Any person who seeks money for investing purposes is required to register with the securities regulator in each province or territory where they do business. Registration helps protect investors from unqualified or fraudulent investment professionals.
Securities regulators will only register firms and individuals that are properly qualified, but not all types of registration are the same. Registration categories define the range and depth of advice and products that an advisor or firm can offer.
Unregistered advisors and salespeople are a common red flag of investment fraud. If a person selling an investment product or offering advice is not registered in your jurisdiction, you should question whether they’re authorized to conduct business at all.
The Canadian Securities Administrators’ National Registration Search is a simple and free tool that you can use to check the registration of any individual or business selling securities or offering you investment advice.
The National Registration Search also lets you search the Canadian Securities Administrators’ Disciplined Persons List to find out if a securities professional has ever broken regulatory rules in the past.
Use the Check Before You Invest workbook as a guide when researching an advisor or firm. It’s full of helpful reminders and key questions to ask when choosing a new advisor.
If you discover the advisor or firm you are dealing with is not registered, or is offering you something that is not permitted by their registration category, contact the securities regulator in your province or territory.