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Don’t be “finfluenced” when making investment decisions

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Saint John - In recognition of Investor Education Month in October and Financial Literacy Month in November, the Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) is encouraging all Canadians to prioritize their financial well-being and verify their sources of investment information.   

"In our rapidly evolving financial landscape, it is easier than ever to reach the masses through Artificial Intelligence, social media and other digital tools, and anyone can present themselves as a financial expert so it's critical that investors verify the credibility of information sources,” said Stan Magidson, CSA Chair and Chair and CEO of the Alberta Securities Commission. “Checking the registration of platforms and individuals offering investment advice is a simple yet important first step investors should take to help protect themselves as they navigate the markets and make investment decisions.”

Investing advice and information is readily accessible online, however not all information is provided by qualified or well-intentioned individuals. The information may be inappropriate for an investor’s personal goals, risk acceptance or financial situation, and at worst have malicious intentions.  

To help protect themselves from fraud, investors should verify that the investment professionals, firms and online trading platforms they plan to use are registered in Canada by using the CSA’s National Registration Search. Registration requires individuals, firms and platforms to be qualified to sell securities and to comply with securities laws and requirements, such as risk management, disclosure and client-focused behaviour.   

The CSA encourages Canadians to: 

  • Verify information sources: Don’t rely on a 30-second social media video. Always cross-check and research investment information against publicly available reports and multiple reliable sources before making any decisions. If in doubt, seek the advice of a qualified and registered investment or financial professional.
  • Work with registered professionals: Whether providing advice and investment services in person or online, those in the business of advising on or trading securities must be registered with a Canadian securities regulator. Use the CSA’s National Registration Search to check the name of the individual or company you are considering working with or receiving advice from.
  • If investing in crypto, use only Registered Crypto Trading Platforms (CTPs): Canadians considering buying or selling crypto assets should use platforms registered with Canadian securities regulators. Platforms that do not comply with Canadian securities laws may be fraudulent or lack investor protections that may exist with a registered platform. Crypto assets, regardless of the platform you use, are high-risk investments. Learn about the risks before you invest.

Research and evaluate each investment opportunity and be sure you fully understand the asset and risks involved before you invest. For more information about investing and how to protect yourself from fraud, visit the CSA’s Investor Tools webpages.

The CSA, the council of the securities regulators of Canada’s provinces and territories, co-ordinates and harmonizes regulation for the Canadian capital markets.

For media inquiries, please contact:
Ilana Kelemen 
Canadian Securities Administrators

Marissa Sollows 
Financial and Consumer Services Commission

For investor inquiries, please contact your local securities regulator