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How registration protects investors

Generally, anyone selling securities, offering investment advice or acting as an investment fund manager in Canada must register with a securities regulator.

4 key things to know about registration

What dealing with a registered adviser or dealer means (and what it doesn’t):

  1. Skills – Registration tells you that the individual has met the proficiency requirements for their category of registration and the registration category should correlate with the products and services a firm or individual can offer. They need the right skills and knowledge and also need to meet the right standards to sell products and provide advice.
  2. Ethical business practices – The integrity of individual representatives is one of the key components in assessing fitness for registration. Individuals are subject to background and police checks and firms and all registered individuals are required to renew their registration each year.
  3. Suitability – Registered advisers and dealers have an obligation to recommend investments that are suitable for you.
  4. It’s not everything – Even if a firm or individual is registered, it doesn’t mean they will always give you good advice, act ethically or stay in business. Registration also doesn’t guarantee that you’ll make money or that you won’t lose money.
Being registered is not a guarantee that the person you deal with will always give you good advice or act ethically. Carefully choose who you invest with, and ask these questions.

How to check registration and background

Before you hire an adviser or dealer use these search tools to find out if a firm or individual is registered and check their background.

  • The National Registration Search contains the names of all registrants (individuals and firms) in Canada.
  • The Registrant Search tool will show you who is registered with the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC), what they are registered for and if there are any terms and conditions on their registration.
  • AdvisorReport allows you to research the background, qualifications and disciplinary information of advisers with IIROC-regulated firms.

Use this workbook from the Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) to record information while choosing a financial adviser.

Has your adviser or dealer been in trouble?
Check the Canadian Securities Administrator’s disciplined persons list to see if someone has been disciplined and is subject to sanctions.

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