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Ensure you are getting financial advice from a qualified advisor.


For years, Advocis (The Financial Advisors Association of Canada) and other financial industry associations have lobbied the provincial governments to protect consumers by restricting the use of Financial Advisor and Financial Planner to qualified professionals only. Recently, Vic Fedeli, Minister of Finance for Ontario, announced the government’s intention to do just that. This is a major win for residents of Ontario who rely on these titles when choosing who to seek financial advice from.

The aim of the Financial Professionals Title Protection Act is to introduce a framework around who can call themselves a Financial Advisor and a Financial Planner. The Act will require individuals using these titles to have an appropriate credential and be overseen by a recognized credentialing body. When the Act passes, residents of Ontario will have a layer of protection when choosing a financial advisor as not just anyone will be permitted to use these titles. It will protect individuals from ending up with the financial advisor equivalent of Dr. Nick of the surgery department (Simpson’s reference)!

It is especially important for Incorporated Professionals and Business Owners to do their due diligence when seeking financial advice. If your accountant rarely talks to your lawyer and your insurance specialist never talks to your investment advisor, you may have holes in your wealth strategy or you may be missing out on opportunities to build wealth.

When choosing a Financial Advisor or Financial Planner, research their credentials. Ask what knowledge and experience they have with advanced planning for business owners and incorporated professionals. Ask if they are part of a team of specialists that can take care of all your financial needs. Is there an element of pro-activeness in their approach? Choose an Advisor or Planner that will give you a custom experience. You and your business are unique. Your wealth strategy should be customized to your particular goals. And lastly, ensure that your personalities gel. The connection with your Financial Advisor or Financial Planner can be a lifelong relationship.

I believe there needs to be further resources developed to help consumers understand the difference between the many titles and designations in the financial services industry. Other provinces need to follow Ontario’s lead by introducing legislation restricting the use of certain titles and ensure residents have clarity in how people hold themselves out to the public with respect to their abilities. Canadians across the country should be able to turn to their financial advisor with the same confidence and trust they have in their doctor or lawyer.

p|w|m Advisory Group is a team of knowledgeable, experienced and qualified Financial Advisors and Financial Planners providing wealth strategies for Business Owners and Incorporated Professionals.

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Written by Trevor Belanger, Certified Financial Planner®

This article is provided for information purposes only. Although the content is believed to be reliable when posted, p|w|m Advisory Group cannot guarantee this information is current, accurate or complete and does not assume any liability. The information is not intended to provide any insurance, financial, legal, accounting or taxation advice and should not under any circumstances be relied upon without consultation about your specific situation. The information is subject to modification and updating from time to time without notice.

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