“They wont have any access to our fund or any possibility to get back the cash.”
Consumers can contact the securities regulator in the province they live in to find the names of dealers and individuals registered to sell securities. Name searches can also be carried out the commissions website, www.gov.ns.ca/nssc/, and the websites of other provincial securities regulators.
Mr. Theberge said if an investor had done a routine check to find out if Mr. Jones had been registered, it would have sounded alarm bells.
“Once we saw that he was not in our system, it would have involved our investigation team.”
However, Susan Eng, with the Canadian Association of Retired Persons, said registration does not necessarily prevent an investment adviser from taking off with peoples money.
“There are many things that can be done by government to make the whole landscape a little bit safer for the individual retail investor . . . but nothing is going to actually prevent out-and-out criminality by somebody who has earned your trust,” said Ms. Eng, who is based in Toronto.
“It is a sad statement of human nature, but the solution also rests in human nature, which is to smarten up. If (an investment) is too good to be true, it probably is. Your family has a role to play in your finances, and you have an obligation to educate yourself.”