The Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario (FSRA) is sounding the alarm about where Ontario investors get their investment information. A survey of 1,035 consumers found that a significant portion of the population may be making important decisions based on information from sources FSRA says are generally questionable. The poll’s results indicate that 68 per cent of respondents admit they get their investment advice from social media, word of mouth or the internet.

More, they add that half admitted to spending more time researching their last cell phone purchase than the financial professionals they are working with. They say this suggests Ontario investors may not be spending enough time looking into the credentials of the professionals they work with.

“FSRA is encouraging consumers to get financial advice from qualified financial services professionals,” the regulator states in an announcement about the launch of its Financial Literacy Month efforts. “FSRA has found that a significant number of Ontarians may be making investment decisions based on information from questionable sources or from individuals who may not be qualified.” 

The announcement highlights title protection legislation which came into force in the province in March 2022. It adds that 89 per cent of the FSRA poll respondents agreed that there was a need for regulated standards for people using the financial planner and financial advisor titles.