Gathering Client Data

DETERMINING A CLIENT'S PERSONAL AND FINANCIAL GOALS, NEEDS AND PRIORITIES

Our financial practitioners and the clients shall mutually define the client's personal and financial goals, needs and priorities that are relevant to the scope of the engagement before any recommendation is made and/or implemented.

Prior to making recommendations to the client, our financial practitioners and the client shall mutually define the client's personal and financial goals, needs and priorities. In order to arrive at such a definition, our practitioner will need to explore the client's values, attitudes, expectations, and time horizons as they affect the client's goals, needs and priorities. The process of "mutually-defining" is essential in determining what activities may be necessary to proceed with the client engagement. Personal values and attitudes shape the client's goals and objectives and the priority placed on them. Accordingly, these goals and objectives must be consistent with the client's values and attitudes in order for the client to make the commitment necessary to accomplish them.


Goals and objectives provide focus, purpose, vision and direction for the financial planning process. It is important to determine clear, and measurable objectives that are relevant to the scope of the engagement. The role of the practitioner is to facilitate the goal-setting process in order to clarify, with the client, goals and objectives. When appropriate, the practitioner shall try to assist clients in recognizing the implications of unrealistic goals and objectives.


This Practice Standard addresses only the tasks of determining the client's personal and financial goals, needs and priorities; assessing the client's values, attitudes and expectations; and determining the client's time horizons. These areas are subjective and the practitioner's interpretation is limited by what the client reveals.