The BCSC has launched its new Take a Look campaign, which aims to encourage British Columbians to take note of the fees they pay for investment products and advice. The campaign has been initiated in light of new securities rules that require investment advisors to provide clients with more detailed information about fees and charges.
"Thanks to these new rules, information about investment fees will be more transparent and easier to understand," said Brenda Leong, BCSC chair and CEO. "We know from our research that many investors don't fully understand fees and some just don't want to talk about them."
The Take a Look Campaign is built upon a short online quiz to help investors understand investment fees. A unique new fee calculator is also provided to make comparing fees and their resulting impact on investment returns easy and fun. The BCSC’s investor website, InvestRight.org, has also been updated with a downloadable fee guide.
The need for these tools is underscored by the results of the Smarter Investor Study: B.C. Report conducted in February, which showed that 23% of responding BC investors did not know how their advisor is compensated. Focus group discussions held by the BCSC also found that many investors do not understand the link between fees and net return, with some even saying that they preferred not to know how much they pay their advisor in fees.
“Fees have the power to impact the overall return of an investment over time,” said Leong. “We've launched this campaign to prepare investors for the new fee information that's coming, and to encourage investors to talk to their advisors so they'll be able to make more informed investment decisions.”
The CRM2 disclosure rules came into effect on July 15. Advisors are expected to begin providing investors with the necessary reports on annual charges and compensation by July 2017.
IIROC encourages investors to check up on advisors
BCSC releases informational videos on CRM2