Conduct a Formal Interview

Even in a preliminary interview, an investment advisor may ask you about your net worth, income and expenses, and goals. Whomever you select will need to know a great deal about you and your financial situation to fulfill the ‘know your client’ obligation, which is critical to their ability to recommend suitable investments.

The interview will help you and the advisor establish an informed basis for deciding whether to work together. Expect to have a two-way conversation. Use the Canadian Securities Administrators’ (CSA) Check Before You Invest workbook for recording the answers to the key questions below.

Questions to Ask

What investment business are you registered to conduct?
Make sure the person you are talking to is able to provide the services you have decided you need. Find out more on our Understand Registration page.

What professional qualifications do you have and what do they mean?
Titles and designations are important. Review our Understand Titles & Designations page to find out what each one means.

How long have you been advising clients on their investments?
This question should allow you to assess an investment advisor’s experience level. It may also help you understand how they work and communicate with their clients.

Can you tell me about how you have worked with clients like me to achieve their financial goals?
The investment advisor you choose should have the experience, skill, and willingness to work with clients like you. The way to find out if someone is a good fit for you is to discuss it directly.

How are you compensated and what fees do you charge?
Fees are an unavoidable part of investing. Find out more in our Advisor Fees & Charges section.

What is the firm’s dispute resolution policy?
If a registered firm receives a complaint about any of its trading or advising activities, it must inform the person making the complaint about the dispute resolution or mediation services that are available to them, and that the firm would pay for the services if the issue cannot be resolved without mediation.

Are you a good match for me?
It’s helpful to hear straight from the investment advisor why they think you should hire them. This answer, combined with the others, will help you assess your comfort level in working with the advisor on a professional and personal level. If the investment advisor doesn’t think they’re a good match for you, find out why not.