Protecting your nest egg

CARP Retirement Income Security
[Update: On June 1, 2016, the OSC announced that it has adopted one of CARP’s recommendations from our submission. The OSC is now seeking members for its newly established Seniors Expert Advisory Committee.] 

CARP calls for immediate action for investor protection

How much money do I need to retire comfortably? Will I outlive my savings? Can I afford this purchase? These are the kinds of questions that Canadians are asking ourselves all the time as we age.

But there’s one question no one should have to ask: Will I lose my life savings because of an unethical investment advisor?

You deserve to know that the money you’ve saved will be there when you need it. You could just pop the whole thing in a bank account, but you’re hoping for a stronger return on investment to push your savings a little further.

Your friend mentions an investment advisor they trust. You meet her and are impressed. She takes the time to listen to your worries about investing and really seems to care. You just need to sign a few forms and she’ll happily fill out the rest. It seems that you can relax and watch your nest egg grow.

LostSavingsAt first she really does seem to be working miracles with your money, but the next thing you know, your money has been invested in high commission, high risk investments and you’re down by 20% and it will cost you 5% more just to get your money out. Forget about sky high returns, you’ve just lost a big chunk of your savings.

Sadly, this experience happens all too often. To make matters worse, when it does happen, there are very few options available to you, the small investor.

People are often surprised to learn that the investment industry is not well-regulated, leaving far too many people, particularly seniors, vulnerable to financial abuse. CARP members know this all too well as one-third of members polled have lost money from bad investment advice.

You deserve better protection for your life savings and CARP is fighting to get it for you.

This month, CARP called on the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) to take immediate action to protect Canadians from financial abuse. CARP challenged the OSC to immediately set standards that would put small investor’s interests first and establish meaningful enforcement mechanisms so there are real consequences for predatory advisors. CARP also called for additional safeguards to protect vulnerable seniors from exploitation.

The mandate of the OSC, is to “provide protection to investors from unfair, improper or fraudulent practices”. It’s high time they did so. No one’s life savings should be lost because the OSC hasn’t done its job.

All Canadians deserve protection from predatory advisors and bad advice.