Protecting Investors

Neil Gross

Neil Gross is president of Component Strategies Consulting. He was formerly the executive director of the Canadian Foundation for Advancement of Investor Rights (a.k.a. FAIR Canada). During his 30 years as a lawyer, he specialized in investment malpractice litigation and securities law.

It’s time to discard an ill-fitting legal precedent and rethink our inadequate liability limits

  • January 25, 2016 December 15, 2017
  • 06:00

Letting margin and off-book lending proliferate simply invites disaster — as does any arrangement that incentivizes advisors to recommend leveraging

  • December 21, 2015 December 15, 2017
  • 07:00

There’s really no alternative anymore. Trailers must be banned and the investment industry needs to get on board with that

  • November 23, 2015 December 15, 2017
  • 06:00

Can anything stop consumers from using disruptive technology to sidestep the investment industry’s business models?

  • October 26, 2015 December 15, 2017
  • 05:00

The results underscore an urgent need to reform lax proficiency standards and adopt a best interests duty so Canadians can get the caliber of investment advice they deserve

  • September 28, 2015 December 15, 2017
  • 05:00

‘Naming and shaming’ is ineffective and dysfunctional. It needs to be replaced by a practical mechanism that produces binding decisions

  • August 31, 2015 December 15, 2017
  • 05:00

Financial services regulators, SROs and legislators should work more closely together to kick out scoundrels and collect the money owed in fines

  • August 4, 2015 December 15, 2017
  • 05:00

Investors’ freedom of choice is somewhat illusory. But we can change that and, in the process, make things better for investors and advisors alike

  • July 6, 2015 December 15, 2017
  • 05:00

Nothing else truly guarantees safety from reprisal, workplace ostracism and career loss

  • June 8, 2015 December 15, 2017
  • 05:00

Policy initiatives on ETFs, bonds, private placements, pensions and financial planners all merit some cautious kudos

  • May 11, 2015 December 15, 2017
  • 05:00

More columnists

Tax Matters

Jamie Golombek

Top yearend tax tips

Make sure to discuss tax-loss selling, tax-gain donating and RRSP strategies with clients to whom these strategies apply

  • November 19, 2018 November 20, 2018
  • 06:00

TFSA advantage can lead to a tax of 100%

Next time a client has a desire to play games with his TFSA, point out this harsh — but legally valid — punitive tax

  • October 22, 2018 October 22, 2018
  • 06:00

Helping clients manage their tax instalments

The instalment system can be complicated, so clients need help figuring out which one of the three methods to pay their taxes makes the most…

  • September 24, 2018 September 26, 2018
  • 06:00

Beware the rules for foreign tuition tax credits

The case of a Canadian student studying in the U.S. brings to light what happens when CRA officials follow a strict and literal interpretation of…

  • August 27, 2018 August 20, 2018
  • 06:00
Investment Funds

Paul Bourque

Leveraging behavioural economics research to enhance disclosure

Existing research shows that providing investors with clear and timely information, in a format that’s proven to be effective, can only lead to better outcomes

  • November 15, 2018 November 8, 2018
  • 06:00

Both mutual funds and ETFs can help achieve clients’ goals

Having both products as investment options enhances the ability of advisors to create portfolios that best meet their clients’ needs

  • September 13, 2018 November 4, 2018
  • 06:00

Protecting older clients a critical task for advisors

The aging of Canada’s population raises challenging legal, regulatory and ethical questions

  • July 19, 2018 November 4, 2018
  • 06:00

Regulation of financial planners presents a great opportunity

A co-ordinated approach that doesn’t duplicate existing regulatory oversight will address an important regulatory gap in investor protection

  • May 17, 2018 November 4, 2018
  • 07:00
Focus on Financial Planning

Cary List

All Canadians must have access to a financial planner

The financial services sector needs to take steps to ensure the financial planning needs of the mass market consumer are served

  • November 12, 2018 November 12, 2018
  • 07:00

Strengthening financial planning standards

Trust between financial planners and their clients is essential — and professional standards provide the foundation for that trust

  • September 17, 2018 September 14, 2018
  • 06:00

Redefining the value of financial planning

Financial planners need to communicate the tangible impact financial planning can have on Canadians’ lives

  • July 23, 2018 July 20, 2018
  • 06:00

Ontario takes a step in the right direction

The Ontario government’s recently published proposal for regulating financial planners gets a lot of things right, but several concerns remain with the proposed legislation

  • May 28, 2018 September 14, 2018
  • 06:00

Making the paradigm shift to ETFs

One advisor shares her journey on making the switch to a fee-based practice focused on providing client portfolios of ETFs

  • November 8, 2018 November 18, 2018
  • 06:15
Responsible Investing

Dustyn Lanz

A tipping point for responsible investing

Responsible investing now accounts for a majority of assets under management in Canada

  • November 5, 2018 November 2, 2018
  • 09:00

Busting the RI performance myth

A growing body of evidence shows that responsible investments perform just as well, if not better than traditional investments

  • September 10, 2018 September 7, 2018
  • 06:00

Growing demand for food a meaty issue for investors

The immense impact of animal farming presents environmental, social and governance risks — as well as opportunities

  • July 16, 2018 July 15, 2018
  • 06:00

RI mutual funds leverage their proxy power

Canadian RI mutual funds are asking corporations to step up on climate change, gender diversity, indigenous rights, opioid accountability and other sustainability issues this proxy…

  • May 22, 2018 May 9, 2018
  • 06:00
Advisor at Risk

Ellen Bessner

Communication is a two-way street

Advisors and their clients need the tools and resources to close the dangerous communication gap that exists between them

  • October 29, 2018 October 29, 2018
  • 07:00

More is less for your clients

Overloading investors with information can be counterproductive

  • October 1, 2018 September 18, 2018
  • 06:00

Steer clear of conflicts of interest

Take these four steps to avoid mistakes that can cost advisors their livelihood

  • September 4, 2018 September 4, 2018
  • 06:00

How to adhere to the regulations without reading them all

If you can’t read and digest all the rules, make sure to understand the principles behind them

  • August 7, 2018 July 27, 2018
  • 06:00
Industry Perspectives

Ian Russell

Now is the time to focus on advisor productivity

Taking this approach can help arrest erosion in operating margins in the wealth-management business and be of benefit to clients

  • October 18, 2018 November 19, 2018
  • 06:00

Dealers may narrow offerings in response to regulatory proposals

Many independent firms may restructure or retool their wealth-management operations to mitigate the negative impacts of the client-focused reforms

  • August 16, 2018 November 19, 2018
  • 06:00

Robust internal growth offers alternative to acquisitions

Adopting a strategy focused on technology would give a firm’s advisors greater potential to grow their businesses

  • June 14, 2018 November 19, 2018
  • 06:00

Investors have greater need for financial advice

Recent developments reveal that having a trusted financial advisor is critically important for those seeking wealth-management providers

  • April 19, 2018 November 19, 2018
  • 06:00
Technology

David Reeve

Gain an edge by embracing technology

Not only does adopting digital tools lead to happier clients, it also results in greater profitability and success for advisors

  • October 15, 2018 October 5, 2018
  • 06:00

Turning compliance disclosure into a win/win

Compliance disclosure can be confusing to all parties, but there is an opportunity for advisors to provide “pain relief” and stand above their peers

  • August 20, 2018 September 15, 2018
  • 06:20

Leverage technology to future-proof your business

By removing friction, adding convenience and changing the value proposition, you can protect your practice from the growing influence of robo-advisors

  • June 25, 2018 September 15, 2018
  • 06:00

Crossing the digital bridge

The emerging trend of “open banking” has the potential to be the most important catalyst for change in our industry

  • April 30, 2018 September 15, 2018
  • 06:00
Focus on Financial Planning

Keith Costello

Entrepreneurs need help with their retirement planning

Financial planners and financial advisors need to understand these individuals’ retirement challenges to gain them as clients

  • October 9, 2018 November 18, 2018
  • 06:00

A winning strategy for clients’ retirement plans

Investing in elite businesses that pay steady and rising dividends has proven to be a strategy that works

  • August 13, 2018 November 18, 2018
  • 06:00

Should cryptocurrencies be in a client’s portfolio?

Financial planners and financial advisors need to understand the benefits and drawbacks of this new digital asset class

  • June 17, 2018 November 18, 2018
  • 19:00

Market trends will have a greater influence than new regulatory standards

Financial planners and financial advisors need to understand the market trends affecting financial planning and the evolution of advice

  • April 23, 2018 November 18, 2018
  • 06:00
Compliance CX

Susan Silma

Help your clients make better decisions

Behavioural economics provides a framework for advisors to help direct clients to make decisions consistent with their long-term goals

  • September 27, 2018 September 20, 2018
  • 06:00

CSA’s proposed reforms could have major implications

There are key steps advisors can take now to be ahead of the game and deliver better outcomes for clients

  • July 26, 2018 September 13, 2018
  • 06:00

Balancing compliance with the client experience

There are various steps advisors can take to ensure a positive client experience while still being compliant

  • May 31, 2018 September 8, 2018
  • 06:30

Technology will drive harmonization, regulators say

The insurance industry is taking a page from the mutual fund industry, leveraging technology to address mounting disclosure regulations

  • January 2, 2018 March 21, 2018
  • 10:30

AI is not just another fad

AI is slowly making its way into the wealth-management industry and will ultimately transform financial advisors’ role

  • October 29, 2017 October 29, 2017
  • 13:00

Is financial services the next music industry?

Blockchain technology may transform financial services just as peer-to-peer file-sharing technology changed the music industry almost 20 years ago

  • September 4, 2017 December 15, 2017
  • 17:00

Clients want humans, not robots

Far from replacing interaction with real people, technology strengthens the financial advisor’s client service

  • July 10, 2017 December 15, 2017
  • 05:00
Cybersecurity

Yan Huard

Managing the risks related to social media

Read and follow your firm’s guidelines on social media use and take the necessary steps to protect yourself

  • September 20, 2017 March 21, 2018
  • 16:20

Why security professionals fell short on ransomware attacks

Although it’s costly to upgrade key IT systems, the costs of not doing so could be much greater

  • July 27, 2017 December 15, 2017
  • 05:00

Cyberthreats extend beyond money

Hacktivism, ideological insiders and intelligence gathering are key sources of cyberattacks threating financial services firms

  • May 25, 2017 December 15, 2017
  • 09:30

Cloud computing: Bringing light to security issues

Now is the time to adopt a concerted cloud migration strategy because the security challenges associated with this technology will be on our radar screens…

  • March 23, 2017 December 15, 2017
  • 06:00
Responsible Investing

Deb Abbey

The need for sustainable business supply chains is growing

Advisors and their clients stand to benefit when corporate leaders focus on building socially and environmentally responsible enterprises

  • February 21, 2017 March 21, 2018
  • 06:00

Opportunity knocks for investors who want to make an impact

A growing base of investors are looking for investments that contribute measurably to environmental and social sustainability

  • October 20, 2016 December 15, 2017
  • 05:00

Diversity makes dollars and sense

Corporate boards and executive teams that lack gender and cultural diversity risk missing out on opportunities to generate long-term value

  • August 18, 2016 December 15, 2017
  • 05:00

Good corporate governance matters

You can play an active role in ensuring company executives and directors are working in the best interests of their shareholders

  • June 16, 2016 December 15, 2017
  • 05:00
Protecting Investors

Neil Gross

Be bold, regulators

Those still timorous and uncertain about introducing a best interest duty have a duty, themselves, to become decisive

  • October 31, 2016 March 21, 2018
  • 05:00

Non-GAAP metrics: investors’ little helpers or harmful nonsense?

Every company can calculate non-GAAP metrics however they want, so there’s real risk of investors and markets being misled

  • October 3, 2016 January 17, 2018
  • 05:00

Class dismissed

Overcautious courts are erecting barriers to securities class actions, even though these lawsuits are essential for maintaining the integrity and fairness of our capital markets

  • September 6, 2016 December 15, 2017
  • 09:00

Why is deficient issuer disclosure allowed to persist?

Data show that investors routinely receive, or are at risk of receiving, seriously bad disclosure from reporting issuers more than a quarter of the time

  • August 8, 2016 December 15, 2017
  • 06:30
Protecting Investors

Ermanno Pascutto

The CSA must act on critical reforms

Two key issues — the best-interests standard and reform of mutual fund fees — require timely and effective action

  • March 2, 2014 March 21, 2018
  • 16:31

Treat shareholders fairly when venture issuers raise capital

FAIR Canada supports exemptions that have the key features of rights offerings or private placements in compliance with the TSXV’s private placement rules

  • February 3, 2014 December 15, 2017
  • 06:15

Reform of accredited investor exemption is needed

Current regulations assume that an investor’s wealth is a proxy for sophistication. This has to change

  • January 6, 2014 December 15, 2017
  • 06:30

Canadians deserve real price competition in mutual funds

Paying fees for financial advice separately from those of financial products would result in price competition and better advice

  • November 25, 2013 January 17, 2018
  • 06:00