Misleading Advisor Titles.....Misleading Seniors

Misleading Advisor Titles.....Misleading Seniors
Posted on June 5, 2016 | Larry Elford | Written on June 5, 2016
Letter type:


Investor Advocates

Author's Note:

Author's Note:

http://www.canadianfundwatch.com  is dedicated to investment fund investor education and protection. The multi-billion fund industry plays a key role in the savings and retirement plans of millions of Canadians. Many industry practices provide beartraps for the unsuspecting investor and securities regulations have not kept up with the pace of change in the industry.  Ken Kivenko is the mind behind Canadian Fund Watch and is also the author of this posting.

Please view the first 40 seconds of the video below, for which credit and thanks goes to Cary List of the Financial Planning Standards Council of Canada.  He captures the problem very well at the beginning of this video.  

Immediately beneath the video area is a one minute AUDIO glimse into what thousands and thousands of seniors deal with, after being deceived by misleading investment sales titles.  Click on the "victim audio.mp3" (Underlined and in red) to hear what despair feels like to just one vulnerable Canadian.

Author's Video Note:

Misleading  “ Advisor “ Titles                                        Author Ken Kivenko

  June , 2016 


June is seniors month in Canada . Regulators will warn people to check registration and to look out for fraudsters. The sad fact is Canadians lose more money from “ advisors” through a number of devious  tricks. One of them is to use titles that mislead.

Canadian financial consumers of financial services and products are confused about their advisors' obligations to them. The industry is rife with an alphabet soup of titles that have no legal standing, designations that split according to industry sectors, and standards of proficiency that range widely. Commonly used business titles include advisor, financial advisor, investment advisor, financial planner, wealth advisor, and investment associate. The actual registration is salesperson or dealing representative.


Many of these business titles do not, on their own provide a meaningful description of the type of services and/or investment products that a licensed representative can offer to a client. The requirements to earn and maintain these financial designations vary greatly. Some professional designations take years of work or classroom study, while others can be obtained after a weekend seminar or through online self-study. Some titles are nothing more than marketing tools .Simply put, the criteria to obtain and maintain these various financial designations vary widely. Very few firms provide clients with any explanation of what these financial designations mean in practice. 

Seniors are a special target. Some financial professionals use designations that imply that they are experts at helping seniors with financial issues. Many seniors, however, don't understand the sets of initials that may follow the names of these financial professionals or the meaning of the titles - such as "senior specialist" or "retirement advisor" - they use to market themselves.

The education, experience, and other requirements for receiving and maintaining a "senior" designation vary greatly. In some cases, a financial professional may need to study and pass several rigorous exams - after working in a designated field for several years - to receive a particular designation. In other cases, it may be relatively easy in terms of time and effort to receive a "senior" designation, even for an individual with no relevant experience.

Here are some Videos that illustrate the use of misleading titles: 

https://youtu.be/8_K4pqx4kIc?list=FLy8dpTRZHEz-0JBa_l0w7AQ    Cary List FPSC gets to the point in about 35 seconds in this video

http://www.cbc.ca/player/play/2685049949   CBC news also gets to the point in less than the first minute of this video

We encourage you to thoroughly evaluate the background of anyone with whom you intend to do business - before you hand over your hard-earned cash. You also should ask questions - that's the best advice we can give you about how to invest wisely. We see too far many investors who might have avoided trouble and losses if they had asked basic questions from the start.


Thanks to Larry Elford for his assistance

Letter Response


If you feel that it is unfair, and/or dishonest for the investment industry to be able to fool seniors, or any investors, with misleading titles, then please pick up the phone, call your provincial legislator, MLA or MPP.

Securities Regulation is a provincial responsibility, under your provincial Securities Commission, and it is up to your voice, to let your legislative authority know that this job (protecting the public) is not currently being done.

Beyond that another possible means to protect the public might have to come from Federal leaders, who may be convinced to improve upon the "dual mandate" style of allowing regulators to serve two opposite masters, industry and public, at the same time.

Talk to your Federal MP about setting up a Canadian "Investor Protection" body, which could take on investment abuse issues and elder abuse issues directly.

Join our social media efforts as improvement of investor protection in Canada at  https://www.facebook.com/groups/240100382792373/

Lets make investing safer again for Canadians, lets get honest.

To hear what a day in the life of an abused senior feels like, go up to just beneath the video link above, of Cary List, and click on the "victim audio.mp3".  It will let you hear what life feels like from one of thousands upon thousands of such victims in Canada.


About The Author

elford's picture


Investment Misconduct and Malpractice Analyst

Larry Elford is acclaimed as a qualified expert on the subject of White Collar Crime as it relates to the investment selling industry. He... More