While many Canadians feel they don’t know enough to plan their financial future, they also don’t know about the lack of regulatory standards in much of Canada for the financial planners who could help, says a survey for the Coalition for Professional Standards for Financial Planning.

The web survey, which included more than 1,500 people, measured awareness and perceptions of financial planners in Canada.

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While most respondents (92%) had heard of the profession of financial planner, 49% know there is a difference between a financial planner and a financial advisor. Most significantly, 44% of respondents believe there are regulatory standards in place for financial planners.

It’s an inaccurate and potentially risky belief for most Canadians, says Cary List, Chair of the Coalition and President & CEO of the Financial Planning Standards Council.

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“In most Canadian provinces, there is no legislated standard in place for those who call themselves financial planners or offer financial planning services,” he says. “With the exception of Quebec … people who call themselves financial planners are not required to obtain any credentials whatsoever.”

The Coalition, formed in 2009 is in the  process of developing a professional self-regulatory framework which would see the official recognition of financial planning as a profession across Canada.

And 66% of respondents say they’ll need help planning their financial futures.

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