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.

Download our Five Steps to Choosing a Financial Advisor worksheet to record your findings, and consider the following guidelines:

Check Registration

Check Disciplinary History
If the adviser you are thinking of working with was ever disciplined for bad practices, youíll 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 firmís 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.  Itís important to work with someone that you can have honest and open conversations with and that you feel comfortable bringing forward any concerns.

Five Steps to Choosing a Financial Advisor

Before investing, follow these 5 simple steps to choosing a financial advisor, and use this workbook to record the information you found.

Learn more about Investing at our Tools & Resource Page

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