You may want to share this with friends and family, tweet it, or share it via other social media like StumbleUpon, Digg, Reddit, etc. This is a simple, but very important post.
If you haven’t heard by now, there was a “financial planner” in Montreal who defrauded Canadian (and some US) investors of an estimated $50 million in what looks to be a giant ponzi scheme. His name is Earl Jones, and he is being described as Canada’s Bernie Madoff. He was just arrested today, thankfully.
You can read more about the Earl Jones story here, but one thing that I want to point out was that Earl Jones was not registered as an advisor in any way. While being licensed does not guarantee a good advisor, or even guarantee that an advisor can’t find a way to defraud investors of money, it is certainly worth the 30 seconds of your time to see if your advisor is registered with your provincial securities commission. You know what they say, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
How To Check If Your Advisor Is Registered (QUICKLY!)
Here is a list of all provincial regulators, and links or details on how to quickly check on your advisor’s registration status:
Alberta Securities Commission – Web search form. You can search by first or last name.
British Columbia Securities Commission – Web search form. You can search by last name.
Manitoba Securities Commission – Web listing. You can scroll through a giant list to find your advisor.
New Brunswick Securities Commission – Web listing. You can scroll through an alphabetical listing.
Securities Commission of Newfoundland and Labrador – No web listing or search function, but you can call (709) 729-4189 to ask someone to manually check.
Northwest Territories Department Of Justice – Phone number to call, no web search or listing: Call (867) 920-3318 to have someone check for you.
Nova Scotia Securities Commission – Web search form. Search by first or last name.
Nunavut Securities Registry – No web search or listings. You must call (867) 975-6591 to check by phone.
Ontario Securities Commission – Web search form. Search by last name.
Prince Edward Island Securities Office (PEISO) of the Office of the Attorney General – Web listing: Search by firm name first then scroll to find your advisor.
Quebec (Autorité Des Marchés Financiers) – Web search form: search by first or last name.
Saskatchewan Financial Services Commission – Web search form: make sure to switch to “Search by individual” mode first, then search by first or last name.
Yukon Securities Office – Weird: the Yukon Securities Office (for what reason I do not know) explicitly prohibits people from linking to their website or even providing the URL for the website without written consent (it’s in their disclaimer!). Is the internet new there? The number they provide for contacting the Yukon Securities Office is (867) 667-5225. If you call to check up on your advisor, make sure to tell them not to worry about the Y2K bug in case they are still wondering about that…