Top News

Aug 25 2014

CSA Continues to Propose Changes that Would Reduce Venture Issuer Governance and Disclosure

FAIR Canada has provided comments to the Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) in response to the fourth iteration of their consultation on venture issuer governance and disclosure. FAIR Canada continues its warning that regulators should be careful not to reduce the level of disclosure or reduce governance standards. We note that this will result in informational gaps for investors and increase the risks of investing in an already risky venture issuer market. FAIR Canada notes that reduced disclosure and governance will not help improve confidence in the venture capital market…

Aug 25 2014

Robo-advisors might prompt shift to best interests standard

For decades, financial advisors have had access to advanced software that can use know-your-client data to categorize investors and prepare model portfolios for them. Some of these programs also use more sophisticated algorithms designed to help formulate recommendations for specific reinvestment of dividends, rebalancing of client portfolios and tax-loss harvesting on an ongoing basis. What’s new, however, are service delivery models in which these powerful tools are made available directly to clients online…

Aug 21 2014

FAIR Canada Announces New Funding from Regulators

The Canadian Foundation for Advancement of Investor Rights (FAIR Canada) announced today the receipt of significant new funding from both the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) and the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC). The OSC has provided a $2.5 million contribution toward FAIR Canada’s fundraising campaign. The OSC’s contribution comes from funds collected from monetary sanctions and settlements…

Aug 11 2014

FAIR Canada Makes Recommendations to Protect Canadians from Investment Fraud

FAIR Canada has today released a research report entitled “A Canadian Strategy to Combat Investment Fraud”. The report provides an overview of the types of securities fraud that affect retail investors and attempts to evaluate the Canadian system in place to protect investors from such fraud. FAIR Canada’s report outlines nine recommendations to improve the system to better protect the Canadian investing public from investment fraud, including the need to: improve data collection; conduct more research; better coordinate amongst responsible organizations; identify emerging trends and key threats to investors; articulate clear enforcement priorities…

Aug 06 2014

Neil Gross on Crowdfunding

Neil Gross, FAIR Canada’s executive director, provided insight on the potential risks crowdfunding poses to investors in a television interview on BNN Business Day. He notes that crowdfunding investments will be highly risky, illiquid, and vulnerable to dilution. Mr. Gross notes that FAIR Canada opposes crowdfunding entirely, but that if it is to go forward, among other things, the investment limits for retail investors should be reduced in order to expose Canadians to less risk…

Jul 24 2014

A Profession or Not a Profession?

A recent article by Knut Rostad, president and founder of the U.S.-based The Institute for the Fiduciary Standard, notes that “[e]ssential criteria for the principles and practices of a profession of fiduciary advice can be divided between the “hard” requisites such as education, knowledge and experience, and the “soft,” including communication, character, honesty and transparency…

Jul 23 2014

Don’t Canadians Deserve the Protections Provided Under MiFID II?

There has been a considerable amount of debate in Canada regarding the payment of third party commissions and conflicts of interest that colour the investment advice received by retail investors. While FAIR Canada is pleased that regulators are committed to studying the effects of embedded, third-party commissions, we are disappointed that Canadian investors are a long way from benefiting from such research. Other jurisdictions, including Europe, have introduced regulatory changes to prohibit portfolio managers and firms…

Jul 22 2014

Advisor Proficiency to be Reviewed

IIROC has issued a consultation paper seeking input on its advisor proficiency assurance model. In FAIR Canada’s view, advisor proficiency is an important element of a best interest standard, and is essential to ensuring that the investing public receives quality financial advice. FAIR Canada encourages readers to submit comments on the model…

Jul 21 2014

How to Protect Clients with Signs of Cognitive Impairment

We’re living longer. That’s mostly something to celebrate. But added longevity comes with a cruel cost: many of us will end up battling Alzheimer’s disease or some other form of dementia. And none of us will win that battle. The risk of developing dementia doubles every five years after age 60, with 20% of seniors over 80 being afflicted. Unfortunately that’s not the full picture. Another 30% suffer from what’s called cognitive impairment not dementia (CIND). In other words, fully half of people aged 80 or older have lost the capacity to make significant financial decisions. Their decline, in most cases, will have been incremental over many years, so a substantial portion were already compromised in their 70s and some even in their 60s…

Jul 21 2014

FAIR Canada Suggestions on Senior Financial Literacy Strategy

FAIR Canada has provided a comment letter to Canada’s new Financial Literacy Leader in response to a public consultation on the National Strategy for Financial Literacy relating to seniors. In particular, FAIR Canada stresses the importance of recognizing the context within which seniors (and all Canadians) make financial decisions, including the trust and reliance placed on those who provide financial advice. The letter notes that some industries’ business models seem to perpetuate a system of many firms with ineffective competition on price and quality to consumers…

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