Members and Candidates must develop and maintain appropriate records
to support their investment analyses, recommendations, actions, and other
investment-related communications with clients and prospective clients.
Members must maintain records substantiating the scope of their research and the basis for their recommendations. Unless local law requires a longer period, CFA Institute recommends keeping records for at least 7 years. Such records may include:
- notes taken during meetings with management
- press releases or other presentations delivered by the company
- the output, analysis, and parameters of computer models used
- risk analyses
- the criteria used to select external advisors
- notes from client meetings
- research reports
The records that must be maintained are not limited to formal communications. Emails, social media posts, text messages, and the like should also be retained.
Records kept are the property of the firm, and cannot be taken if members change employers unless expressly permitted by the prior firm. Members can, however, recreate such supporting documents from publicly available sources.
Members must archive research notes and other documents, either electronically or in hard copy, that support their current investment-related communications.
The CFA Institute Standards of Practice Handbook outlines several potential record retention violations.