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Wealth Professional | 03 Sep 2015, 08:15 AM Agree 0
Regulators in a market that has done away with embedded commissions are now scrambling to rectify an unforeseen consequence
  • Peter | 03 Sep 2015, 10:02 AM Agree 0
    Perhaps all these so called regulators should come out of their insulated ivory towers and work in the field for a few years on commissions to see what advisors really do day to day and the ridiculous volumes of regulations that we are required to comply with.
  • Harley Lockhart CLU CHFC | 03 Sep 2015, 02:28 PM Agree 0
    While "Access to 'advice' has never really been the major problem..." it should definitely be an overwhelming priority for any regulatory change.

    The most important constituent "of those displaced by progress" are investors, not advisors. It makes no sense to me that so much focus is directed toward the impact of change on advisors rather than where it should, on the investors.
    Note that the vast majority of investors are "smaller investors". Any regulatory change not focused on them, but instead caters to "higher net worth", "mass affluent", etc. is misdirected at best.
    The establishment of FAMR to examine how banning commissions has impacted access to advice is a step in the right direction, albeit far too late in the process. Let's hope FAMR stays true to its mandate regardless of inevitable pressure to justify changes already made.
    In Canada, it would be unconscionable to have the CSA make any move to replicate the UK experience until a superior transition experience for ALL investors is included.
    Would the leaders of the ban commissions movement place themselves in a position of accountability? Perhaps an irrevocable commitment to relinquish (without any golden handshake) their position(s) if unintended consequences demonstrate their inadequate leadership should be integral to their job description.
  • Andrew | 04 Sep 2015, 12:58 PM Agree 0
    I believe that part of our annual registration fee goes to pay for the regulators' salary. Perhaps they should also be accountable for the decisions they make and how it impacts the investors (esp. the smaller investors)
  • Rob Bauml | 08 Sep 2015, 05:57 PM Agree 0
    I think it is very prudent for our Regulators to rush forward with their plans. Why would they wait for potentially useful information from other jurisdictions on the exact same project? Especially when that information may help Canadian Investors?

    Of course I'm being facetious. If I treated my clients this way, I would be out of business within a year. My clients would not put up with it. I cant just tell clients that THIS is the way it is going to be. I need to interact with them and find out where their financial strengths and weaknesses lie. I need to ask them questions to find out what is right for them. Feedback is essential to getting things done correctly in any business.

    But we don't seem to see this attitude in our Canadian Regulators. Why are the Regulators in such a hurry to make changes to a Canadian system that is not broken? The results of the UK and Australian changes could provide us with the information we need to make our system the best in the world. Perhaps a few tweaks here and there in the current system would make the improvements needed for Investors, instead of wholesale change like that proposed by the Regulators.

    Or maybe these changes aren't being made to make things better for Investors. If that is the case, it doesn't really matter what happens in other countries. The decision has already been made and Canadian Investors and Advisors will just have to deal with it.
  • David McGruer | 08 Sep 2015, 07:27 PM Agree 0
    When government turns its attention away from its proper moral and legal function, the protection of the individual rights of its citizens, it is by definition violating rights and usurping its authority. When it creates semi-independent agencies to violate rights it is no different.

    The moral and proper form of financial regulation is the self-regulation enforced by a free market and the self-regulation created by voluntary associations such as Advocis and voluntary standards organizations such as the Financial Planners Standards Council. Regulation via coercion is not proper for a free society.

    A free country allows for the widest possible provision of services and all price levels are possible. The government seeks out and punishes criminal violations of rights and is available to settle breach of contract conflicts. When the rights of clients and advisors are violated by the intrusion of government force, it can only create harm by removing choices for consumers and thus business model options for advisors. The valuable information that a free market provides for everyone is thus destroyed before conception, leaving us all poorer for it, never having a chance to know how much better things would have been under freedom.

    The destruction of valuable wealth, advice and information in the UK is but one of thousands of similar actions we can see all around us - and one that we can hope Canadian politicians and their delegated agencies will learn from, but there is little hope of improvement since they have been impervious to reason for so many decades now. The slide towards a government of total control continues unabated.
  • Steve Scatterty | 11 Sep 2015, 11:50 AM Agree 0
    I could not agree with David more. I am only hopeful that those (regulatory regimes) whom have gone before us, and have stumbled, serve as a cautionary tale of unintended consequences. I am reminded of the opening line of one of my favourite reads "Atlas Shrugged" "Who is John Galt?" Interesting times.
  • Barb Amsden | 05 Oct 2015, 03:15 PM Agree 0
    I'm a bit late on this response, but I keep coming back to this issue. The economist quoted here doesn't need advice, ergo the need for advice is over-stated. He does have a way with words, however. So does another economist, Ronald Cease (who said the following quote came from a third economist): "If economists wished to study the horse, they wouldn't go and look at horses. They'd sit in their studies and say to themselves, "what would I do if I were a horse?"".
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