Choosing an Investment Advisor

An investment advisor helps you make important decisions about your financial goals. So it’s important to take the time to do some research and ask questions to find an advisor who fits your needs.


  1. How do I know an advisor is registered with IIROC?

    All Canadian investment firms and individual Investment Advisors dealing in Canada’s stock and bond markets must be registered with IIROC. 

    IIROC’s AdvisorReport can help you find out if an advisor is registered with IIROC and check their qualifications - including any history of discipline. 

    You can also check if a firm is IIROC-regulated.


  2. What questions should I ask an advisor?

    Once you’ve found a potential advisor, ask questions and find out if the advisor is right for you. For example, ask about their background, what products they offer, and how they are paid. 

    Advisors will also ask you questions, about your financial situation and goals, your tolerance for risk, and your financial knowledge. It can seem like a lot, but if they aren’t asking they aren’t doing their job: IIROC’s rules require advisors to understand their clients, so their recommendations fit your unique circumstances.

    Your firm also needs to keep you updated with regular account statements and reports on the performance of your investments and the fees you pay. 


  3. What training and qualifications do IIROC advisors need?

    To become registered with IIROC, advisors need to pass a series of background checks and exams to make sure they meet our experience and education requirements and professional standards.

    For example, advisors must complete such courses as the Canadian Securities Course and the Conduct and Practices Handbook Course.

    IIROC-registered advisors must also complete mandatory continuing education courses to stay up to date on our rules, financial products, industry trends, and ethics.

    For example, every two years, retail-facing advisors need to complete 10 hours of compliance and 20 hours of professional development courses.


  4. What if I decide to go without an Investment Advisor?

    Some investors chose the “do-it-yourself” route and open a direct or Order Execution Only (OEO, PDF) account. These ideally should be investors who have significant knowledge about investing. 

    OEO firms allow self-directed investors to execute transactions and are not permitted to provide their clients with investment recommendations. Although OEO firms are exempt from determining suitability, they can still obtain some client financial information.