Recently, my colleague and I had the pleasure of presenting an InvestRight seminar to a group at the Metrotown branch of Burnaby library. The reception the presentation received was great, and we had a quite a few questions during and after the seminar.
Because this seminar was open to the public, I thought it would be a good idea to share the questions and answers in a blog post. I also plan to put some of them up in the Q & A section of the website for people to access. Please let us know if you have any other questions in the comment section below.
Q: Are online brokerage dealers registered? How do I know?
A: If you want to trade securities on your own in Canada, you can use an online investing account. These accounts must be held by a registered investment firm in Canada. You can check a company’s registration by using the National Registration search, or by calling BCSC Inquiries. If you think a firm is not registered, report it right away. Unregistered, offshore firms sometimes solicit BC investors to open up trading accounts.
Q: Who registers insurance brokers?
A: The Insurance Council of British Columbia licenses and deals with complaints about insurance agents, salespeople, and adjustors. However, if you think someone is illegally distributing securities or illegally selling non-insurance investment products, you should report it to the BCSC immediately.
Q: Is my real estate investment a security?
A: Real Estate investments can be securities. To find out more about this type of investment product, refer to our Real Estate-based securities webpage. We’ve also published Investor Watches on the subject, which are available on the above-mentioned webpage.
Q: Does the BCSC arrest people, and put them in jail?
A: The BCSC has no power to put people in jail. However, the BCSC’s criminal investigation team does investigate and refer cases to Crown Counsel for prosecution. The courts can then impose penalties. Court-imposed jail terms and fines can act as deterrents for those for whom administrative penalties are not a deterrent. This chart describes how the enforcement process works in Canada.
Next week we will publish the answers to more audience questions. If you have any questions, please post a comment below.
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