financial planners desk

Tips For Choosing A Financial Planner

Inside of Canada, financial planners have multiple titles.

Some call themselves “certified financial planners – cfp” while others may call themselves “financial consultants”, “financial advisors” or “investment advisor” among other titles. This is largely due to the fact that financial planning is not really regulated inside of most Canadian provinces, nor in Canadian territories.

Financial planners also have highly variable qualifications, training and experience. Most financial planners have taken courses and passed exams in the field, and hold designations from educational institutions and standards bodies. Others may also be registered with a securities regulator to sell investments or provide advice on investing one’s money. They may also have a license to sell insurance, as well as possibly being certified accountants or estate planners.

It is prudent to question and understand these qualifications before working with a certified financial planner (cfp). One should ensure the products and work they do is what you need, as well as ensure that the financial planner in question is a legitimate and qualified professional.

certified cfp seal

Financial Planning Credentials

There is more than one financial planning designation, which has different combinations of training. Most such designations call for training in money management, taxes, insurance, estate planning and investing. Some but not all include training in ethics or codes of conduct. A planner’s qualifications need to be understood to ensure they’re what you’re looking for.

If a planner also sells investments or investment advice, they will need to be registered with a securities regulator. There are different registration categorizations. Some planners can only offer advice on mutual funds. Others offer a wide range of products. Make sure the offered services meet your needs.

Here some sample financial planner credentials, and links to show examples.

These aren’t all the possible credentials, but they’re the most common ones.

Personal Financial Planner

Certified Financial Planner (CFP)

Registered Financial Consultant

Chartered Financial Consultant

Other possible qualifications include;

Certified General Accountant

Chartered Accountant

Mutual Fund Dealer (Dealing Representative)

Investment Dealer (Dealing Representative)

Insurance Broker



Q & A with BMO Nesbitt Burns

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