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Financial planning is unregulated in Canada – where can people turn?

Financial Planning Confidence survey marks Financial Planning Week

TORONTO, ON – November 20, 2017 – A national survey, commissioned by Financial Planning Standards Council (FPSC) in time for Financial Planning Week (November 19-25), reveals that Canadians’ lack of financial confidence may be preventing them from getting the financial help they need. The research finds that four-in-10 (41 percent) don’t feel confident when speaking about their finances, and one-in-three (34 percent) don’t ask for financial planning advice because they don’t know what type of questions to ask. The results were even higher among younger respondents, those earning a lower income and those with children under 18 in the household.

Even more troubling, says FPSC, is another area where many Canadians have a right to be less than confident—specifically related to the qualifications of the person who is providing them with financial advice.

“As Financial Planning Week unfolds across Canada, consumers really need to know one thing: In Canada, outside of Quebec, anyone can call themselves a financial planner without meeting any standards of competence, ethics or practice,” says author, personal finance educator and FPSC’s Consumer Advocate, Kelley Keehn.“ This leaves people confused and at risk. In fact, previous FPSC research shows that half of Canadians think financial planners are regulated.”

“In the absence of statutory or regulatory requirements for financial planners, the key is finding a qualified professional you can trust,” says Keehn. She recommends asking some key questions of anyone who presents themselves as a financial planner:

  • What are your credentials?
  • What experience do you have?
  • Are you regulated by and accountable to any organizations?
  • Do you follow a professional code of ethics requiring you to put my interests above all others?
  • Can I have that in writing?

The best way to build confidence is to take action. Ensure your advisor is a Certified Financial Planner® professional. In that way, you will know with confidence that they have demonstrated the knowledge, skills, abilities and accountabilities to help you understand all aspects of your finances, and are obligated to put your interests first.

“You don’t need to know everything before you get help,” says Keehn. “You wouldn’t feel you needed to be in peak physical shape before you hired a personal trainer. Neither do you need to have your finances in order before you find a professional financial planner. The bottom line is you shouldn’t suffer alone.”

More information and tips on finding a financial planner are at FinancialPlanningForCanadians.ca. Find a professional financial planner in your area at FindYourPlanner.ca.

The full results of FPSC’s Financial Planning Confidence survey can be found here.

Kelley Keehn is available to discuss Financial Planning Week, the Financial Planning Confidence survey results, how to find the right financial planner and how consumers can take the next step to financial wellness.

About Kelley Keehn

Kelley Keehn is an award-winning author, personal finance educator and is the Consumer Advocate for the Financial Planning Standards Council (FPSC). She has written nine books on personal finance including Protecting You and Your Money; A Guide to Avoiding Identity Theft and Fraud and A Canadian's Guide to Money Smart Living. Kelley is the Marilyn Denis show’s personal finance expert, was the host of the W Network’s Burn My Mortgage, sat on the National Steering Committee on Financial Literacy and is a member of the OECD’s International Network on Financial Education.

About Financial Planning Standards Council

A professional standards-setting and certification body working in the public interest, FPSC’s purpose is to drive value and instill confidence in financial planning. FPSC ensures those it certifies―Certified Financial Planner® professionals and FPSC Level 1® Certificants in Financial Planning―meet appropriate standards of competence and professionalism through rigorous requirements of education, examination, experience and ethics. With FPSC’s formal partnership with the Institut québécois de planification financière (IQPF), which is the only organization authorized to certify Financial Planners in Québec, there are more than 23,500 Financial Planners in Canada who have met, and continue to meet, FPSC’s standards. More information is available at FPSC.ca and FinancialPlanningForCanadians.ca.

About the Financial Planning Confidence Survey 

Leger conducted a survey of 1527 Canadians online between July 31 to August 3, 2017 using its online panel, LegerWeb. A probability sample of the same size would yield a margin of error of +/-2.5%, 19 times out of 20. Leger’s online panel has approximately 475,000 members nationally – with between 10,000 and 20,000 new members added each month, and has a retention rate of 90%.

Websites

http://www.financialplanningforcanadians.ca/
http://www.findyourplanner.ca/
http://www.kelleykeehn.com/

Contact for more information
Lyndsay Wallis
Account Executive, MAVERICK
Office: 416-640-5525 x 240
Mobile: 226-979-6941
Email: lyndsayw@wearemaverick.com