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Advisor vs. Adviser

Advisor vs. Adviser

When it comes to your investments and savings, our approach at LGK Wealth Management goes well beyond the traditional ‘Money Management’ offerings of other offices.  We provide services including financial management, risk management, tax planning, along with group insurance and innovative banking solutions.  Our approach is to look at the entire picture for our clients – not just managing the wealth they have accumulated.

All this aside, when we meet with you or any prospective client for the first time, it is customary that we hand you a business card that provides you with all of our contact details.  It will also tell you our titles.  In our case at LGK Wealth, our titles are Investment Funds Advisors, Insurance Agents or both.  Our website says the same thing.

Truthfully, we hadn’t thought much about those titles until recently, when a CBC Go Public article raised the issue that there is a difference between someone who calls himself an “advisor” vs. someone that calls himself an “adviser”.

According to the article, when someone spells advisor with an “o”, it is unregulated and anyone can use it, but only people that have a fiduciary responsibility to their clients are allowed to use an “e”.  This caught us by surprise, since we’ve been spelling advisor with an “o”.  As a result of this article, we felt some clarification was in order.

First of all, according to The Grammarist (www.grammarist.com):

Adviser and advisor are both accepted spellings of the noun meaning one who advises or counsels. There is no difference between them. But adviser, the older version, is listed as the primary spelling in most dictionaries, and it is about five times as common as advisor in current news publications from throughout the English-speaking world.  In the U.S. and Canada, advisor is commonly used in official job titles, but adviser is still generally preferred over advisor in North America, and advisor is only marginally more common in American and Canadian English than in other varieties of English.

From a business point of view, according to the CBC article: “The Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) confirms that "adviser" is a legal term under securities law that describes a person or company that is registered to give advice about securities, whereas "advisor" is not.”

If this is indeed the case, we’ve been spelling adviser incorrectly on our business material.The members of our team that give you advice about your securities are legally registered to give advice about your investments.  We are registered with the OSC and Manulife sees to that before anyone begins to represent their organisation as an investment professional. 

If an individual is not registered with a regulatory body like the OSC or IIROC, then they are not allowed to make investment recommendations.  For example, if you were to go to a “fee for service” financial planner who does not offer investment services as part of their practice, they are not allowed to make investment recommendations to you.  They can consult with you and provide guidance on an asset allocation model; however, they cannot tell you which funds, stocks, bonds, ETFs, etc. to buy or sell.  The reason is because they are not licensed to, and therefore to provide advice in this area would be breaking the law.

In other words, to get advice on what investments to buy in your portfolio, you must go to a licensed/registered adviser.

Regardless, when it comes to your wealth, our team at LGK Wealth Management always strive to take extra care in understanding you and what you wish to achieve financially.Our most important goal is to facilitate your ability to achieve those wishes through sound financial planning and ongoing advice.  In doing this we’ll build portfolios that look to the future while recognizing your investment objectives and your tolerance for short to medium term market declines.We will continue to provide education through our meetings and through our blog pages.

It never occurred to us to question whether we had a fiduciary responsibility to our clients.We have always assumed that we have and we’ve always behaved accordingly.  Whether we are called, advisor, adviser, mutual fund salesperson, or any other name, we have an obligation to see you successfully navigate today’s financial waters. 

Call 1-780-426-2400