Wait, you’re a financial advisor but you’re not regulated?

Advocis poll results come ahead of new professional FA designation

Wait, you’re a financial advisor but you’re not regulated?
Steve Randall

Nearly half of Manitobans would work with a ‘financial advisor’ believing that they are regulated and accredited along with professionals including lawyers and doctors.

Following similar studies in other provinces, Advocis, the Financial Advisors Association of Canada carried out a survey this month in Manitoba and found that just 57% of respondents are aware that anyone, regardless of education, training or membership in a professional governing body, can call themselves a financial advisor.

That means around 4 in 10 Manitobans may be risking their investments and other financial matters through misguided trust.

"For years, we've recognized the dangers that lack of title protection presents for the financial well-being of hard-working families seeking professional financial advice, said Advocis CEO and President, Greg Pollock. "This survey proves there is a tremendous amount of misplaced trust in the market and reinforces just how badly new regulations are needed to protect the public."

The lack of a central database or register where consumers can verify the credentials of financial advisors is bad news for investors and for genuinely qualified financial advisors.

Most Manitobans in favour of regulation
The poll shows that 86% of respondents are in favour of regulation for the term ‘financial advisor’ and 83% believe FAs shou8ld be subject to a mandatory code of conduct.

"All Manitobans deserve to know their money is in the hands of true professionals, who are qualified to help them meet their financial goals," concluded Pollock. "The time has come to legally recognize the provision of financial advice as a profession and to oversee financial advisors as we do all other professionals who provide essential advice and services."

Move towards professionalism
Advocis will be introducing new membership categories and membership requirements in the coming months and will also launch the PFA, a new professional designation ‘Professional Financial Advisor’.

The changes are explained in a newly-published video: