Ethics and Standards - Introduction

Reference: Standards of Practice Handbook U. 10th ed.: CFA Institute, 2010.

The CFA Institute is organized primarily to promote higher standards to practitioners in the investment industry. By not simply meeting minimum legal requirements, the CFA Institute and its members aim to increase public confidence and acceptance of the investment profession. Although today's exam tests competence in many areas (including accounting, economics, quantitative methods, asset valuation, portfolio management and more), the core intent of the CFA Program and the CFA Institute is to promote the highest ethical standards among investment professionals.

Although only 15% of the exam focuses on ethics, this is single-handedly the most important topic on your upcoming exam. If your average score on other topics is close to the minimum passing score, your score on ethics-related questions is essential in determining whether you pass or fail.

The Code and Standards is designed to be relevant and constant over time; however, the CFA Institute periodically updates its principles to stay current with significant developments in investment management. The global financial crisis of 2008 triggered such a review. A new section entitled "Why Ethics Matters" was added to the 10th edition, which highlights that investment professionals need to be aware of how their actions impact the global economy and marketplace. Additionally, given the worldwide and diverse nature of today's CFA Institute membership, the language and examples in the Handbook were clarified and simplified to improve understanding for all.

Code of Ethics
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