Alberta Securities Commission Pressured Into Consumer Warning

Alberta Securities Commission Pressured Into Consumer Warning
Posted on July 10, 2016 | Larry Elford | Written on July 10, 2016
Letter type:

Author's Note:

Author's Note:

It has taken more than ten years of pressure and exposure, for the Alberta Securities Commission to reveal the information contained in this recent release.

Investors have suffered billions of dollars of losses due to the simple deceptions that have been allowed to be played upon them for decades.   It is hoped that Canadians will benefit from this tiny crack of insight being opened into a world of dark money secrets.  Enclosed is what I believe to be a "root cause" of declining financial security for far too many hard working Canadians.  PLEASE share this information with friends, media, politicians and so on.  I believe that it is as important that ALL Canadians are protected from deceptive financial practices, and we truly need to do some repair to our systems.


Author's Video Note:

This release from the Alberta Securities Commission is interesting for several things it reveals to consumers for the first time:

It is the first time that the government regulator has informed Albertans that the correct legal term for a financial professional is called "adviser" in law, (note the spelling using "er") and not "advisor" as most salespersons use. They reveal this tidbit in the last three lines of this news release. 

If your "advisor" does not spell his or her title as "AdvisER", it is 99% likely that they do not legally hold the license that they are pretending to hold. That ruse should be of importance to any investor, and to any ‪#‎Classaction‬ lawyer.

It is also the first time that they have revealed to the public, that your current "advisor" may actually be licensed as something called a "dealing representative". (research in Canada finds that over 99% of persons who call themselves "advisor" are unlawfully concealing their true license of "dealing representative" (salesperson). 

This (hiding ones true license) is illegal under Alberta Securities law (Section 100 'representation/misrepresentation'), and yet the Alberta Securities Commission has not enforced that law to my knowledge at any time during the last two decades. 

It is also noteworthy to learn that a "dealing representative" has a far lower agency duty to protect the investor, much similar to a car salesperson at a dealership. (see suitability vs fiduciary duty) This loyalty is falsely implied to be something that it is not, when salespersons inflate themselves with a false title such as "advisor". 

The resulting falsehood helps investment sellers to conceal the deceptive marketing impression that you should give your money AND your trust to anyone calling themselves an "advisor", when they do not hold the correct agency duty of loyalty to protect the investor. 

Falsehood, upon deception upon misrepresentation is how this makes billions of dollars more for banks in Canada....Please share this with other Canadians so that they can protect their financial health.

Letter Response

Here, is a cut and pasted copy of the ASC release July 2016:

Recently, we’ve received some questions about the various titles that finance professionals use, what they mean under securities laws, and what you can expect from individuals using them. Not all investments must be sold by an individual or firm registered under the Securities Act (Alberta) - for example, segregated funds or GICs. However, generally anyone, regardless of what title they use, who is in the business of selling an investment that is a security (for example a mutual fund, share, stock, bond) must be registered under the Securities Act (Alberta).

Persons who are registered under the Securities Act (Alberta) as Dealing Representatives (for example) are generally licensed to sell you products sold by the investment firm they work for, and are obligated to provide you with advice on the suitability of those products for your circumstances. In that sense, it’s not unlike purchasing a car from a dealership. If you walk into a Volvo dealership, and explain your needs (four-door, certain horsepower) the person working there will suggest the most suitable Volvo for your needs. While they might have a small selection of other makes and models in their inventory, they are not required to know about, or recommend, any make or model that is not in their inventory that might meet your needs as well, or better. This is true no matter what job title they use, be that “personal banking associate,” “investment representative,” “investment specialist” or any other title.

Fortunately, it’s easy to check whether the person offering you an investment is registered, regardless of what title they use. Simply enter their name (you can also search by firm) into the National Registration Search. The Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) also offers a guide to the different types of registrations, and the ASC offers information on specific designations finance and securities industry professionals may have, and what they mean.

Once you have verified that they are in fact registered, and what type of registration it is, you should ask whatever questions you need depending on your specific situation. Just as one customer at a car dealership might want to speak to someone who has expertise in four-wheel drive vehicles, you might be looking for a specific product (mutual fund, scholarship plan, etc.) and want to make sure that person sells that product.

Those selling investments must complete a ‘Know Your Client’ (KYC) form so they can assess your current financial situation, your investment objectives and risk tolerance, and likewise, anyone considering investing should make sure they know the person they are purchasing investment products from and understand what that person is registered to sell.


This blog is for general information purposes only and does not constitute legal or other professional advice. You should obtain independent professional or independent legal advice prior to acting on information in this blog or if you have questions about your particular circumstances.


Helpful Links

Canadian Securities Administrators information on how to work with a financial adviser


Questions to ask when choosing a financial adviser

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