Conflicts of interest (COI) are an ethical issue for financial planners because they impair professional judgment if not addressed. This article describes a quantitative, cross-sectional study of COI recognition in pending engagements and measuring the influence of time in practice and financial planning credentials upon recognition. Participants were 51 graduates of the M.S. degree from the College for Financial Planning. Participants were asked three questions regarding each of the six hypothetical situations of pending financial planning engagements. Each question provided an indicator of COI recognition. Time in practice and financial planning credentials were used as influence factors upon COI recognition. Results indicated high COI recognition involving role conflict and low recognition with family members as clients. Time in practice was related to increased COI recognition involving role conflict. Financial planning credentials were related to increased COI recognition with a business associate as client.

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