"THIRD WORLD"-Style Securities Regulators, Allow Fake "Advisors" to Pick Your Pockets

"THIRD WORLD"-Style Securities Regulators, Allow Fake "Advisors" to Pick Your Pockets
Posted on June 14, 2016 | Larry Elford | Written on June 14, 2016
Letter type:

Author's Note:

Author's Note:


A few months ago, I produced a 5 minute video story-pitch for HBO's John Oliver show called "Last Week Tonight".

With financial systems and regulators entering an almost "Standford swim student" ability to exempt themselves from systems of fairness and justice, I thought that John Oliver's style might stand a chance for breaking through the regulatory blindness that $700,000 salaries buys.

John Oliver produced his excellent version of this "looting process" by brokers and regulators in the video below.  My 5 minute video story pitch is found further down in this post, for those wishing to view it.  His team covered the subject far better than I , and included some seriously valuable attention to protecting yourself, in the last 2 minutes or so.  Please call and send this to your elected representatives,  asking them to investigate Securities Commissions, before everyone's retirement security is in the pockets of a few of their friends. 

Author's Video Note:

THIRD WORLD SECURITIES COMMISSIONS….millions in salaries, paid by industry friends, allow industry to ignore or be exempt from North American law.....yes, even criminal laws get overlooked for the crimes of "high status" members of society.  

The recent 6 month sentence in the Stanford student rape case has sparked outrage from the public. One of the judge's more controversial statements justifying his lighter sentence was: "A prison sentence would have a severe impact on him." Isn't that the point of a system of justice?  This judge seems to have been confused about the unwritten system of "fogiveness" for "high status" criminals, verses the written criminal codes abd "justice is blind" plattitudes.

It appears this different more lenient justice system for “higher status persons” seems to be endemic. A recent CBC radio interview talked about “high status bullies”, how they seem to often get a “free ride” by virtue of their standing, their charisma, their relationship to high status family members etc. 

The Toronto Star did a great investigative piece a year or more back, about the self regulating nature of the Ontario Law Society, where criminal code violations were not referred to proper authorities, supposedly to protect the status and reputation of the law society, or the legal profession. ( http://projects.thestar.com/broken-trust/ )

My own work involves the retail investment industry, and the sale (for commissions or fees) of investment products, usually under the guise of “professional advice giving”. 

Research to date has shown that in Canada, it is 99.85% likely that the person posing themselves to you as a professional investment advisor is not in possession of the adviser license, the agency duty (protective responsibility and loyalty) or the registration that this name, and their advertising promises.(link0  How can that be? Matters of such deception are criminal when done by any other person or profession, and we have seen fake Doctors and Dentists jailed.  Why the free ride for fake advisors?

A financial coach recently pointed out to me that “affinity fraud”, preying upon members of one's church or social club etc., works since it “reduces or eliminates the natural level of distrust that people have for strangers. 

“Advisor fraud” works in a similar manner. The Canadian public is deceived about the status and professional standing of the financial advisors in their communities. This deception lowers the level of natural distrust one usually has when dealing with commissioned sales people.

It is only because of the power and high perceived power of Canadian financial giants, that this systemic misrepresentation gets a free pass. 

Today, even our provincial government securities regulators are selected, and paid100% by the financial industry that they police. This leads to something called “regulatory capture” where the regulators lose their ability to separate and distinguish whom to protect, the public, or the industry that pays them.  

Also, “self” regulation ensures that most matters are dealt with “internally”, and the “high status” of the financial “profession”, makes forgiveness the most common form of justice meted out.

Regulator salaries in Alberta and Ontario exceed $700,000 per annum, in some cases while Alberta’s premier is paid $205,000 the last time I checked. In 2011, the top four (government employees?) at the Alberta Securities Commission shared in $2 million.  $2 million might be more of a payoff, than a salary when viewed at the number of Securities Act laws they ignore, or “exempt” for their very generous benefactors.

The pay, the selection process, the facade of a “professional” system pulls the wool over the eyes of nearly all Canadians, investors and consumers alike, and allows this industry to present tens of thousands of commission salespersons, as trusted advice giving professionals. 

It may be costing Canadians one billion dollars per week.  

No justice system should be so lenient for what that Yale swimming student did, nor should there be several hundred thousand people in one self policing industry, financially abusing you, your parents, and your grandparents, with a free pass to do so. It's time to take a stand and demand change.


Please call your member of the legislature, and ask them why we allow the strongest financial institutions in the world to lie to the public, about matters as simple as how they are licensed, and who they owe a duty to protect towards.  Right now they are advertising like they are Doctors, and behaving like un-licensed used car salespeople.

Letter Response

Thanks to people like the HBO John Oliver team, who may be one of the few media left in North America with the moral courage and the professional wits, to tell people the truth.

It takes great professionalism (in media, news or comedy) to get peoples attention and not sell ones soul in an attempt to take the shortcut. 

I applaud John's team and their ability to set an example for others to follow.

About The Author

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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