Firms and advisors who sell investment funds and provide financial advice are regulated by:
- The Mutual Fund Dealers Association, which regulates firms and advisors that sell only mutual funds;
- The Investment Industry Regulatory Association of Canada, which regulates firms and advisors that sell all types of securities, including mutual funds;
- The Autorité des marchés financiers, which regulates investment dealers in Quebec, and
- The Chambre de la sécurité financière, which regulates investment advisors in Quebec.
Licensed financial advisors are overseen by regulators and must complete continuing education programs after they are registered to help them keep on top of new financial products, rules and regulations, and industry trends. They are subject to stiff penalties, including fines and loss of license for non-compliance.
If you know an advisor you can trust, start by getting in touch with them. If you are looking for a financial advisor, you can ask family, friends, workmates or professionals that you work with, such as your accountant or lawyer. But don’t just take their word for it. This is about your investment style, your money, and your future. You might want to talk to more than one person to make sure your advisor will be a good fit for you and your needs. Then check their registration – it will tell you what products and services that they are allowed by law to provide. You can also see who is registered in your area by checking these links:
- The national registration search, which lists all registrants (individuals and firms) in Canada, except for those registered solely with the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC).
- The Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada member list.
- The Mutual Fund Dealers Association of Canada member list.
- La Chambre de la sécurité financière (Quebec only).
To find out whether the person has been disciplined by securities administrators, check the CSA’s Disciplined Persons list.