Like so many other Ontarians, you may want to work with a financial professional to plan for various financial goals. Knowing who to talk to when seeking financial planning or advisory services can be hard. To give you confidence when seeking advice from anyone using a Financial Planner or Financial Advisor, or similar, title in Ontario, FSRA requires these individuals meet a minimum standard of education and be supervised by a FSRA-approved credentialing body. This means:

  • they must meet specific education and examination standards
  • they must abide by a code of conduct that requires them to put the client’s interest first
  • they may lose the ability to use these titles if they do not follow the rules
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Financial Planners and Financial Advisors

What is the difference between a Financial Planner and a Financial Advisor?

FSRA differentiates between Financial Planner and Financial Advisor title users by establishing different minimum levels of technical knowledge, professional skills and competencies.

Financial Planner

Should have the breadth and depth of knowledge to develop integrated financial plans for clients. Financial planners are expected to be proficient in all the core personal finance areas, including:

  • Estate planning
  • Tax planning
  • Retirement planning
  • Investment planning
  • Finance management
  • Insurance/risk management

Financial Advisor

Should have technical knowledge about at least one common investment product, including:

  • Mutual Funds
  • Stocks
  • Bonds
  • Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs)

They should also have the necessary expertise and experience to develop suitable financial and investment recommendations for clients.

Common questions


FSRA’s Responsibilities:

  • establish minimum standards for credentialing bodies and Financial Planner and Financial Advisor credentials
  • approve credentialing bodies and Financial Planner and Financial Advisor credentials
  • supervise approved credentialing bodies
  • investigate complaints against:
  • approved credentialing bodies
  • organizations carrying on business as an approved credentialing body or claiming to offer an approved credential without FSRA’s approval
  • individuals who use the Financial Planner or Financial Advisor title, or a title that could be confused with Financial Planner or Financial Advisor, without an approved credential
  • take enforcement action for breaches of the Financial Professionals Title Protection Act, 2019
Cannot do

What FSRA cannot do:

  • oversee the conduct of individuals who use the Financial Planner or Financial Advisor title
  • investigate complaints about the conduct of individuals who hold an approved credential from an approved credentialing body

Enforcement and monitoring

We take our responsibilities to protect you from misconduct or non-compliance very seriously. View our most recent enforcement and monitoring information for this sector.

Engagement and consultation

We work with a Consumer Advisory Panel that provides a consumer perspective on proposed FSRA policy changes. View our engagement and consultation information.