Friends, the Canadian banks have been taking advantage of us all on so many fronts. Problem being is that we have been brainwashed with so much "goodwill" for so long that we all don't realize that there are other options.
They have so much political clout and so many dollars afforded to their marketing that they are able to convince us that they are the only safe and secure option and that all the fees and service charges are worth our while.
They are good corporate citizens, they do give back to our communities, but it is our money paid in the billions in annual earnings that they garner for their shareholders (and themselves, because all the senior exec's are shareholders) that we appear to be so complacent about.
There is plenty of safety in many other financial institutions: the Canadian Investor Protection Fund (CIPF) protects our High Rock clients (whose accounts are held at Raymond James Custodial Services) for up to $1 million per account.
So the fallacy of Canadian banks being the safest place to hold your money is just that: a myth.
Of course you have to have trust in the folks that are working for you. The Canadian banks would have you believe that they have that ingrained into the ethics codes of their institutions. I have dealt with some very good people in my day at those banks, but I have also worked with some very unethical people in my day as well, and I was a Branch Manager, so I saw it, up close and personal.
The news is telling us that their greed (sales targets that are apparently unrealistic) is in conflict with their ethical standards.
What is the difference between being "sold" financial products and engaging in a trusting partnership that will guide you through your financial future?
The problem is that most folks do not know that they have an alternative. But they do. There are plenty of us who actually want to work for them and give them all of the great service, wealth and portfolio management that they require and deserve: safely, securely, with care and with their interests as our absolute priority.
At High Rock we are held to incredibly high standards imposed on us by our professional designations:
We are governed by the CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) Institute Code of Ethics and Standards of Professional Conduct which are fundamental to the values of the CFA Institute and essential to achieving its mission to lead the investment profession globally by promoting the highest standards of ethics, education and professional excellence for the ultimate benefit of society.
Our Certified Financial Planning (CFP) professional is bound by the CFP Board’s Code of Ethics and the 7 Principles that form the CFP Boards Rules of Conduct, Practice Standards and Disciplinary Rules: Integrity, Objectivity, Competence, Fairness, Confidentiality, Professionalism, Diligence.
And of course we have to answer to the Ontario (BC, Alberta and Saskatchewan) Securities Commission(s), who impose a fiduciary duty upon us (as do all portfolio managers, accountants and lawyers), which we gladly adhere to.
There is an alternative and it is time to seek out the better option.
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Scott Tomenson,CIM Managing Partner, Chief Investment Strategist