Asked Questions

  • A select number of investment managers and advisers (not advisors) in Canada are bound by what is called a “fiduciary duty.” A fiduciary duty is a legal obligation that compels investment managers or advisers to act in the best interests of their clients. This duty includes several key responsibilities: the duty of loyalty, requiring managers to prioritize their clients’ interests over their own and disclose any conflicts of interest; the duty of care, mandating the use of diligence, care, and skill in managing investments; and the duty to act in good faith, ensuring honesty and full disclosure in all dealings with clients.

    Additionally, investment managers must act within the authority given by their clients, to provide full and fair disclosure of all relevant information, including fees and risks, and find the best possible execution of transactions. These principles are enforced by regulatory bodies such as the Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA), the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC), and the Mutual Fund Dealers Association of Canada (MFDA), ensuring investment managers uphold the highest standards of integrity and professionalism in their service to clients.

  • The fiduciary duty is crucial, especially in the financial services industry, because it builds trust between clients and investment managers and ensures that managers act in the best interests of their clients, protecting clients from exploitation and conflicts of interest. A legal obligation, it enhances transparency, requiring full disclosure of all relevant information, which helps clients make informed decisions that support their short-term and long-term goals. It also promotes market integrity and professionalism, contributing to the overall confidence in the financial system. Furthermore, fiduciary duty mitigates legal risks by clearly defining the expectations and obligations within the client-investment manager relationship, with the aim to achieve better financial outcomes for clients. This is key to maintaining ethical standards and professionalism within the investment management industry, safeguarding individual investors.

  • The short answer is no. In Canada, the distinction between advising representatives and dealing representatives is important. Advising representatives are expected to act in a more fiduciary-like manner, whereas dealing representatives, more often referred to as a “Financial Advisor” may operate under a suitability standard that allows for more flexibility in the recommendations they provide.

    Advising representatives, otherwise known as “Financial or Investment Advisers” with an “e” are different. They are licensed to provide advice and recommendations on securities and investment products. They are expected to offer investment guidance that is in the best interests of their clients and aligns with their financial goals. Investment managers with a fiduciary duty would be considered an advising representative.

    In contrast, dealing representatives are typically responsible for executing securities transactions on behalf of clients. They may be associated with trading and order execution, rather than providing comprehensive investment advice. Dealing representatives may work with brokerage firms that prioritize commissions and sales, potentially leading to conflicts of interest. For instance, investors typically find a dealing representative (a broker or financial advisor) in a major bank.

  • When you choose an investment manager who is a fiduciary, you are entrusting your assets to a professional who is legally obligated to act in your best interests. Fiduciaries are held to a higher standard of care, which means they must prioritize your financial well-being above all else. They are legally bound to make recommendations and investment decisions that are most advantageous for you.

    This commitment not only fosters trust and confidence in the advisor-client relationship but also aims to deliver more closely aligned recommendations with your financial goals. While no investment strategy guarantees success, the fiduciary’s obligation to prioritize your interests can lead to more informed decisions and potentially better financial outcomes, making them a preferred choice for those seeking advice that matches their long-term objectives.

  • Fiduciaries earn their income through various compensation models while adhering to their duty to act in their clients’ best interests. The most common method is the fee-only model, where clients pay directly for advice and management, ensuring transparency and minimizing conflicts of interest. Alternatively, fee-based fiduciaries receive both client fees and commissions from financial products, which requires clear disclosure to mitigate any potential conflicts. Though less common, some fiduciaries might also earn through commissions from third parties for product sales, or performance-based fees linked to achieving investment benchmarks, primarily for high-net-worth clients. Regardless of the compensation structure, fiduciaries are obliged to fully disclose how they are paid and manage any potential conflicts, maintaining their commitment to providing unbiased, client-first financial advice.

  • A fiduciary is an investment manager legally obligated to act in your best interests who is held to a higher standard of care. This responsibility means they prioritize your financial well-being above their own interests or profits. They make investment decisions and recommendations that serve you best, underpinned by a commitment to transparency about fees, potential conflicts of interest, and their compensation methods. Fiduciaries are required to provide thorough and honest disclosures, enabling you to make well-informed financial decisions. Adopting a personalized and comprehensive approach, fiduciaries carefully consider your unique financial circumstances, objectives, and risk tolerance to develop investment strategies that align closely with your goals.

  • We believe it’s always your money, and you can get it when you need it. We do require 5 days written notice, but there are no fees associated with withdrawals.

  • We can manage most any type of account for an individual, endowment or corporation. We just can’t manage US residents’ non-RSP accounts.

  • Avenue has a household minimum of $750,000. Some exceptions apply.

  • Yes. We offer customized financial planning and portfolio management solutions.

  • We manage estate, trust, corporate and RDSP accounts.

  • Absolutely. We are happy to work collaboratively with your accountant and lawyer and serve as an independent sounding board.