Paul Wilson, 55

IT security sales professional, Toronto

My advisor has CFP, CIM and FCSI designations, which I became aware of by looking at his email signature. I’m not familiar with these designations, though I’m confident I could look them up. I trust they’re genuinely earned because of my advisor’s job position at a bank and because I chose him based on a recommendation.

Shannon MacDonald, 47

Environmental specialist, Port Hood, N.S.

I don’t know my advisor’s exact credentials, but on his business card it says “senior financial advisor.” That, to me, means both age and experience, and he has a relatively high position at his firm. Also, on LinkedIn, his profile indicates he was on an IIROC district council, which I know is a regulatory body. But I chose him on a recommendation, not on his credentials.

Nan X, Fifties

A small town in Ontario

I don’t know my advisor’s credentials, but I trust him because he’s a long-time, well-known resident of the community. My in-laws are also clients, and my advisor works at a reputable office with chartered accountants. I know the owner of the business—a CFA who’s a charismatic community leader.