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Old 06-14-2016, 10:53 AM   #3
Slava
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Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Calgary, Alberta
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Well within the dealerships themselves they might have certain approved titles, and there are some approved titles for IIROC and that sort of thing. But overall in the industry you have widespread use of titles like "financial planner" or "financial advisor" or whatever the title might be with really nothing that distinguishes that individual as having any particular qualification. Its interesting because no one is holding themselves out as a lawyer, for example, without completing a law degree and being called to the bar. It's bizarre that the industry has let this continue without a regulatory body stepping and saying you cannot use these titles before you have completed these particular certification programs. As it stands though, people can theoretically complete the IFIC program or LLQP and be licensed for mutual funds and/or life insurance and be off to the races.

As far as the fiduciary duty, we do have one in Canada. I'm not certain about how difficult it would be to prove that an advisor failed to act in your best interest. I do think it is rather distasteful that companies fought that law in the US though.

The fee discussion he brings up is a little bit of an anomaly that he is using to compare all accounts. So I don't know the specifics of how that kind of thing works in the US, but the fee he is talking about seems to be related to setting up a group plan, and not directly for the investments. So the plan presumably has to be maintained and accounted for separately, along with proper accounting and tax filing. Is the fee too steep? Maybe, and maybe not. Its hard to say. He talked about people putting away $6000/year there, so based on that nearly 1.7% we're talking about $100/year. That feels like a lot perhaps, but it depends on what's involved. Its great to compound that fee for 30 years and multiply by the number of people and get to some huge figure and frame it as "look how much these companies are stealing from your retirement" and for all I know, could be accurate. But when you consider that the companies are providing thirty years of service for those fees and servicing all of these accounts along the way with proper reporting you have to consider that as well.
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