Are you thinking about working with a financial advisor but don’t know where to find one who meets your needs? Or maybe you’re wondering what’s the difference between the types of financial advisors and how to select one. The MoneySense Find a Qualified Advisor tool can help.
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Welcome to the MoneySense Find a Qualified Advisor tool. We’ve partnered with the Financial Planning Association of Canada (FPAC) to create a directory of credentialed advisors providing financial planning and investing services across Canada. All of the advisors in our Find a Qualified Advisor tool are active FPAC members and have at least one recognized financial planning designation. (You can learn more about the different designations below the table.)
Fees paid by clients based on assets managed by advisor
Fees paid by clients for advice (not based on assets)
What’s the difference between the types of advisors listed in the tool?
The Find a Qualified Advisor tool allows you to search for advisors by Qualifications, Location, Services, Specializations and Payment Model.
A note about location: Maybe you’ve already tried searching for “financial advisor near me” or something similar. Many advisors now provide services virtually, so you don’t necessarily need to find an advisor in your own town or city.
The advisors listed in our tool provide different services and have different specializations, and they have a variety of financial planning designations. In addition, they charge for or get paid for their services in several ways. Here’s how to understand these criteria:
The advisors in our directory may provide some or all of the following services:
Financial planning: These advisors can evaluate your current and future financial states and provide a comprehensive financial plan with recommendations to optimize your situation while taking into account your goals and values. A financial plan can also focus on a specific goal or circumstance, such as planning for post-secondary education funding, debt repayment, financial planning as part of a separation or divorce, risk management or retirement, to name only a few examples. See below for a list of different financial planning designations.
Investment planning and implementation: These advisors can provide specific investment recommendations and implement them by investing your money for you. To provide investment planning and implementation services, an advisor must be licensed by the investment regulatory body in every province and territory where they provide services, and they must manage money through an investment dealership.
Insurance planning and implementation: These advisors can provide specific insurance recommendations and implement them by selling you insurance products. To provide insurance implementation services, an advisor must be licensed by the insurance regulatory body in every province and territory where they provide services.
Mortgage/lending implementation: These advisors can provide specific mortgage and lending recommendations and implement them for you by arranging mortgages, term loans, consolidation loans and other forms of credit. To provide mortgages, these advisors must be licensed as mortgage brokers or mortgage agents in every province and territory where they provide services.
The advisors in our directory may specialize in specific types of advice or services—such as cross-border or international financial planning, socially responsible investing, business succession planning or retirement income planning.
The advisors in our directory are all members of the Financial Planning Association of Canada. In accordance with FPAC membership requirements, they all have at least one of the following financial planning designations:
Several of these designations are registered or trademarked (including CFP, QAFP and others), and financial professionals must meet rigorous requirements to earn them. To learn more, click the provided links, which will take you to the official issuing body for each designation.
Advisors may charge for their services in different ways, and they may get paid for their services in multiple ways. Here are all the ways they may be paid:
Fees paid by clients based on assets managed by an advisor: Advisors using this “assets under management” or “AUM” payment model charge fees based on the assets they manage on the client’s behalf. For example, if the advisor charges a 2% fee on assets of $100,000, a client would pay $2,000 in annual fees for the advisor’s services.
Fees paid by clients for advice (not based on assets): Some advisors are “advice-only” planners who charge fees for financial planning advice. Their fees depend on the type and complexity of advice provided. Advice-only planners do not recommend specific investments or insurance products, and they do not manage investments for clients or sell insurance products. Instead, an advice-only planner might review a client’s investment portfolio and make recommendations about their asset allocation, or they might review a client’s overall insurance coverage and recommend where to increase or decrease coverage. Some advisors who manage assets for clients also provide advice for an additional fee (not based on the client’s assets).
Commissions: Advisors may be paid in the form of sales commissions on products they sell to clients. Products that pay commissions to advisors include mortgages, insurance policies, life annuities, mutual funds and other types of investments. When an advisor is paid by commission, the client does not pay the advisor for that product directly. Instead, the advisor receives the commission directly from the investment or insurance product issuer.
Advice on choosing an advisor
Before choosing an advisor, first consider your needs and goals, then use the Find a Qualified Advisor tool to identify the advisor or advisors who may be right for you. For example:
Are you looking for a comprehensive view into your overall financial situation and ability to meet your goals over the longer term?
Are you looking for advice about a specific situation such as buying a house, planning for retirement or commuting a pension?
Do you want investment recommendations and someone to manage your investments for you?
Are you looking for a review of your insurance needs, and do you want to purchase insurance coverage to meet those needs?
Your answers to these questions will help you identify the type of advisor you are looking for, and the Find a Qualified Advisor tool will help you find advisors in Canada who meet your criteria.
You can learn more about the advisors in our directory by clicking on an advisor’s name, which will take you to their profile page.