With ETFs becoming more accessible to MFDA advisors, how does this change your practice?

Jane Alm

Jane Alm

senior investment advisor, National Bank Financial in Edmonton


Our strategy is unchanged: We offer a full suite of investments — financial planning, portfolio management and insurance — to make a comprehensive package for each client’s individual needs.

For example, for a client with defined investment objectives, we created a selection of bonds with detailed parameters (such as credit quality and premiums), to mature over five years.

Investors must be aware of risks, rewards and costs. I talk with clients about ETFs and costs, because many clients don’t understand they’re paying a transaction cost as well as management expenses with an ETF (assuming their account is transaction-based). Further, I compare products for clients, showing them past performance.

Joseph Bakish

Joseph Bakish

vice-president, Richardson GMP in Montreal

Rather than fearing the increased competition from MFDA advisors, I welcome the benefit to investors and the increase in market awareness. Many people need investment advice, and, with MFDA advisors promoting ETFs, these products become commonplace and increase the average investor’s comfort level — a net benefit to the industry, including my practice.

Brad Brain

Brad Brain

senior investment advisor, Aligned Capital Partners in Fort St. John, B.C.

Because there’s buzz around ETFs and because MFDA advisors can’t fill ETF orders directly [on an exchange], some firms offer mutual funds based on underlying baskets of ETFs. The sale of these products by MFDA advisors doesn’t affect my practice, because clients can avoid the extra cost and complexity by buying the underlying ETFs straight from IIROC advisors.

The hype of product marketing can’t compete with serving a client’s best interests through passive investing that’s cost-effective.

Agree? Disagree? Have your own question or answer? Write us at

by Michelle Schriver, assistant editor of Advisor Group.


Originally published in Advisor's Edge

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