How to Choose an Independent Investment Advisor Canada


Whether you’re planning for retirement, managing your investment portfolio, or buying and selling securities, an independent investment advisor Canada can help you achieve your financial goals. They work closely with you, providing comprehensive solutions that fit your unique needs. They also focus on understanding your dreams and helping you make them a reality.

Depending on where they’re located, independent advisors can be found in financial institutions (banks, brokerage firms, insurance companies) or through fee-only independent firms like AdvisorSavvy. The latter typically provide access to more resources and offer an array of services, such as tax-efficient investments, alternative assets and retirement services.

Why Choose an Independent Investment Advisor in Canada: Advantages and Considerations

Before choosing an independent investment advisor, you should do your homework. First, check out their firm with FINRA’s free BrokerCheck tool to view their registration status and employment history. Then, look for their investment advisor representatives (or IARs). These are the individuals who are licensed to directly provide advice to clients and may have specialized expertise in areas such as equities or fixed income.

Then, find out what they charge for their services. Unless they’re salaried or working pro-bono, all investment advisors will be paid for their work through fees—usually either flat or hourly fees or a percentage of their client’s assets managed—which can add up to a substantial amount over time. Those fees are called management fees and/or commissions (MERs) and they can be partially or fully tax-deductible depending on the type of account you hold. This is a topic of ongoing debate in Canada, where regulators in Ontario and British Columbia have recently convened a roundtable to discuss banning embedded commissions.