Check Before You Invest
Being an informed investor is one of your best defences against investment fraud. Although most investment advisers are honest and work in your best interest, you still need to carefully choose who you deal with. Before investing follow these simple steps:
- Check registration
- Check disciplinary history
- Check the news and search the internet
- Check available tools and resources
- Check investor alerts
1. Check registration
Why is registration important? Securities industry professionals 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 if they are properly qualified.
Use the National Registration Search to check if an individual or firm is registered.
If you have questions about the results, check this guide to understanding registration search results, or contact your local securities regulator.
Keep in mind that, just because an individual or firm is registered doesn’t mean the investment is a good fit for you. Those offering investment opportunities have varying skills, provide a variety of services and likely charge different fees. Ensure the person you’re working with understands your goals and is willing to work with you to meet them. They must assess your current financial and personal situation, your investment objectives and risk tolerance.
If you discover the person or company you are dealing with is not registered, is offering you something they don’t seem permitted to, or if you need help understanding the results of the National Registration Search tool, please contact your local securities regulator.
2. Check disciplinary history
It takes little time and effort to check the CSA Disciplined List and cease trade orders database to see if disciplinary decisions or cease trade orders have been issued against individuals and/or firms.
3. Check the news and search the internet
Do an online search and look through news releases for information about an individual or firm. The news can often tell you about unhappy victims, court cases and even rumours that you may want to further investigate.
4. Check available tools and resources
The CSA offers several free educational tools and resources for investors, including:
- Check before you invest (workbook) ( PDF) – Download this workbook to help you record information found while choosing a financial adviser
- Questions to ask when choosing a financial adviser ( PDF) – Download this list of important questions to ask when choosing an adviser
- Understanding registration ( PDF) – Guide to understanding registration search results how to check the background of an individual or firm, what to ask when choosing a financial adviser, and how to maintain a successful working relationship with an adviser
- Working with a financial adviser ( PDF) – Download the full booklet for information about choosing a financial adviser and making the most of the relationship
5. Check investor alerts
You can keep up to date with the latest investor alert from accross the country.
Being an informed investor is your best defence against investment fraud. Share these tips with friends and family, and remember when in doubt, contact your local securities regulator.
Links to and use of our materials by third parties do not constitute endorsement by the CSA or by provincial or territorial regulators. Please see the important note on our Legal page.
For more information, or if you would like to use any of the CSA content or materials, please read our guidelines for acceptable use.