You’ve heard it before. Maybe from your dad, a co-worker, or a close friend: “I’ve got a guy.” And, while you may be inclined to use the professional services of someone recommended to you by a friend or relative, Canadian securities regulators are encouraging investors to always check registration before investing money with a financial advisor or firm.
Last week, the Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) launched a new campaign to promote the importance of checking registration, and recent enhancements to the National Registration Search (NRS) – a free online tool that makes it quick and easy to check the registration of any individual or firm in Canada. Registration ensures advisors and investment firms meet the qualifications required to sell products or offer advice to investors, and knowing the registration status of your advisor is an essential first step toward building a positive working relationship.
The recently simplified NRS tool offers investors a platform to find out if an individual or firm is registered to give advice and sell securities or manage an investment portfolio, and under what terms or conditions (if any) may apply. NRS also allows investors to find out if a registered individual has been subject to discipline by a Canadian securities regulator (including the BC Securities Commission).
As part of the campaign currently being promoted online and through social media, the CSA has launched a special website aretheyregistered.ca. The website provides a quick link to the NRS, as well as tools like an advisor checklist to help investors make smarter, more confident investment decisions.
Under the new rules, registrants must provide clients with more information about any limits on the products they offer, as well as the costs and risks associated with them.