Research confirms fee transparency key to trust

Canadians’ lack of financial confidence may be preventing them from getting the financial help they need, reveals a survey commissioned by Financial Planning Standards Council (FPSC) in time for Financial Planning Week, which runs from Nov. 19 to 25.

The research finds that 41% of respondents don’t feel confident when speaking about their finances, and 34% 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, in a statement. “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.

Read: Mark your calendar for Financial Planning Week

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