What to ask and expect from your financial advisor

You can expect your financial advisor to take the time to get to know you, as outlined in the “Know Your Client” rule. This includes information about your financial goals, financial circumstances, income, marital status, number of dependants and so forth.

You should also take the time to get to know the financial advisor, to ensure you are comfortable with the person’s qualifications, values and commitment to you.

Here are some questions that you can ask, and that financial advisors are generally required to answer.

To learn about individual qualifications, experience and reputation:

  • What is your education and professional experience?

Licensed advisors are overseen by regulators and must complete education programs after they are registered to help them keep on top of new financial products, rules and regulations, and industry trends. Learn more about the various qualifications that financial advisors might have by clicking here.

  • How long has your firm been in business?
  • How long have you been with the firm?
  • Can you provide references?

To ensure the individual and the firm are registered:

  • Are you and your firm registered with a securities regulator? Which one(s)?

You can check whether the individual or firm are registered by clicking here.

To learn about the range of products and services that are available to you through this financial advisor:

  • What products and services do you offer?
  • How often can I expect to meet with you?
  • How will you help me reach my goals?

To learn about costs:

  • How are you paid for your services (salary, commission, or flat fee)?

If you would like more information about choosing, and working with, an advisor, have a look at the Ontario Securities Commission’s excellent brochure, available here.