ISO 22222:2005 – Personal Financial Planning

Can you trust financial planners? ISO has published the first International Standard that will help people decide whether or not they can be confident about the ethics and competence of professionals that give advice on planning their personal finances. ISO 22222:2005, Personal Financial Planning, is aimed at increasing client confidence by providing an internationally agreed benchmark for a high global standard of service.

Up until now, people seeking advice on how to plan their retirement, or best invest their savings, have been confronted with similar problems all over the world. There is a vast choice of investment schemes, legal frameworks vary from country to country, and investments can go wrong. With so many financial planners to choose from, how can you know who to trust and how should you compare the different schemes being offered? For example, according to the technical committee that developed the standard, the number of financial planners in the United States alone ranges from 800,000 to several million, depending on the definition of “planner”.

An International Standard for financial planning will provide simplification for the client by setting forth requirements to assure that the client is well served by financial planners who have met the highest ethical and educational standards. The standard defines six steps in the personal financial planning process:

  1. Establish client/planner relations;
  2. Determine goals and gather data;
  3. Evaluate the client’s financial status;
  4. Develop and present the financial plan;
  5. Implement recommendations;
  6. Monitor the plan recommendations.

At the heart of ISO 22222:2005 is a framework that applies to all aspects of the personal financial planner’s ethical behavior, and requires compliance with applicable rules and regulations. It states the requirements for competence performance and assessment methods, and obliges the financial planner to demonstrate continued competency by following the necessary training programs and maintaining records of them.

The standard also specifies the requirements, content, and length of experience a personal financial planner must have, and is applicable to all personal financial planners, regardless of their employment status. Experts from a variety of legal, economic, and cultural backgrounds from more than 17 countries began work in 2001 to author this unique and pioneering goal-oriented standard. ISO 22222:2005 is expected to become an internationally accepted benchmark for providers of personal financial planning.

The standard can be ordered at the ANSI e-Standards Store for $93.00