NSSC Blog: Before You Invest

Back to Basics: Finding an Adviser

There should be more involved in finding an adviser than simply choosing the first person you find when searching on Google. Choosing the right adviser for you takes some time and effort. After all, we’re talking about the person that you’ll be trusting with your money and your financial goals.

When looking for an adviser you may want to ask for referrals from friends or family, or start the search on your own. Either way make sure you can answer the following questions to your satisfaction.

Back to Basics: Robo-Advisers

A robo-adviser is a specific class of financial adviser that delivers financial advice or portfolio management online with very little human input. A robo-adviser develops its financial advice through algorithms. Using these algorithms, a robo-adviser manages a client’s portfolio based on their income, risk tolerance, financial goals and desired returns.

Back to Basics: Checking Registration

Now that you know all advisers need to be registered and that there are categories of registration, what do you do with this information? If you are going to do business with an adviser and put them in charge of your hard-earned money, you need make sure they are registered. Thankfully, the Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) has made this very easy to do.

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.