Research for Investment Executive’s (IE) 2022 Brokerage Report Card was conducted by nine research journalists: Brian Capitao, Joseph Eskander, Emily Fox, James Gaughan, Jackie Graves, Roland Inacay, Alisha Mughal, Daniel Reale-Chin and Cyndia St-Cyr Montes. The researchers spoke to 616 investment advisors from across the country with 14 brokerage firms: eight independent brokerages and six bank-owned brokerages (IE no longer distinguishes between national and regional independents).

Research was conducted via phone interviews between Jan. 4 and Feb. 15. Participants were asked to provide two ratings for their firm’s services, one for performance and the other for importance, on a scale of zero to 10. A rating of zero means “very poor” or “unimportant,” while a rating of 10 signifies “excellent” or “critically important.” Advisors were asked to provide ratings only for services with which they had direct experience.

All respondents were full-time financial advisors, had worked at their firm for at least one year, had worked in the industry for at least three years, and were registered with IIROC.

IE removed one category, “ethics,” and added a new category, “diversity, equity & inclusion policies.” Furthermore, the former “mobile technology support” category has been updated to encompass support for remote work, and is now called “remote work & mobile technology support.”

Each year, the researchers ask two supplemental questions. This year, advisors were asked to rate how difficult it’s been to adjust to the Canadian Securities Administrators’ client-focused reforms, the last stage of which came into effect on Dec. 31, 2021. Respondents also were asked what issues were most prevalent for their vulnerable clients (defined mainly as senior clients, but also could include children and people with disabilities for whom money is managed); the options given were “difficulty choosing a trusted contact person,” “health issues affecting financial decision making,” “suspected/potential for financial abuse,” “income/investment return generation” or “other,” with the option to choose all of the listed issues.