Asking the right questions and doing basic research can help you make an informed decision to find out if an investment is right for you.
Investment professionals who sell securities are required to register with the securities regulator in each province or territory where they do business. Registration helps protect investors because securities regulators will only register firms and individuals who are properly qualified.
Use the National Registration Search to check if your adviser or firm is registered.
Keep in mind that just because an individual or firm is registered doesn’t mean the investment is a good fit for you. Ensure the person you’re working with understands your personal financial goals and is willing to work with you to meet them.
Advisers must complete a ‘Know Your Client’ (KYC) form so they can assess your current financial situation, your investment objectives and risk tolerance.
Check enforcement history.
Look up current and previous enforcement proceedings, decisions and orders to see if there is any disciplinary history for a company or individual offering you an investment.
Check out the ASC website where you can find information on upcoming hearings, investor alerts, decisions and settlements, registration details and many other things that can help them gather information before investing.
Investors can also visit the website of the Canadian Securities Administrators for current information from across the country on registration, lists of persons and companies who have been disciplined, cease trade orders, unpaid orders, and enforcement history.
Check news releases and search online.
Finally, investors can do a general online search of key terms such as ‘fraud’ and ‘fraudulent investment’, and search the name of the person and/or company offering an investment, as well as other individuals associated with the investment. Investors can also look through ASC news releases for information about an individual or firm. The news can often tell you about unhappy victims, court cases and other information that you may want to further investigate.
Below are additional resources that you may find useful when researching an investment:
Chris, an educated engineer was introduced to an investment opportunity through someone he knew and trusted. This person had already invested and stated that their investment was doing well and it could be a great opportunity for Chris and his family. After doing some research and reviewing company materials, he felt confident enough to invest. Within a few months, Chris got the feeling that something was wrong. Watch Chris’ testimonial to learn about how he came to realize that he invested his hard-earned money into a fraud.