Check Before You Invest

Although most financial advisers are honest and working in your best interest, you still need to carefully choose who you deal with and verify the investments you are considering. Registration helps protect investors because FCNB will only register firms and individuals if they are properly qualified and meet a certain standard.

Use the Five Steps to Choosing an Advisor (PDF) to record your findings.


To verify if a firm or individual is registered. you can use the National Registration Search tool, or contact us directly.

You can also contact the Mutual Fund Dealers Association of Canada (MFDA) and the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC) for a list of their registered member firms.

If you have questions about the results, check this guide to Understanding Registration Search Results, or contact FCNB directly, toll-free 1 866 933-2222.
Check Disciplinary History
If the adviser you are thinking of working with was ever disciplined for bad practices, you’ll be able to find a record of what they did and the discipline they received by searching the Investor, Enforcement and News sections online with the following organizations:
Check the News and Search the Internet
You can find information about a company or individual in the news. The news can also tell you about court cases and be a source for hearing rumours that you should investigate further.

Check that the company is incorporated or registered to do business in your province. Make sure that the people you are speaking with really represent the company, and find out where their head office is located.
Check if the Adviser and Firm are right for you
To help you make your decision, ask them questions like:

  • What is your education and professional experience?
  • How long has your firm been in business?
  • How long have you been with the firm?
  • What products and services do you offer?
  • How will you help me reach my goals?
  • How are you paid for your services (salary, commission or flat fee)?
  • Are you and your firm registered with the Financial and Consumer Services Commission?
  • What is your firm’s dispute resolution policy?

Decide What to Do Next
Choosing an adviser is personal decision and is not just about the answers you record on this sheet.

You must also decide if you feel comfortable with the person and the firm and how trustworthy you feel they are.  It’s important to work with someone that you can have honest and open conversations with and that you feel comfortable bringing forward any concerns. Read more about Working with a financial adviser.


* The terms ‘adviser’ and ‘financial adviser’ used here generally refer to a financial professional (which may include securities dealers; advisers; dealing representatives; advising representatives; or other registrants) and do not indicate a category of registration.  The registration category is more important than a title – always check registration before you invest.

2017 © Financial and Consumer Services Commission