Common Questions you Should Ask your Prospective Financial Planner in the Canadian Market

Published on: 18th October 2023 by Media Team - Best Financial Planners in Canada

Common Questions you Should Ask your Prospective Financial Planner in the Canadian Market

Choosing a financial planner is a significant decision for your financial future. Whether you’re planning for retirement, managing investments, or simply seeking professional guidance, selecting the right financial planner is crucial.

To help you make an informed choice, here are 10 common questions you should ask your prospective financial planner in the Canadian market.

Table of Contents

1. What credentials and qualifications do you hold?

In Canada, it’s essential to ensure that your financial planner has the necessary qualifications and certifications. Look for professionals with designations such as Certified Financial Planner (CFP), Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA), or those registered with the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC). These credentials indicate a certain level of expertise and adherence to regulatory standards.

Why: Planners with CFP or CFA designations have undergone rigorous training and adhere to high ethical standards, which are important for your financial security.

2. Are you registered with a regulatory body?

Ask whether your prospective planner is registered with a regulatory body like the Mutual Fund Dealers Association (MFDA) or IIROC. This ensures that they operate under industry regulations and are held accountable for their actions.

Why: Being registered with a regulatory body provides an additional layer of protection for Canadian consumers, as planners must adhere to strict rules and regulations.

3. How do you charge for your services?

Understanding the fee structure is crucial. Financial planners in Canada may charge fees in various ways, such as commissions, hourly rates, or a percentage of assets under management (AUM). Ensure you are clear about how your planner charges, including any potential conflicts of interest associated with their fee structure.

Why: Transparency is key. Make sure you understand how your planner is compensated to ensure that their recommendations are in your best interest.

4. Are you a fiduciary?

A fiduciary is a professional who is legally obligated to act in the best interests of their clients. While the term is not universally defined in Canada, some financial planners adhere to a fiduciary standard voluntarily. Ask your planner if they commit to acting as a fiduciary.

Why: Opting for a fiduciary planner means they prioritize your financial well-being over their own, giving you peace of mind.

5. What is your investment philosophy and strategy?

Understanding your planner’s approach to investing is crucial. They should be able to explain their investment philosophy and the strategies they use to manage your investments. This will help you determine if their approach aligns with your financial goals and risk tolerance.

Why: Ensure that your planner’s investment philosophy aligns with your objectives, whether you’re seeking growth, income, or a balanced approach.

6. How do you assess risk tolerance?

Your risk tolerance plays a significant role in shaping your investment strategy. A good financial planner will have a structured process for assessing your risk tolerance, taking into account factors such as your financial goals, time horizon, and comfort with market fluctuations.

Why: A proper risk assessment ensures that your investment portfolio matches your ability to handle market volatility.

7. Can you provide references or client testimonials?

Ask for references from current or past clients or inquire about any client testimonials. Hearing about the experiences of others who have worked with your prospective planner can provide valuable insights.

Why: Client testimonials can help you gauge the quality of service, communication, and results you can expect from your planner.

8. What is the process for regular updates and reviews?

Effective communication is essential in maintaining a healthy planner-client relationship. Inquire about how often you can expect updates on your investments and how reviews are conducted. Regular reviews ensure that your financial plan stays on track and adapts to changing circumstances.

Why: Regular updates and reviews are crucial for keeping your financial plan aligned with your goals and making necessary adjustments.

9. How will my investments be diversified?

Diversification is a fundamental aspect of risk management. Your planner should be able to explain how they plan to diversify your investments across asset classes, sectors, and geographical regions to reduce risk and optimize returns.

Why: Diversification helps spread risk and increase the potential for long-term gains, aligning with your financial objectives.

10. How will you keep me informed about regulatory changes?

Financial regulations in Canada can change, impacting your investments and financial planning. Ask your planner how they stay updated on regulatory changes and how they plan to keep you informed. Staying compliant with current regulations is crucial for protecting your investments.

Why: Staying informed about regulatory changes is crucial for adapting your financial plan and investments to meet new legal requirements.


In conclusion, selecting a financial planner in the Canadian market is a significant decision that requires careful consideration.

By asking these essential questions, you can make an informed decision and work with a planner who is the right fit for your financial goals.

Building a strong and trustworthy relationship with your planner is a long-term commitment that can lead to a more secure financial future.