Results for "Ask the Ethicist"

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Ask the Ethicist: Should a financial adviser accept an inheritance from a client?

February 26, 2018

Q: I'd like your opinion about an inheritance question. My father's sister passed away recently. My father was her only relative and visited her every day. He took care of her home, her shopping and took her to appointments. About a week after...

Ask the Ethicist: How big a gift is too much?

January 29, 2018

Q: Over the years I have developed a rewarding relationship with an estate attorney in my area. I refer clients to him and occasionally he sends a referral my way too. More frequently, he sends me something in return for my referral. This started...

Ask the Ethicist: Help the CFP Board improve its revised standards

December 27, 2017

On Dec. 20, the CFP Board released the second draft of its proposed revisions to the Standards of Professional Conduct. The first draft was released during the summer with a 60-day comment period. This latest version is open to comment from...

Ask the Ethicist: How to respond when your boss makes offensive sexual jokes

November 28, 2017

Q: With all of the recent events in the news regarding men behaving badly, I wanted to get your input on something that happened in a business meeting I attended. There were both men and women in the meeting. All of us ran branches of the same...

When an ultrahigh-net-worth prospect has needs beyond your expertise

October 2, 2017

QUESTION One of my best clients referred me to his old college roommate who is now the CEO of a promising biotech start up firm in my city. Let's call him Sam. I appreciate the recommendation, but it created an unusual problem that I am unsure...

Don't forget: Comment period for CFP Board's new standards ends Aug. 21

July 21, 2017

Editor's note: Dan Candura takes a break from answering adviser questions this month, but will resume doing so in his next column. Last month the CFP Board of Standards Inc. released a proposal to update the Standards of Professional Conduct...

Ask the Ethicist: What should advisers do when married clients have conflicting objectives?

May 26, 2017

Q: My clients are both in their mid-40s and are doing well financially. The family income is in the low six figures and they have healthy 401(k) balances. They have a set of twins who will graduate from high school this month. One child plans...

Ask the Ethicist: What should an adviser do if their former firm violates a non-compete agreement?

April 28, 2017

Q: I'd like your opinion on something that happened to a friend of mine who recently left his position as a veteran adviser with a wirehouse to go independent. Before he left he mailed a "tombstone" letter to his clients so they were aware that...

Ask the Ethicist: When is it OK to allow employees to bring emotional support pets into the office?

March 31, 2017

Q: I have an unusual problem involving a long-term employee of my firm and a recent change in his behavior. Last month he started bringing his dog, a Jack Russell terrier, to the office. He claims the dog is an "emotional support animal" and...

The case for more prominently disclosing compensation and conflicts of interest

March 16, 2017

I didn't receive any questions this month to use as a source for this column. Maybe you were all too busy trying to figure out whether the Department of Labor's fiduciary rule is alive or dead? Or you could be trying to figure out how the American...

Ask the Ethicist: What happens when an adviser gets caught in the middle of divorcing clients?

February 1, 2017

Q: I married my husband a few years ago. It was a second marriage for both of us. Since I was moving across country after the marriage, we decided to use the financial adviser with whom he already had a strong relationship. His adviser was younger...

Ask the Ethicist: How to make a U-turn after retirement

November 21, 2016

This month's question concerns a woman who worked for many years in wealth management before retiring to an hourly consulting practice. Now she's thinking of returning to the workforce at a registered investment adviser firm. Q: I worked for...

Judging the presidential candidates by the CFP Board's standards of conduct

September 30, 2016

For the last year whenever I spoke to groups of CFP professionals across the United States I conducted an informal survey of the audience's preferences in the upcoming presidential election. I use a tool that allows participants to answer anonymously...

Ethical considerations advisers need to think about before switching firms

September 7, 2016

This month's question comes from an adviser who wants to know the ethical considerations of moving to an independent RIA from a large bank. Q: I am thinking of leaving my current position with a large bank to establish a position as an independent...

What advisers need to consider before starting a separate business venture

August 3, 2016

This month's question comes from an adviser who isn't sure whether starting another business venture distinct from his planning practice prompts any ethical problems. Q: My financial planning practice is thriving. Each year sees 15% to 20% growth...

What an adviser should do when a client names them as a beneficiary in their will

May 31, 2016

The following question appeared on an adviser forum during the past month. I found the question interesting, so I made it the focus of this month's column. An adviser from Colorado asked for help on the following situation: “Recently, I was...

What to do when a disgruntled client still owes a financial planning fee

May 5, 2016

This month's question comes from an adviser who has a tough client issue. Q: I need your opinion about how to handle a disgruntled client who still owes me part of my planning fee. The client is an elderly woman who came to me after trying to...

When one spouse tries to sneak away money

April 10, 2016

This month's question comes from an adviser whose client — and old friend — made an unethical request behind his spouse's back. Q: I am a CFP professional and provide financial planning advice and investment management assistance to my former...

Trading insults with a bully rarely works

March 20, 2016

This month's question comes from an adviser who got heckled. QRecently, I was a panelist at a conference in Detroit along with three other advisers. The topic was “The Best Approach to Investing.” The subject generated great interest and...

Couple's divorce poses conflict for their adviser

February 5, 2016

Q: I got a call from a long-time client last week asking to schedule an appointment without her husband. I try to meet with married couples together, so I asked why she wanted to meet alone. She never has before. She told me that after 25 years...

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