Letters to the editor

By J. Gregory Goldsworthy and Richard Knowles | July 16, 2009 | Last updated on July 16, 2009
2 min read

Re: Montreal “advisor” fraud could top $50 million, July 13, 2009

Why are the terms “advisor-initiated fraud” and “retail advisor” used when Earl Jones is not an advisor?

Hanging a sign out and creating some business cards and letterhead does not make a person a doctor, lawyer or an advisor. If a person hung a sign saying he was a gynecologist and assaulted a large number of women, would the article say that this might be the largest incident of a doctor assaulting his patients?

If a person hung out a sign saying that they were a lawyer and defrauded a large number of people, would the authors say that this might be the largest lawyer initiated fraud?

Verbiage like this inflames the public and the regulators. I am disappointed that your editors did not act to revise it.

J. Gregory Goldsworthy, CLU, CFP, Ch.F.C., The Financial Centre of Collingwood

Editor’s Note: Advisor.ca meant to put the word advisor in quotation marks throughout the story. This change has been made. We regret the error.

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Re: Latest scam shows need for disclosure, July 14, 2009

Professionals of every respected industry have licenses, certifications and professional oversight bodies of compliance and review boards of some sort. This may even include the Better Business Bureau and other organizations.

Anyone working outside of this framework should never be trusted or used under any circumstances, no matter how good they claim to be at what they do. If they are that good, let them get certified and be reviewed and monitored. This includes stopping chartered accountants and personal trustees doing investments or advising on insurance for clients without an investment or insurance license, a doctor practicing medicine without a medical degree and a lawyer that didn’t finish university and hasn’t been called to the bar. Just because they appear wealthy does not mean they know how to advise on wealth management or insurance of other people’s needs.

The fact that, even with safeguards of professional conduct being in place in so many industries, medical doctors are still sued for malpractice and complicity, financial advisors are still sued for negligence and fraud, and chartered accountants are sued for advising in areas they are not qualified to advise in. Now, imagine the numbers of unreported fraud cases in the unlicensed world.

Richard Knowles, B.Sc., senior associate, financial planner, Partners in Planning, Vancouver

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J. Gregory Goldsworthy and Richard Knowles