NSSC Blog: Before You Invest

Back to Basics: Categories of Registration

As we previously said anyone advising on or selling securities and derivatives in the province of Nova Scotia must be registered with the Nova Scotia Securities Commission. But not all registration is created equal. There are different categories of registration that determine what investment products an adviser can sell or advise their clients to purchase.

Registration categories range from very limited to practically no limitations on the investments the registrant can offer. These categories include:

Back to Basics: Registration

Did you know anyone advising on, or selling securities in the province of Nova Scotia must be registered with the Nova Scotia Securities Commission?

Anyone who wishes to become registered with us must prove their proficiency, integrity and solvency.

Proficiency is determined through education. There is a list of courses and exams someone who wants to be registered must pass.

Back to Basics: Alternative Investments

Alternative investments are more complicated and complex investments that are generally not suitable for novice investors.

Alternative investments usually take on higher-than-average risk in return for the potential for higher-than-average returns. Due to their complex nature and higher risk, they are meant for very knowledgeable investors and investors that have considerable wealth and can afford to take on the added risk.

Back to Basics: Bonds

A bond is essentially a loan you are making to a company or the government. The bond is secured by the company’s assets, or the government’s tax base. You are loaning your money to the company or government with a promise they will pay you back your principal investment with interest upon maturity.

Back to Basics: Equities

Equities go by many names, including shares and stocks. When you purchase equities, you are purchasing an ownership stake in a public company. This may entitle you to voting rights at shareholder meetings and profits that are allocated to shareholders. These profits are known as dividends and only have to be given to shareholders at the company’s discretion.

Back to Basics: Mutual Funds

A mutual fund is an investment fund made up of a collection of investments. This collection can be similar, all stocks or bonds for example, or a diverse mix depending on the fund’s makeup. A mutual fund can also mimic a specific index such as the S&P/TSX Composite or DowJones.

Back to Basics: The Nova Scotia Securities Commission

The Nova Scotia Securities Commission regulates all securities and derivatives in Nova Scotia. Securities can include investments like bonds, stocks and mutual funds, while derivatives are more complex investments such as forward and future contracts.

The Commission is divided into four main branches:

Policy and Market Regulation

Investor Education

Corporate Finance