In Canada, outside of Quebec, anyone can call themselves a financial planner without meeting any standards of competence, ethics or practice. This leaves consumers confused and at risk.
Certified Financial Planner® professionals are a unique group of planners who have proven that they have the knowledge, skills, experience and ethics to provide objective financial planning advice at the highest level of complexity required of the profession, and are held accountable to a national professional body working in the public interest
Financial Planning Standards Council (FPSC) (soon to be FP Canada) is a national professional body that awards the internationally recognized CFP designation in Canada to those who meet FPSC’s rigorous requirements for certification on an ongoing basis.
CFP professionals must adhere to FPSC’s Standards of Professional Responsibility, which guide their conduct and professional activities. This includes a code of ethics, which contains a written obligation for CFP professionals to put clients’ interests before their own.
One approach is to ask three key questions:
What are your qualifications? Make sure your financial planner holds a professional designation, such as CFP certification.
What services do you offer? Some financial planners are licensed to sell financial products, while others simply focus on building financial plans. Find out whether or not your planner will implement your financial plan by helping you put all of the recommended products and pieces in place.
How do you charge for your services? Ask how your planner is being compensated to ensure you are getting objective financial advice.
To find a CFP® professional in your area who will help guide your financial future, visit FindYourPlanner.ca.
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