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Getting advice

Eight questions to ask a financial adviser Add to ...

Interview a few advisers before you choose one. Use this list of questions as a guide during your interviews.

1. What are your qualifications?

2. Are you and your firm registered?

  • Are you registered and in good standing with a provincial securities regulator or another regulator?
Anyone selling securities or offering investment advice must be registered with a securities regulator, unless they have an exemption. Check registration through the Ontario Securities Commission or Canadian Securities Administrators.


3. How much experience do you have?

  • How long have you been working as an adviser?
  • How long have you been with this company?
  • Do you have experience with a range of products, or do you specialize in just a few?

4. What products and services do you offer?

  • Can you provide different types of products such as stocks, bonds, mutual funds and ETFs, or do you specialize in certain products?
  • Do you only offer products that your firm sells or recommends, or do you offer other products?
  • Can you help me build a financial plan? What elements are included in that plan?
  • Will you prepare an investment policy statement for me?

5. Who are your clients?

  • Do you specialize in a certain type of client?
  • Do you have other clients like me?
  • How long have you worked with most of your clients?
  • What results have you achieved for clients like me?
  • May I contact a few clients you’ve worked with for at least 5 years?

6. What is your investment philosophy?

  • Will you buy and hold fairly safe investments that are likely to make money over a longer period of time?
  • Will you buy and sell investments often, even daily, to try to grow my money faster?

Watch this video for more tips on selecting an adviser.

7. How are you paid?

  • Do you get paid by salary, commission, fee, or a combination?
  • Are you paid a sales fee or commission every time you buy or sell an investment for me?
  • Do you charge a flat fee (hourly, annually, or based on a percentage of my assets)?

8. How will you work with me?

  • How often will you contact me or meet with me?
  • How often will we review my investments together?
  • How do I get in touch with you if I need to?
  • Will I hear from you directly, or from someone else at your firm?

Content in this section is provided in partnership with Investor Education Fund, a non-profit organization founded and supported by the Ontario Securities Commission that provides unbiased and independent financial tools to help Canadians make better money decisions. To find out more, go to: GetSmarterAboutMoney.ca


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