Birenbaum believes – if surveyed – her clients would rate these activities low on the priority scale, while keeping costs down is their top concern. This becomes challenging, for advisors, she says, if they have to invest more time and money into administrative activities.
“I know that investors out there are looking for us to all try and reduce costs and I’m always looking to try and reduce my fees to clients wherever I can,” she says. “This type of thing interferes with our ability to do that.”
Despite her frustrations, Birenbaum believes the industry is on the right track and will be in a better place once the dust settles.
“I don’t resist it because I know where it’s coming from and I’m not about to fight that tide …,” she says. “I think we will end up in a good place, but being in it is like being in the middle of a hurricane.”
Another Toronto advisor, John De Goey,
with Burgeonvest Bick Securities Ltd., believes the changes are a long-time coming with the industry finally getting the recognition it deserves.
“The business of giving financial advice is in the process of becoming a profession the way law, medicine and accounting are professions, which is to say enshrined and statute, with laws being written by provincial governments to further regulate and emasculate the reputation of and regulation of the people who offer this service," he says.
"Finally. I’ve been doing this for 20-odd years and we’re finally getting around the point of recognizing that this is important."