Investing can be complicated, and many people simply do not have the time to acquire the knowledge and confidence needed to invest effectively on their own. A financial planner or advisor can help them.
The terms “financial planner” and “financial advisor” are used broadly; in fact, anyone can call themselves a “financial planner” or “advisor.” What sets some apart are their education and training, and the qualifications that they hold. For ease of reading, the pages in this section use the term “advisor” to mean a financial professional with training and expertise that is recognized within the financial sector.
Choosing the right advisor depends on the kind of help you are looking for. Different advisors offer different products and services, and their professional designations can provide an indication of their qualifications and expertise. Ultimately, what’s important is that you’re confident that your advisor has the experience and expertise necessary to help you reach your financial goals.
Don’t be afraid to meet with several potential advisors before choosing one. To make the most of your meeting, draw up a list of questions you want to ask. Be sure to take detailed notes.
Advisors belong to professional groups in their industry. The following industry groups can be good places to start searching.
|Group name and website||Role|
|Financial Planning Standards Council (FPSC)||Develops, enforces and promotes standards for financial planning in Canada.|
|Advocis (Financial Advisors Association of Canada)||Information on designations of financial advisors.|
|Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC)||National self-regulatory organization that oversees all investment dealers in Canada. List of IIROC-regulated firms.|
|Mutual Fund Dealers Association of Canada (MFDA)||National self-regulatory organization and representative of firms that sell mutual funds in Canada.|
|Portfolio Management Association of Canada (PMAC) (formerly the Investment Counsel Association of Canada)||Representative of investment counsellors and portfolio managers in Canada.|
Investing on your own may be an option if you are confident about your investing knowledge and have the time to follow developments in the financial market. If you are new to investing, it is probably better to work with an advisor.