I was speaking with an advisor from another firm. It was a pleasure to speak with a long-time industry leader, a gentleman and well thought out investment advisor. At one point we were talking about the requirements to get and continue to keep your licences (IIROC and Life Insurance Licence) in our business. Our industry has increased the requirements almost exponentially over the years.
There has never been more oversight on the appropriateness of trades, investments, portfolio structure and our focus on clients. The requirements for new advisors to get their licence is more rigid every year, and the requirement for us all to continuously earn Continuing Education Credits.
Much of this is in product knowledge, market knowledge and at least 30% on compliance. The compliance portion is of utmost importance to our clients. Raising awareness and direct compliance continues to raise the bar in our industry.
Large firms have whole departments dedicated to continuing education and are designing specific continuing education courses directly for us. This, along with using industry courses and through learning institutes such as the industry leading Canadian Securities Institute we have a large pool of industry information to continuously draw on.
There are also industry accreditations that are available to be earned. These are formal industry designations that are over and above the countless hours spent studying markets and staying ahead of trends. These designations are earned through higher learning institutes such as the above mentioned CSI. The examples below are all from the CSI, and the description is in their words.
Certified Retirement Strategist:
In 2013 my Investment Associate Cathie and I both earned our Certified Retirement Strategy designation.
This trains strategists in a deeper knowledge in wealth conversion and legacy planning, provides a strong foundation in tax strategies and structures and advanced technical investment knowledge. These are all practical skills that can are applied to current client situations.
It is always important to be able to use this knowledge and skills immediately and practically with our clients.
Financial Management Advisor (FMA):
Cathie earned this designation in 2005
This designation provides the following abilities in support of our clients.
Build and manage client relationships that result in a successful partnership.
Create and implement an optimal comprehensive life-long wealth management plan.
Establish and implement wealth accumulation and management strategies.
Collaborate with clients to preserve wealth and optimize the conversion of assets into income.
Develop and implement a wealth transfer plan that reflects client wishes.
Work with a team of experts to provide a fully integrated, well-rounded wealth management service.
Fellow of the Canadian Securities Institute (FSCI):