I am a planning student who is hoping to launch a career in planning. I am also strongly considering buying a small real estate portfolio over the coming months. Don't worry, my family is neck-deep in all facets of the real estate business (construction, development, management, etc), so I know to expect both volatility and a lot of work. I can also structure this investment as a nights and weekends sort of thing, simply as an alternate stream of revenue.
My question regards ethics, particularly as it regards the AICP code of conduct. I do plan on being AICP certified one day, and yet I can see situations where my real estate holdings present a conflict of interest with my professional duties. For instance, I could recommend more pedestrian infrastructure in a neighborhood I own residential properties in, thus potentially upping the value of my holdings. My superiors may not take kindly to this.
My question is two fold:
1.) Is real estate investing either implicitly or explicitly forbidden by the AICP code of conduct? I may have missed it in my reading of the code.
2.) Assuming the answer to #1 is "no", how might it affect my professional prospects? Does the existence of a portfolio in of itself create a situation employers do not wish to engage in? Or should my two responsibilities be fine, provided I can still fulfill my responsibilities to my employer.
If there are other questions I should ask that I am unaware of, I am happy to have those entertained.