Investor Warnings CSA

Calgary, AB - Though RRSP deadlines are fast approaching, securities regulators are advising Canadians to slow down when choosing a financial adviser. The Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) warn investors that the best investment decision they may ever make is to take enough time to find a dependable financial adviser.

"A financial adviser can give you sound, objective advice, but it's important that you invest the time to find someone you can openly discuss your investing goals with," says Stephen Sibold, Chair of the CSA. "Just as choosing a good doctor is vital to your physical health, so is selecting a good financial adviser for your financial well-being."

The CSA offers the following tips to Canadian s when looking for a financial professional:

  • Know yourself: Understand your financial goals and risk tolerance and honestly communicate them to your adviser. Keep them abreast of changes in your life that may affect your investing circumstances. Under securities laws, advisers are required to understand each client thoroughly so that they can give the best possible advice for the individual situation.
  • Know your options: Identify ideal traits that you would like to see in an adviser. Understand what products the adviser is registered to sell (mutual funds? full range of investm ent products?), and how they are paid (commssion? salary?).
  • Understand designations: Many advisors use letter designations after their names. This may indicate that the advisor is a member of a particular organization and/or has attained a certain level of education. Not all designations require adherence to a code of ethics. Familarize yourself with the designations of a prospective advisor before you commit.
  • Interview a number of advisers: Screen 3-5 potential advisers to get an understanding of their experience, service standards, types of clients, etc. This can be as easy as making a few brief phone calls to determine if they are someone who you would like to work with.
  • Confirm that the adviser is registered to practise: Contact your provincial securities regulator to verify that the adviser is registered to give investment advice and that they are in good standing (or that there are no disciplinary charges against them).

The CSA rem inds Canadians that their adviser must work for them. If the adviser is not doing a good job or meeting agreed expectations, there are always other advisers out there. A copy of the CSA brochure, "Choosing Your Advisers", is available o n the CSA website at www.csa-acvm.ca or by contacting your provi ncial securities regulator.

The CSA is a council of the 13 securities regulators of Canada's provinces and territories. It coordinates and harmonizes regulation for the Canadian capital markets.

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For More Information:
Joni Delaurier
Alberta Securities Commission
403-297-4481
www.albertasecurities.com