Millions of Canadians rely on financial advisors to provide them with sound advice and access to suitable financial products and services. Unfortunately, integrity is not a trait commonly practiced in the financial services industry, making the effort of raising the bar for financial advisors a challenging priority for industry watchdogs.
ADVOCIS’ solution is to regulate the title, “Financial Advisor” and require that titleholders belong to a recognized professional association. We support their efforts whole-heartedly and encourage you to watch their video and sign their petition.
In the spirit of transparency, Boys Financial Services would like our clients to know that Peter Boys is a member of some very prestigious associations that are highly regulated in the industry:
- CAFA (Canadian Association of Farm Advisors), a non-profit professional organization dedicated to assisting farm businesses by increasing the skills and knowledge of farm advisors
- CFIB (Canadian Federation of Independent Business), an organization that provides an unparelled presence to all three levels of government on behalf of the interests of the small business community
- IFB (Independent Financial Brokers), a not-for-profit Association representing independent insurance, mutual fund and other financial service professionals on the regulatory front, providing compliance support on issues that affect independent financial professionals in Canada
- Million Dollar Round Table (MDRT), The Premier Association of Financial Professionals. MDRT is an independent global association that is recognized internationally as promoting the highest standards of ethical conduct in the insurance and financial services profession
What are the things you should look for when considering a personal financial advisor?
Ideally, you want to work with someone who is empathetic, understands your goals, and respects your opinions. It should also go without saying that that person should have the financial acumen, qualifications, and experience to help you achieve your financial goals. For starters, consider three essential guideposts:
Expertise – financial knowledge doesn’t certify one’s competence but it’s a good place to start and a competent advisor can back up their knowledge with practical applications.
Honesty – this intangible is potentially difficult to see without the passing of time, or word of mouth referrals but, when you find it, you won’t want to look anywhere else.
Clarity – the ability to discern between products and apply appropriate pros & cons to a client’s personal circumstances and goals.
In the grander scheme of things, look for a financial planner who measures up according to these ten traits:
- Possesses genuine expertise in their financial knowledge and can provide practical examples of how specific products have been applied in relevant (anonymous) circumstances
- Are comfortable comparing their products/services with competing options (i.e. products, banks, advisors)
- Have a natural ability to answer questions articulately, explain risks and uncertainties
- Strive to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth
- Make every effort to educate you so that you have a competent understanding and are comfortable making choices
- Are naturally transparent in revealing how they are compensated
- Treat you with respect and make you feel at ease from the outset
- They’re more interested in YOU than how they will benefit from your business
Where to find a financial advisor?
The best way to find a financial advisor is by asking a trusted source (family, friend, trusted professional like an accountant or lawyer, etc). Word-of-mouth referrals are usually the best evangelists. Other sources might include professional online resources:
- Investment Dealers Association of Canada
- Mutual Fund Dealers Association of Canada
- Advocis (Financial Advisors Association of Canada)
- Financial Planners Standards Council
- Investment Counsel Association of Canada
Finally, Financial Planet conducted a poll that resulted in this infographic and the suggestion that less than half of financial professionals believe that transparency would improve consumer trust.
This begs the question,
Do 58% of financial professionals regard their livelihood as a J-O-B, oblivious to the impact that they have on the lives of their clients?