The advisors’ report Card is better known among Investment Executive staffers as the “Mega” Report Card, a nod to its sheer enormity.

The Advisors’ Report Card takes the results of the four previous Report Cards — the Brokers’, Planners’, Account Managers’ and Insurance Advisors’ — and complies the data, not so much to look at the firms but more to review the concerns and issues among the 1,727 advisors across Canada whom IE’s researchers interviewed.

All told, IE’s researchers spoke with 637 investment advisors (at both national and regional firms), 488 planners (again, at both national and regional firms), 306 account managers (at both banks and credit unions) and 296 insurance advisors (at both MGAs and insurers with dedicated sales forces).

Of course, IE acknowledges that comparing insurance advisors to, say, investment advisors, is a little like comparing apples to oranges. But there are similarities — and they are worth noting. Both channels of advisors provide financial products and services to their clients. What’s more, the line between those products and services is becoming increasingly blurred as the industry moves toward a “full-service wealth-management” model. In an effort to capture their fair share of the market, brokers are selling insurance, insurance advisors are selling mutual funds, financial planners are selling securities and insurance, and so on.

Because the Advisors’ Report Card takes a step back from measuring the performance of individual firms represented in the previous Report Cards, it looks at scores and trends by channel. Which advisors are best prepared for retirement? Which channel holds the most designations? What products are advisors selling? Who is earning the most money? Who is catering to high net-worth clients? How is their business changing?

The scores mentioned throughout this Report Card refer to the overall average scores — on a scale of zero through 10 — given by the advisors within that particular channel. For instance, brokers rated their firms’ back-office systems with a 7.7 overall. Some brokerage firms scored higher than 7.7; others scored lower.

The same methodology has been put in place for importance scores, which capture how important (or unimportant) advisors consider each category to be to their business.

Interestingly, advisors in all channels agree on what’s important to them and their business (see page C3). It’s just one indication that, regardless of their primary line of business, advisors of all stripes are more alike than they are different. IE