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Financial Literacy Month: Tips for Investors

Canadian Securities Institute® (CSI) offers five simple ways to take proactive approach to one’s financial future and optimize relationships with advisors.

TORONTO, ON - NOVEMBER 6, 2012 - The Canadian Securities Institute® (CSI), a Toronto-based global leader in financial services education and credentialing, invites Canadian investors to take a more involved approach to their financial future and optimize their relationship with their financial advisor.

"In a slowly recovering economy, with the markets remaining volatile, it is essential for Canadian investors to equip themselves with the right knowledge and resources to be more involved in their financial future, managing it proactively,” says Simon Parmar, Managing Director, Canadian Securities Institute® (CSI). “Having a meaningful relationship with a financial advice partner you can trust is one of the tools investors have at their disposal to make effective financial choices in today’s complex, fast-evolving global economy."

CSI encourages Canadians to consider five simple ways to take a more active approach to their financial planning and make sure they work with a financial advisor who can meet their specific needs.

  • Tested mettle matters
    Different advisors have different backgrounds and levels of experience. Canadian investors, who have increasingly diverse needs due to greater differences in culture, lifestyle, family structure, levels of wealth and life goals, should make sure the advice professional they partner with has the experience and specialized expertise relevant not only to their financial goals, but also their non-financial objectives.
  • One size does not fit all
    Choosing an advisor is about finding the right fit. Canadians have diverse financial needs spanning investment, insurance, taxes, education, retirement planning, real estate management, and estate and trust management, among other areas. Financial credentials and specialized designations are a great way to vet an advisor. At a minimum, they demonstrate that the advice professional has met basic licensing requirements. Specialized designations show the advisor has gone above and beyond to ensure they have the skills and knowledge to support specific client needs.
  • Communication can make or break the relationship
    Transparent communication between an advisor and a client is of paramount importance. There are a number of key questions every investor should discuss with their advisor to make sure their relationship is a productive one. For example:
    • How will you communicate with me and keep me updated on the status of my account?
    • Will you help me assess my financial and non-financial needs, formulate my goals and evaluate my options for the best use of my money?
    • Will you help me access different aspects of financial expertise, such as investment advice; insurance, taxes or real estate management; estate and trust management; and retirement planning?
    • How often will you review my portfolio?
  • Compensation should be discussed
    Every client has the right to know how their advisor is compensated. Investors should proactively ask their advice partner what payments they can expect. Will there be any advisory fees? Is the advisor paid on product-based commission? Are there going to be any other costs associated with the delivery of financial advice? Ideally, clients should work with their advisors to determine the payment option that works best for them.
  • Does your advisor have your best interest at heart?
    Investors should look for an advisor who operates in a professional, ethical and strategic manner. What does this mean in practice? Leading advisors act as experienced consultants. They ask how their clients see their unique life challenges and financial goals. Approaching their role in a holistic way, professionals who implement advice best practices see the big picture of their client’s needs, objectives and financial assets, beyond specific financial products and narrowly defined solutions, such as mutual funds or insurance. Finally, best advisors integrate investor education into their advice practice, discussing with their clients not only their goals, but also the parameters of a successful client-advisor relationship.

To help Canadians successfully navigate today’s complex financial world, build their wealth potential and have more meaningful conversations with advisors, CSI now offers the Canadian Securities Course (CSC) for Investors®. This new course, designed for the investors looking to enhance their financial literacy whether they are investing on their own, doing a portion of their investment on their own or working with an advisor, offers the same foundational knowledge that the original CSC® delivers to financial services professionals, but has no exam, licensing or registration requirements. More information is available here.

About the Canadian Securities Institute
The Canadian Securities Institute® is Canada's leading provider of financial services credentials and education. Valued for its expertise in Canada and abroad, CSI offers more than 270 courses and credentials, ranging from the well-known Canadian Securities Course (CSC®) to popular designations and credentials, such as PFP®, CIM®,CSWP® and the Fellow of CSI (FCSI®). In 2010, The Canadian Securities Institute® was acquired by Moody's Corporation and now operates as part of the Training and Certification arm of Moody's Analytics. For more information, please visit www.csi.ca.

For media inquiries, please contact:
Amy Umpleby
Canadian Securities Institute
416-681-2165
amy.umpleby@moodys.com