“Our industry’s broken”

“Our industry’s broken”

“Our industry’s broken”

The wealth-management industry is broken, says one Toronto-based financial advisor, and more regulation isn’t the answer advisors and their clients are looking for.

Daniel Hanzelka, financial planner and coach at Financial Reset, believes regulators – like the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) – operate in damage-control mode, rather than implementing effective change. More regulatory compliance and more paper work won’t solve the problem(s), he says.

“When they (regulators) feel like there is a fire, they concentrate on that issue,” says Hanzelka. “(The industry) is broken because advisors are frustrated; the end consumer is frustrated …. it’s time to figure out how we can make this work.”

Hazelka’s comments come in the wake of the U.K. and Australia’s ban on embedded fees on products like mutual funds – a move many Canadian advisors are against.

Arguing that Canada has not seen the same industry mishaps as countries across the pond, some advisors say altering fee structures and tightening disclosure rules here will negatively impact them, and their clients.

“If you look at what’s happening in the U.K. and Australia, there is a huge backlash … something like one in three advisors are leaving the industry,” says Hanzelka. “Those rules were put there to protect the consumer … but I think the consumer is going to pay for it. A lot of people are not going to have an advisor.” (Continued on Page 2.)

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  • Susan McArter 2013-11-06 10:33:30 AM
    I totally agree with this writers comments, restricting or limiting options will not work in the best interest of most of my clients. Educating clients is a large part of what I do at each meeting. Options and clear transparency is the way to proceed. If the regulators are successful with implimenting their intended changes to compensation it will drive out a large number of Financial planners and by default the big banks will become a clients only option. In my opinion this would be disasterous for all canadian investors.
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  • Bob T 2014-02-26 11:56:59 AM
    Unfortunately there are many people who appear unable to handle knowing what they pay. They are under the delusion that investment management should come to them at minimal or no cost.

    In 1996 I had a client who purchased on a commission basis 1,000 shares of Bank of Nova Scotia. She was so upset at seeing the commission on the transaction that she sold the shares and closed her account despite a clear discussion with her about commissions prior to her purchase. Total cost was about $40,000 and those 1,000 shares have split twice since that time and are now worth $250,000 and produce an annual dividend of just a little less than $10,000.

    The point isn't that it was a great investment but that she gave up on a great investment because she couldn't handle seeing the cost.

    On the other side I have a very analytical client who pays a fee based on the size of his account. When I informed him that some people didn't like to see a fee but would prefer to have it hidden inside as an MER in a fund he was absolutely confused. He just couldn't understand why people would rather pay more just so they didn't see it.
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