Media Release - IFIC Supports Continuing Education Requirements for Financial Advisors
April 28, 2017
Toronto, ON - April 28, 2017 - In a submission (https://www.ific.ca/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/IFIC-Submission-MFDA-Proposed-Continuing-Education-Requirements-April-27-2017.pdf/16995/) filed yesterday, The Investment Funds Institute of Canada (IFIC) expressed strong support for rules proposed (http://mfda.ca/bulletin/bulletin0644-p/) by the Mutual Fund Dealers Association (MFDA) governing continuing education (CE) requirements for financial advisors.
A majority of our member firms are already providing ongoing education and training to their advisors, said Paul C. Bourque, IFIC president and CEO. Formalizing this practice through a mandatory CE program will bolster the overall level of professionalism by creating more consistency of training across all channels and ensuring that advisors have the knowledge to help their clients achieve their financial goals.
The role of advisors in helping investors understand and select investment products has been well recognized by Canadas financial educators and regulators. A study conducted by Innovative Research Group for the Canadian Securities Administrators in 2016 found that 70% of investors used their investment advisor as a source of information when they last looked for investing information. Annual research conducted by Pollara (https://www.ific.ca/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/IFIC-Pollara-Investor-Survey-September-2016.pdf/15057/) for IFIC consistently finds that the vast majority of investors lack in confidence to make investment decisions without the help of an advisor.
A core function of advisors is to help investors understand their financial needs and options, so that they can set themselves on a path to reach their goals. Advisors who coach their clients well and the majority of them do add significant, well-documented value to this process, Bourque noted. In todays rapidly evolving investment marketplace, mandatory continuing education will lead to continued positive outcomes for investors.
IFICs submission recommends improvements designed to strengthen the MFDA proposal, such as facilitating the return of individuals who have been on an extended maternity or family leave, and providing a timeframe for an advisor to correct a deficiency before his/her registration is suspended. It also proposes that some aspects of the proposal be aligned with the mandatory program that is already in place in Quebec, overseen by the Chambre de la sécurité financière.
The Investment Funds Institute of Canada is the voice of Canadas investment funds industry. IFIC brings together 150 organizations, including fund managers, distributors and industry service organizations, to foster a strong, stable investment sector where investors can realize their financial goals. By connecting Canadas savers to Canadas economy, our industry contributes significantly to Canadian economic growth and job creation. The organization is proud to have served Canada's investment funds industry and its investors for more than 50 years.
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