Two people harvesting money from a tree

This article appears in the Mid-October 2022 issue of Investment Executive. Subscribe to the print edition, read the digital edition or read the articles online.

Having the freedom to craft quality portfolios for clients remains a core value for advisors across the financial services industry — the “freedom to make objective product choices category” was rated highest for importance out of all 30 areas assessed for the Advisors’ Report Card, at 9.6 out of 10, while “quality of product offering” was rated second-highest for that measure at 9.4.

Different groups of advisors tend to focus most on different product types based on their registration and where they work, for example, but key trends and concerns emerged in the broad research.

Advisors said:

“I have to fight to get [the products] I want. Nine times out of 10, it won’t get approved.” – a dealer advisor in Ontario

“We have access to pretty much everything in the universe; sometimes too much is too distracting. As long as [my firm] offers me good products, I don’t need to see everything.” – a brokerage advisor in Alberta

“The firm has never said no to anything I wanted to do. If they did, it would be the number one reason why I would switch firms.” – a brokerage advisor in Ontario

“We want more [product] options. Every year, a new product comes out but that’s not enough. [We need] different fee structures for clients of different asset sizes.” – a retail bank advisor in Ontario

“High-net-worth people [want] to get more significant investments other than just buying banks and utilities.” – a brokerage advisor in Ontario

“We need a better offering [for] private equity and private debt, and [offering memorandum] products.” – an advisor with a bank-owned brokerage in Quebec

“The flow of information is important; any questions I have about stock or [product offering] updates, I have access. I can get research on various companies.” – a brokerage advisor in Ontario

“There could be better [and] more marketing materials that explain the products a bit better. There could be supplemental support. [But] we stay away from the crazy stuff [and] the riskier products like brand-new IPOs and crypto.” – a brokerage advisor in Alberta