Q: Are financial advisers governed by any professional society similar to Chartered Accountants in Canada? —Peter Manian
A: My astrologer, if I had one, could call herself a financial adviser if she wanted to. Unlike CAs, financial advisers do not have one society or one set of educational requirements because the moniker isn’t regulated. Your adviser could have an alphabet’s worth of letters after her name, or none at all. She could be a licensed mutual fund salesperson, a certified financial planner, a broker, a portfolio manager or a chartered financial analyst—and each one has a separate set of standards. Advocis, the Financial Advisors Association of Canada, has been supporting a bill to regulate the term and lay the groundwork for a national standard. Greg Pollock, its president and CEO, says “increasing adviser professionalism will better protect consumers, and build trust in an industry that has a significant effect on the lives of many Canadians.” I think it’s a good idea but my astrologer’s crystal ball gives no indication as to if or when that might happen.
Bruce Sellery is a frequent guest on financial television shows and author of Moolala. Do you have your own personal finance question? Write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org