planning experience, we developed a strategy to use his new wealth to reach his goals.
Interestingly enough, one of this client’s top concerns was client-advisor confidentiality. The buyout was an incredibly exciting time for our client, but also nerve-racking. He wanted to ensure that the news of the buyout stayed private until the appropriate time.
This begs the question:
Is what you discuss with a financial planner confidential?
The answer is: It depends.
FINANCIAL PLANNING CLIENT CONFIDENTIALITY
Unlike lawyers, financial advisors do not have attorney-client privilege. The topics discussed between a lawyer and their client have to be kept private. For financial planners, client confidentiality is similar – but different. Client confidentiality is a requirement of CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER(CFP®) professionals.
Exceptions for CFP® Board imposed client confidentiality can occur – such as in response to a proper legal process.
CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER PROFESSIONAL CLIENT CONFIDENTIALITY
Our client didn’t check any of the boxes for an exception to client confidentiality under the CFP® Board Standards of Professional Conduct. So, when our client asked us about client confidentiality, we let him know about those very standards. Consequently, our client was able to rest assured that the details of his company buyout would not reach the public.
Because of the trust established by our professional client confidentiality, our client was able to spend more time dreaming about the next phase of his life, and less time worrying about the present.
As fiduciaries, we’ve taken an oath to prioritize your financial well-being above all else. We’ll treat you with the honesty and integrity you’d expect from someone with whom you are entrusting your future
Joseph Vecchio, CPA, CFP®, MBA, the founder of Shore Financial Planning, started his investment career in 1998 as a professional trader/money manager on wall street. He believes in a passive investing style founded on academic evidence.
Joe takes pride in protecting people from financial predators and helping them make smart financial decisions. We will provide you peace of mind through conflict-free, value-added financial, and tax advice.