Subject 17. Standard V (C) Record Retention


C. Record Retention.

Members and Candidates must develop and maintain appropriate records to support their investment analysis, recommendations, actions, and other investment-related communications with clients and prospective clients.

Members and candidates should maintain files to support investment recommendations. In addition to furnishing excellent reference materials for future work, research files play a key role in justifying investment decisions under later scrutiny. Files can serve as the ultimate proof that recommendations and actions, good or bad, were made based on the same methodology that drove the analyst's decisions.

  • Records can be maintained either in hardcopy or electronic form (soft copy).
  • CFA Institute recommends maintaining records for at least seven years.
  • Records are the property of the member's or candidate's firm.


If an analyst writes investment recommendations based on many sources, such as stock exchange data, interviews with senior management, onsite company visits, and other third party research, he or she should document and keep copies of all the information that goes into recommendations.

User Contributed Comments 11

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asianl6: document all details that backs the reccomendations.
danlan2: Keep for at least seven years.
wundac: Documents everything that leads to an investment or recommendation for at least 7 years
Drzewes: What if I leave my current employer? Should I leave all my records with him? If yes, then how will I be able to prove my innocence if this company has no Standards of practice and will get rid of all my records the day I leave the office for the last time? If I take them with me on the other hand, I will violate duties to employers standard.
198saurabh: Answer to Drzewes question: I think you should not be obligated after your termination. You are responsible to maintain the records till you work there, once you leave your employer you are not responsible anymore.
AUAU: Remember CFAI recommend "at least 7 yrs" of retention of records unless laws required.
I think if the law require less than 7 yrs, we should stick to CFAI recommendation.

Both "soft" & "hard" copies.

Records are properties of the members' or candidates' firms.
Christobel: To AUAU- Standard I Professionalism A Knowledge of the law states that members/candidates must comply with the more stricter of law. So if the law states record be maintained for only 6 years, you must still maintain records for 7 as stated in this code because it is more stricter.
bc9115a: But aren't you not supposed to take company's property along with you?
johntan1979: 7 years... popular exam question... ;)

*killer hint*
tybe0012: RECOMMENDS maintaining records for AT LEAST 7 years.If an analyst doesn't maintain records for at least 7 years he/she is not in violation of the code of standards. Right?
Rohule: record retenntion is firm's duty