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Resources and Links
The essential fact to grasp is persons who are NOT licensed or registered in Canada or USA as an "adviser" which is the legal (legislated use of the word) are able to call themselves by a similar "title" which does not fall under legislation and that title is the word "advisor".
Whether they are north of the border, south, whether the name for their salespeople is "broker" and or "dealing rep" is mostly irrelevant and confusing. The public is being deceived when a non-regulated titled person is posed in front of the public, and the public is led to believe that they are a fiduciary (even if they do not know what this word means) professional. Due to a lack of a fiduciary standard many investors are unknowingly trusting their life savings with "salespersons" wearing nothing more than a non-regulated, non-licensed "title".
The following Investor Advocates are willing to provide input with respect to explaining financial misrepresentation and its consequences.
Blogs and Postings
Investor Advocates Website
U.S. Department of Labor
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
Is Your Broker Double-Crossing You?
"The current regulatory environment creates perverse incentives that ultimately cost savers billions of dollars a year."
".TV advertisements say their clients' interests always come first. But, reality says that is a huge lie."
Wall Street Journal
We Need One Standard for Advisers and Brokers
"...Most people do not realize that financial advisers (also known as financial planners, financial consultants, investment counselors, money managers, portfolio managers, wealth managers and other names) come in two flavours."
Hot Off the Web - June 16, 2014
"The professional who is willing to violate his own duty of loyalty and care to his clients is 'placing an obstacle before the blind'".
Scholarly Financial Planner
"As long as American consumers cannot discern between ethical actors (who adhere to a bona fide fiduciary standard at all times,.... and actors bound only by the weak suitability standard, the demand for financial planning and investment advice will stagnate. "
I believe that holding yourself out as a trusted advisor, and not accepting fiduciary status and its burdens and restraints upon conduct, is tantamount to fraud."
Blog – The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Value Investing
"...allows a financial advisor to say, with a straight face, that financial advisers are obligated by law to have their clients' best interest at heart, and at the same time sell products that line their own pockets at the expense of the client."
Magazine and News Articles
American Banker Magazine
Where Wrongdoing Still Thrives on Wall Street
"Even though these people often refer to themselves as 'financial advisors' or by some other comfort-inducing title, they're really glorified salesmen."
SEC-NASAA Investor Bulletin
"The requirements for obtaining and using various titles vary widely, from rigorous to nothing at all."
New York Times
Trusted Adviser or Stock Pusher? Finance Bill May Not Settle It
David B. Armstrong, a former broker at Merrill Lynch, said his training focused on selling rather than evaluating investments.
Find a Financial Adviser Who Will Put Your Interests First
"...the SEC enforces the standards for fiduciaries - but brokers, aiming to head off more regulations, created the suitability rules themselves."
Make Advisors Work for Investors
"Anything else is fraud, because the seller is delivering a service different from what the consumer thinks he or she is buying."
Check the National Registration Search to find out if an individual or firm is registered in your province or territory and what product and services a firm or individual can offer.
Search the license or registration category of your “advice” giver, here in Canada, on the Canadian Securities Administrators' website. If it says “dealing representative” you have a “salesperson” according to the CSA and not someone registered or responsible to act as “adviser” or “advisor”.
In the USA, search the license or registration category of your “advice” giver on the FINRA website. If it says “broker” then you have a salesperson, regardless of what they prefer to use on their business cards.
Checking on the National Registration Database reveals that most so-titled “Financial Advisors” are registered as “Dealing Representative – A sales person.” There is no registration for a “Financial Advisor”.
Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) Secretariat
The Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) is an umbrella organization of Canada’s provincial and territorial securities regulators whose objective is to improve, coordinate and harmonize regulation of the Canadian capital markets.
In response to a letter from SIPA, the Canadians Securities Administrators Secretariat provided the following:
“Financial Advisor, as you noted, is a common title which many persons use, whether they are registered under securities legislation or not. The use of this title is not generally prohibited, and may be used by anyone, including persons who are only licensed to deal in insurance products, mortgage brokers, deposit agents, or employees of financial institutions.
Some jurisdictions regulate the use of some titles. For example, in Québec, no person may use the title Financial Planner without holding the appropriate certificate issued by the Autorité des marchés financiers. The title Financial Advisor may not be used by anyone as it is considered similar to the title Financial Planner. Having said that, most jurisdictions do not regulate the use of Financial Advisor, and as such it is widely used.
As with Financial Advisor, the title of Vice President is increasingly a common title used in the financial services industry. While an officer of a firm may be designated to be a vice president, the use of the title is not reserved to actual officers of a corporation. As such, it is not safe to assume a person described as a vice president is in fact an officer of that corporation.”
Email from Chris Besko (FINMSC) (Chris.Besko@gov.mb.ca), Fri, Aug 1, 2014.
Investment Industry Regulator of Canada (IIROC)
The Investment Industry Regulator of Canada (IIROC) is the Self Regulatory Organization responsible for regulating the investment industry. In their Advisor Report IIROC states:
“Please note that in this report and in this section of the IIROC website, we have used the general term ''advisor' to refer to a number of official regulatory approval categories such as Registered Representative and Investment Representative. ''Advisor'' is not an official IIROC approval category for individuals working at IIROC-regulated firms. ''Advisor'' is also not being used to represent an official registration category. “
Mutual Fund Dealers Association
The MFDA is the Self Regulatory Organization (SRO) responsible for regulating Mutual Fund Dealers.
On their website under, Check an Advisor, they state: “Choosing the right investment advisor is an important decision that investors must make in managing their personal finances.”