Continuing our series showcasing ASC employees and the roles they play in investor protection, meet Ceilidh McMeekin, Advisor, Investor and Industry Education. She joined us in early 2018 from Toronto, and helps spread the word on how the ASC can assist people to educate and protect themselves from investment fraud.
What drew you to joining the ASC?
My background is heavily rooted in consumer-focused public relations: educating people on the latest and greatest products in the market. While I got to do a lot of fun work selling people ‘things,’ I was hungry for a role where I could help people. So when an opportunity opened up at the ASC, I saw the chance to be a part of a leading organization and help Albertans. Working to protect the public is a uniting front for our employees and gets them up and out of bed in the morning. I’m definitely one of those people!
What is your role on the communications team?
There are two aspects to my role – Investor Education and Industry Education.
Investor Education is one of my favourite parts because it focuses on reaching out and talking to as many Albertans as we can throughout the year – both online and face-to-face at various events throughout the province. We provide them with free and unbiased information to help make informed investment decisions, raise their awareness of the red flags of fraud, and then direct them to our investor-focused website, Checkfirst.ca, which provides a variety of resources to increase their financial literacy. “Knowledge is power,” and the more information people have, the less likely they are to be a victim of a fraudulent scam.
The other piece is Industry Education. There are always new rules and regulations that affect investment and securities professionals, so the ASC holds several events annually to communicate this information. The most exciting and largest is our annual conference, ASC Connect, which is a day-long informative event with amazing speakers.
What makes you passionate about your work at the ASC?
The ability to do good. I’m no longer trying to get people to purchase things that they don’t necessarily need; instead, I’m providing Albertans free resources that help them protect themselves. In addition, I like being proactive. My group reaches out, connect with people, lets them know about the resources available to them, and helps them be in a position of power when it comes to making their financial and investing decisions.
What is your proudest accomplishment at the ASC?
ASC Connect is probably my proudest accomplishment. It’s a big project with many different components so you have to think holistically about the different stakeholders and their needs to ensure they receive good value. Every single member on my team pulled together to help, and this year’s conference couldn’t have been as successful without their assistance. We had over 300 attendees and 100 per cent said they would recommend ASC Connect. Looking forward, we want to continue delivering A-grade content that is timely and informative, not only about past developments and upcoming trends, but tangible information that can be applied right away.
How do you feel you help Albertans?
By increasing people’s awareness of the red flags of fraud and breaking down barriers. Talking about personal finance is often taboo, but the more open discussion we have about it, the more we can help each other. Letting Albertans know about our resources – whether they are an experienced or new investor - may help them learn something new and become empowered to make better investment decisions and protect themselves or their loved ones from investment fraud.
What is the most important thing you want Albertans to remember?
Checkfirst.ca. We pour our energy and talents into this educational resource. It’s here for you. Use it. Share it. And check everything. First and foremost, check your advisor’s registration, and second, focus on learning the red flags of fraud.
The more you learn, the more you know and the better questions you can ask when approached with an investment. Checkfirst provides the tools you need to vet experts and potential investment opportunities to ensure that it’s right for you.
Is there anything else you want to share?
Keep an eye on Checkfirst.ca, and come see us when we’re out on the community. We’re active on social media so if you happen to see that we’re coming to an event near you, please come talk to us. We love to meet new people and share our information.