×
  • We have updated our Privacy Policy (including our Cookies Policy). Please read them carefully. By using this website you are agreeing to the terms of our new Privacy Policy.

    Read the updated Privacy Policy
solar-shaped window

Ethical Decision-Making

For investment professionals

Identify. Consider. Act. Reflect.

These steps form the foundation of the ethical decision-making framework we developed to guide investment professionals as they resolve ethical dilemmas in the best interests of their clients.

Using case studies to illustrate real-world situations, we've designed the online ethics course and live webinars to help you apply this framework with confidence.

The ethical decision-making framework

Download your guide to the framework (PDF)

Read the article: "Can Investment Management Ethics Be Taught?" (PDF)

How to Apply the Ethical Decision-Making Framework

Game-based Course

Ethical Decision-Making for Investment Professionals
This self-paced, 90-minute online course presents the ethical decision-making framework and uses multi-media case studies to show you how to apply the framework in the real world. Your score is the number of clients earned as a result of the decisions you make.

Available 24/7; login required.

Register

Interactive Webinars with CFA Institute Staff

Introduction to Ethical Decision-Making
This 60-minute webinar introduces the ethical decision-making framework and how to apply it.
CE credit: 1 (SER credit: 1)
Date/time: 12 September 2018; 12:00–1:00 p.m. ET

Register

Exploring Additional Case Studies
This 60-minute webinar builds on the introductory webinar, using additional case studies to practice applying the framework.
CE credit: 1 (SER credit 1)
Date/time: 10 October 2018; 12:00–1:00 p.m. ET

Register

Additional CFA Institute ethics cases (PDF)

About the Ethical Decision-Making Framework

We developed this Identify-Consider-Act-Reflect framework for ethical decision making to help investment professionals like you analyze and evaluate ethical scenarios where there is not a clear "right" and "wrong" path.

This framework is not a linear checklist, but a summary of the key elements of making ethical decisions. Although you will likely encounter unique influences, conflicts, and actions beyond those detailed below, this framework can help you make ethical decisions in common day-to-day situations.

  1. Identify

    Ethical principles: Which fundamental investment professional principles (fair dealing, full disclosure, loyalty, diligence, etc.) are at issue?

    Duties to others: To whom do you owe a duty? Your client, employer, colleagues, others? Some duties, such as protecting the integrity of the capital markets, may be more important than others.

    Important facts: What facts do you know and what additional information do you need to make an informed decision?

    Conflicts of interest: Are there any encumbrances, relationships, or incentives influencing your actions?

  2. Consider

    Situational Influences: Are outside pressures (such as conforming to the group or obeying authority) or internal biases (such as overconfidence) affecting your decision?

    Alternative Actions: Have you brainstormed multiple solutions and avoided a particular preconceived path?

    Additional Guidance: Have you sought the independent, objective assessment of other people to gain additional perspective?

  3. Act

    Make a decision: The specific action required depends on the individual aspects of the situation. Your decision may require multiple actions or steps, or none at all.

    Elevate the issue to a higher authority: Alternatively, the best course of action may be to elevate your concerns to a more appropriate person. You may need to follow up with the other person to ensure appropriate action was taken.

  4. Reflect

    What did you learn?: After you take action, review the path you chose. The lessons you learn will help you reach ethical decisions more quickly in the future.

    Know your strengths and weaknesses: Regardless of the consequences your decisions and actions bring, understanding your strengths and weaknesses will help you make ethical decisions in the future.

Contact us with any additional questions

We’re using cookies, but you can turn them off in Privacy Settings. If you use the site without changing settings, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn more in our Privacy Policy.