Check Out a Potential Investment
Asking the right questions can help you make an informed decision. When determining whether an investment opportunity is right for you, it’s smart to ask:
- Is the person offering me this investment registered? What about his/her company?
- Is there any enforcement history with this company or individual?
- Are there any complaints or unhappy investors from this company online?
Do Your Homework
Being an informed investor is one of your best defences against investment fraud. Although most investment advisers are honest and work in your best interest, you still need to carefully choose who you deal with.
Are They Registered?
Before investing check registration. Why is registration important? Securities industry professionals are required to register with the securities regulator in each province or territory where they do business. Registration helps protect investors because securities regulators will only register firms and individuals if they are properly qualified.
Use the National Registration Search to check if your adviser or firm is registered.
Keep in mind that, just because an individual or firm is registered doesn’t mean the investment is a good fit for you. Those offering investment opportunities have varying skills, provide a variety of services and likely charge different fees. Ensure the person you’re working with understands your goals and is willing to work with you to meet them. It is important that they assess your current financial and personal situation, your investment objectives and risk tolerance.
What If I Don't See What I'm Looking For?
If you discover the person or company you are dealing with is not registered, is offering you something they don’t seem permitted to, or if you need help understanding the results of the National Registration Search tool, please contact the ASC Inquiries Office at email@example.com or 1-877-355-4488.
Use National Registration Search now
Check the News and Search Online
Do an online search and look through news releases for information about an individual or firm. The news can often tell you about unhappy victims, court cases and even rumours that you may want to further investigate. You can also keep up to date with the latest investor alerts from across the country.
- Is a company registered to do business in Alberta? Check with Corporate Registry (Alberta Government).
- Find names of participating firms with the Ombudsman for Banking Services and Investments and how you can make a complaint.
- Is a company in good standing with the ASC? Look at the Reporting Issuers List (e.g. have they been in default or been issued a Cease Trade Order?)
- Don’t see a company’s name on the Reporting Issuers list? Find out if a company is relying on an exemption from regular filing requirements by looking at exempt financing transactions or by calling us at 1-877-355-4488.
- Check the credibility of public company information and access full-text copies of filed public documents on SEDAR (System for Electronic Document Analysis and Retrieval).
- Check out insider reporting with SEDI (System for Electronic Disclosure by Insiders).
If, after doing your own research, you are unclear about your investment, please contact our ASC Public Inquiries at 1-877-355-4488 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
You may also want to consider getting independent advice from a third party with business knowledge such as a registered financial adviser or securities lawyer.
Being an informed investor is your best defence against investment fraud. Share these tips with friends and family, and remember when in doubt, contact the ASC.