7.4.2 Where to look for an advisor

From: Financial Consumer Agency of Canada

For simple financial advice, such as savings deposits and GICs, discuss your needs with a variety of financial institutions. Banks, credit unions, caisses populaires and trust companies will help you choose from their products to find an investment that meets simple needs. Shop around to compare what different institutions offer.

To find an advisor who can give broader investing advice, talk to others who have experience working with investment advisors. Friends, family, work associates and other professionals may be able to help.

If you don't know anyone who can refer you to a financial advisor, try these resources:

Industry groups—Advisors belong to professional groups in their industry. You can search for advisors on the websites of these groups:

Group name and website

What they do

Advocis

Financial Advisors Association of Canada, representing financial advisors

Chambre de la sécurité financière (CSF)

Quebec's self-regulatory organization for financial planners and mutual fund representatives

FP Canada 

Organization that develops, enforces and promotes standards for financial planning in Canada

Institut québécois de planification financière (IQPF)

Quebec organization that grants financial planning diplomas and sets rules concerning the professional development of financial planners

Portfolio Management Association of Canada (PMAC)

Representative of investment counsellors and portfolio managers in Canada

Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC)

National self-regulatory organization that oversees all investment dealers and trading activity on debt and equity marketplaces in Canada

Mutual Fund Dealers Association of Canada (MFDA)

National self-regulatory organization and representative of firms that sell mutual funds in Canada

  • Securities regulators—By law, sellers of mutual funds, stocks and bonds must complete training and be registered. Regulators in each province and territory have lists of people who are registered to sell these products.

Select a few advisors that you think you might like to work with and interview them. Discuss your interests and needs, asking questions like those in the next section. Be sure that you are comfortable talking with them and see who offers the most complete answers to your questions.

Make sure that you check with your local securities regulator to see if a firm or individual is registered, the kind of registration they hold and whether they have a record of any disciplinary action. To search for an individual or a firm on the National Registration Search at the Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) website.

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