We have provided links to helpful information and tools designed for consumers. Browse through them to acquaint yourself with Canadian investment information, Canada’s regulatory structure, and tips on what to look for in working with a financial advisor.
There is a great deal of information available on the internet and from companies and regulators that can help you become more familiar with the basics of investing. For your convenience, we have curated some links to get you started.
Find resources, events, tools and information on budgeting, money management, insurance, saving, investing, and taxes from various Canadian organizations.
Be an informed consumer! Financial literacy is key to understanding investment terminology and making sound financial decisions and reducing your chance of becoming a victim of fraud.
The website, “Get Smarter about Money”, is operated by the Investor Education Fund – a non-profit organization founded by the Ontario Securities Commission – that provides unbiased and independent financial tools to help consumers improve their financial literacy. Click on the link below to access the information: http://www.getsmarteraboutmoney.ca
A new video series released by FAIR Canada takes investors through the new annual reports that they will receive from their investment advisor or financial planner as a result of phase two of the Canadian Securities Administrators “client relationship model” project (CRM2).
The reports are designed to help investors better understand the costs associated with their investments as well as understand the real rate of return their investments achieve.
Click HERE to watch the 7 part video series.
The BCSC has created five videos to help investors understand the information they will receive under CRM2. You may want to share these videos with your clients. Click HERE to watch the video series on Helping Clients Understand the Client Relationship Model – Phase 2 (CRM2).
The Association of Canadian Pension Management (ACPM) has created a Retirement Literacy Program. Click on the link below to test your knowledge on four retirement quizzes offered by the ACPM: http://retirementliteracy.acpm.com/
“SmartSAVER” is a website offering impartial information on investing in a Registered Education Savings Plan (RESPs), government contributions and rules. The website offers information in multiple languages and the ability to compare different types of plans.
To access the SmartSAVER website, click here.
The Canadian Securities Administrators, or CSA, is an umbrella group of provincial/ territorial securities regulators whose objective is to improve, coordinate and harmonize regulation of the Canadian capital markets. Investor protection is a major focus of any undertaking. Each provincial/territorial regulator is responsible for registering individuals and companies seeking to conduct business in the securities sector, for enforcement of the rules and handling complaints from consumers.
Before you engage a securities or mutual fund advisor it’s a good idea to begin by searching their registration history to be assured you are:
The link to the main CSA website, which has more investor information, including links to each provincial/territorial regulator is: http://www.securities-administrators.ca
You can also find investor information on each regulator’s website. For example, in Ontario, the Ontario Securities Commission has information for investors and makes it easy to check an advisor’s registration.
The sale and distribution of mutual funds is regulated across Canada by the Mutual Fund Dealers Association, or MFDA. You can go to its website to access dealers and advisors disciplinary history or more general information about what the MFDA does, www.mfda.ca. The MFDA also has a complaint mechanism if you have a complaint that has not been resolved by the advisor or dealer. Before investing, you can check if the firm you are dealing with is a member of the MFDA. All member firms/dealers are listed on the MFDA website.
Some securities firms/dealers and their advisors sell mutual funds as well as other securities products, like stocks and bonds, ETFs, etc. These firms belong to the Investment Industry Regulatory Association of Canada, or IIROC. IIROC is responsible for the regulation of these dealers and their advisors including their market conduct, investor complaints and enforcement. You can check if a dealer is a member of IIROC and if it, or an advisor, has been disciplined. To find out more about IIROC, go to www.iiroc.ca
Québec has one regulator for financial services, including insurance and securities. The AMF (Autorité des Marchés Financiers) enforces the laws and regulations on insurance, securities, deposit institutions (excluding banks) and the distribution of financial products and services. Its website is: www.lautorite.qc.ca
Be an informed investor by learning how mutual funds work, how to avoid scams and fraud, what to do if you have a complaint about your mutual fund dealer, and more. All the information is offered through the website of the Mutual Fund Dealers Association of Canada.
The Mutual Fund Dealers Association of Canada (“MFDA”) published a new brochure entitled Selecting an Advisor which explains important aspects of the advisory process that clients should understand before they select an advisor and invest. Topics covered in the brochure include advisor service levels, compensation structures, and the responsibilities of advisors and clients. Click HERE to look at the brochure.
Ready to take the next step and consider working with a financial advisor? IFB members operate as self-employed independent financial advisors. Why? Because they believe that access to a variety of products is key to finding the most suitable product to meet their client’s financial needs. Click here to search for an independent broker in your area!
Life insurance brokers and agents must be licensed in each province or territory they want to conduct business in, and carry liability insurance (also known as errors and omissions insurance) as a condition of their license. Most provinces also require proof of ongoing education before insurance advisors can renew their license. An insurance broker or agent must be contracted with at least one life insurance company in order to conduct business. This is because, under provincial insurance statues, the life insurance company is responsible for the broker’s or agent’s suitability and market conduct.
The Canadian Council of Insurance Regulators, or CCIR, is an umbrella group of provincial/territorial regulators whose objective is to facilitate and promote an efficient and effective insurance regulatory system in Canada to serve the public interest. Each provincial/territorial regulator is responsible for licensing individuals seeking to sell life/health insurance to consumers. Some insurance companies are federally registered and some are provincially registered. Each provincial/territorial regulator is also responsible for enforcement of the rules and handling complaints from consumers.
The CCIR website address is: www.ccir-ccrra.org
Before engaging an insurance advisor, it’s a good idea to begin by searching their registration history to be assured you are:
You can search the disciplinary history of a particular advisor by going to The Canadian Insurance Regulatory Disciplinary Actions (CIRDA) database. This is a centralized resource that compiles information from all insurance regulators. Click here to visit the site. You can also do it by searching on each regulator’s website. In Ontario, for example, the regulator is the Financial Services Commission of Ontario, or FSCO. Its website is www.fsco.gov.on.ca. To go directly to the insurance section, click here and follow the links to check an agent’s or company’s registration.
The Canadian Life and Health Association or CLHIA is an association which most life insurance companies belong to. Its website offers access to a variety of educational materials specifically developed for consumers. Go to: www.clhia.ca and click on the “Consumer” tab at the top of the page.
Québec is the only province which has one regulator for financial services, including insurance and securities. The AMF (Autorité des Marchés Financiers) enforces the laws and regulations on insurance, securities, deposit institutions (excluding banks) and the distribution of financial products and services. Its website is: www.lautorite.qc.ca
The Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association has a handy, alphabetized glossary of terms that’s easy to refer to when navigating the unique terminology used in matters of insurance. Have a look at it by clicking here.
Ready to take the next step and consider working with a financial advisor IFB members operate as self-employed independent financial advisors. Why? Because they believe that access to a variety of products is key to finding the most suitable product to meet their client’s financial needs. Click here to search for an independent broker in your area!
While the general investment and financial information provided in the other tabs apply to everyone, we’ve provided some links to information specific for older Canadians to help you look for warning signs of financial fraud, financial abuse or inappropriate investment recommendations:
IIROC – Online Resources for Seniors
MFDA – For Seniors
MFDA – MFDA 2015 Seniors Summit
Government of Canada – Facts on Financial Abuse of Seniors
Financial Consumer Agency of Canada – Retirement Frauds
Province of Alberta – What does financial abuse of a senior look like?
Canada’s Registered Disability Savings Plan:
The Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP) is a long-term savings plan to help Canadians with disabilities and their families save for the future. If you have an RDSP, you may also be eligible for grants and bonds to help with your long-term savings.
You should consider opening an RDSP if you have a long-term disability and are:
For more information go to the Government of Canada Registered Disability Savings Plan website.
If you cannot resolve your complaint with your advisor, each dealer or firm has a process to deal with complaints. Call the firm or dealer and ask to speak to someone who can assist or check on their website for a contact or email address. Each regulator also has information to help consumers with complaints.
For mutual fund dealers, the regulator is the Mutual Fund Dealers Association. You can check a firm’s registration on the MFDA website www.mfda.ca. If it is a member, you can find information on the complaint process here.
Most securities firms are registered with IIROC or the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada, www.iiroc.ca. For information on the complaint process for its member dealers, click here.
Often complaints can be resolved by working with your advisor or the complaints officer at the insurance company involved. You can also file a complaint with the appropriate provincial/territorial insurance regulator.
For a list of provincial/territorial insurance regulators and their websites, click here.
The OmbudService for Life and Health Insurance is an independent complaint resolution and information provider whose services are free for consumers and available in both English and French. It handles complaints or inquiries about life and health insurance products including life insurance, disability insurance, employee health benefits, travel and insurance investment products (such as annuities and segregated funds), or on lost policies. You can contact the OmbudService for Life and Health Insurance by phone:
Tel: (416) 777-9002
French: (514) 282-2088
Toll free: 1-888-295-8112
Or visit the OmbudService website to access more consumer information on the life insurance industry and how best to manage the complaint process: www.olhi.ca
Québec has one regulator for financial services, including insurance and securities. The AMF (Autorité des Marchés Financiers) enforces the laws and regulations on insurance, securities, deposit institutions (excluding banks) and the distribution of financial products and services. Its website: www.lautorite.qc.ca