This article appears in the September 2023 issue of Investment Executive. Subscribe to the print editionread the digital edition or read the articles online.

Research for Investment Executive’s (IE) 2023 Dealers’ Report Card was conducted by seven research journalists: Aneesh Chatterjee, Emily Fox, Roland Inacay, Tiana Kirton, Diane Lalonde, Alisha Mughal and Serge Rousskikh. The researchers spoke with 461 investment and/or mutual fund advisors across Canada with 11 dealer firms: eight full-service and mutual fund dealers, and three independent dealers.  

Research was conducted via telephone interviews held between March 2 and April 24. 

Participants were asked to provide two ratings for their dealers’ services, one for performance and the other for importance to their personal business, 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 only asked to provide ratings for services with which they had direct experience. All respondents were full-time financial advisors, had worked with their dealer for at least one year, had worked in the industry for at least three years and were registered with investment and/or mutual fund dealers. 

Some categories have changed since last year. IE removed two categories to reduce repetition with Net Promoter Score results: “corporate culture” and “reputation with clients & prospects.” Other categories were edited to reflect the industry’s evolution: “technology tools & advisor desktop” is now split into “client relationship tools” and “general technology training & IT support”; “support for fee-based models” is now “systems for fee-based advisors”; “social media support” is now “social media training & compliance”; the “support for wills & estate planning” and “support for tax planning” categories were combined; and “leadership stability” is now “leadership team.” 

Still other category names were edited for clarity and organized under new subheadings. 

Advisors also are asked two supplemental questions each year. This year, respondents were asked: 1) what percentage of their books were composed of retired clients in the asset-decumulation stage, and what challenges those investors face; and 2) to rate, on an ascending scale of zero to 10, and comment on the difficulty of guiding and advising clients in an economic environment characterized by rising inflation and interest rates, and other pressures. 

See how financial advisors rated their firms.