If added paperwork is your biggest beef with increased regulation, hire more staff suggests one financial advisor.
Toronto advisor Brian Weatherdon of Sovereign Wealth Management says he doesn’t encounter such a problem because he has a team of four internal employees, plus additional external support staff, to take on his grunt work.
“Most advisors who complain about (paperwork) haven’t invested in having a staff,” he says. “I don’t have an issue with it because I have great staff.”
Weatherdon has no time for ‘one-man’ show advisors – who complain about drowning in forms, but refuse to spend the money to build the people in their business.
“I get really ticked with that,” he says. “I ask why don’t you hire an extra staff member and get this headache off your shoulders? You’re capable of so much more.”
On the flip side, Weatherdon does not believe more paperwork ensures better protection for the investor. He believes the amount of forms to fill out should be stream-lined, and that regulators should shift their focus to the auditing process.
“It’s false to think that if we throw a lot more paper at people that they are better protected,” he says. “More paper is not better.”
On the topic of regulation, Weatherdon feels that the rest of Canada would serve investors better by following Quebec’s lead, whereby if an advisor does not hold a specific designation, they can’t call themselves a financial planner.
“It should mean something to be a financial advisor. Designations help the public know that this person worked hard to reach that level,” he says. “But what about the person who has none? The neighbour behind me shouldn’t be able to put her shingle out and say she’s a financial advisor, because she’s not and she knows that. But some financial advisors don’t know that they aren’t financial advisors.”
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