The Canadian investment industry can be very confusing especially when it comes to separating out who does what and their underlying qualifications.
For example, many do not realize the difference between an investment advisor and a portfolio manager. An investment advisor is bound by a duty of care to provide sound investment advice or recommendations to the client. Therefore, you as the client are ultimately responsible in the end for the decisions being made on your portfolio.
A portfolio manager on the other hand has discretion over the investment decision making and therefore has a legal fiduciary duty to the client not unlike a lawyer or accountant. As a result, there are typically more rigorous licensing and educational requirements in order to become a portfolio manager.
Unfortunately, there are those investment advisors who bill themselves out as portfolio managers even though they are neither registered in that capacity nor meet the minimum educational requirements. For more information on this and to know the right questions to ask when searching out an investment professional, Martin has written an article entitled "Managers, advisors have different roles" in his weekly Financial Post column.
At TriVest, we are licensed as Investment Counsellor and Portfolio Manager (ICPM) and Investment Fund Manager (IFM). All of our portfolio managers and family chief investment officers also hold the industry's gold-standard CFA designation.