Welcome to MoneySense Approved, Canada's only directory of financial advisors who surpass the standards of MoneySense, Canada's leading personal finance media brand.

Using this free service, you can find more than just accredited financial planners and investment advisors. Instead, you'll find professionals who pass MoneySense's own rigorous test for:

  • Customer service
  • Fair and reasonable pricing
  • Knowledge and experience
  • Transparent fees and reporting

Better yet, you can search for the MoneySense Approved Financial Advisor best suited to your needs by location, service type, asset level and more.

Search for a MoneySense Approved financial advisor by:

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The MoneySense Approved difference

Why do 83% of MoneySense subscribers surveyed say they'd choose a MoneySense Approved Financial Advisor over any other? Because they know how hard it is to find a good one: someone who is knowledgeable and provides a higher degree of service and transparency — all at a reasonable cost. What's more, finding the right match can require a lot of time and effort.

That's why we created MoneySense Approved, the only directory of its kind that helps consumers find financial advisors in Canada.

We've done the legwork so that you don't have to. MoneySense screens applicants for their qualifications and subjects them to an extensive survey of their services and practices, including fees and adherence to high standards of client service. In order to be MoneySense Approved, advisors must exceed a certain score in both our proprietary evaluation and an anonymous survey of their existing clients. They pay a fee to participate in this program, but only those with top marks actually make it onto our list.

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How to use our financial advisor directory

Step 1: You can search for a specific advisor by name or enter your postal code to identify advisors near you, although distance is not necessarily an issue as many advisors serve clients remotely over the phone and the web.

Step 2a: Select the type of service you're looking for.

Investments AND/OR Financial Planning, Coaching or Advice
This option returns a list of MoneySense Approved Financial Advisors who can sell you investment products and might offer planning services as well. Their fee structures and compensation models vary.

Financial Planning, Coaching or Advice
Select this option if all you want is advice or planning services for an hourly or per project fee. Some of these advisors might also sell investment products. However, if you want to work with an advisor who provides only planning and consulting services and is not compensated by any third parties, just look for advisors tagged with the "Fee-for-service only" badge.

Step 2b (if applicable): Many advisors have minimum client portfolio thresholds. Tell us how much money you plan to invest, so that we can match you with a MoneySense Approved advisor who works with clients in your investment range.

Step 3: Resulting profiles are sorted by distance from your postal code, but remember that many advisors work remotely and can service you from thousands of kilometres away. To refine your search results, scroll to the bottom and select your preferred language or the type of assistance you need.

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Why do you need a financial advisor?

Whether you’re a personal finance novice, a do-it-yourself investor or a retiree drawing down your retirement savings, a financial advisor can help you make the most of every dollar and keep you on track when the unexpected happens. The numbers tell the story. A 2011 international HSBC study found that those with a financial plan accumulated nearly 250% more retirement savings than those without a plan in place.

But just what is a "financial advisor?" The term covers everyone from financial planners and money coaches to mutual funds salespeople, investment advisors and portfolio managers. Depending on one's specialty and licence, an advisor can help you set financial goals and a household budget, establish a comprehensive financial plan and teach you about various investment options. Some can even assess your risk tolerance, purchase investment products on your behalf, address complex tax issues and manage your portfolio on an ongoing basis.

But our search tool will help you find more than just any financial advisor; it will help you find one who is MoneySense Approved.

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What to look for in a financial advisor

Our directory can help you find a financial advisor in Canada who has passed a vetting process developed by the editors of MoneySense in collaboration with a 15-member industry advisory board. Everyone on our list has at least three years of experience, an up-to-date industry standard certification, is in good professional standing, charges reasonable fees and meets MoneySense's standards for disclosure and transparency.

Be sure to use our directory as a starting point for your search. Focus on the services and financial goals that mean the most to you, then explore the profiles of MoneySense Approved Financial Advisors that match those areas. We recommend you contact two or three, then interview them in person or over the phone to find the one you feel most comfortable with.

To learn more about how to find an advisor who's right for you, start with these two articles from MoneySense:

How to find the right financial advisor for you, by Bruce Sellery
The perfect financial advisor for your planning needs, by David Aston

For a deeper dive into how to choose and work with a financial advisor, we recommend this series written for MoneySense by well-known Canadian personal finance expert Preet Banerjee:

Part 1: Measuring the value of financial advice
Part 2: Just how are you paying your financial advisor?
Part 3: What kind of financial advice do you actually need?
Part 4: How your own bad investing behaviour hurts you
Part 5: The right financial advisor model for you

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