Frequently Asked Questions

Helping You Find the Answers

Here are some helpful answers to commonly asked questions about FirstOntario Advisors and our Wealth Management practices.

If you have a question that is not listed below, please contact any one of our advisors.

Wealth management is not just for the wealthy. Wealth management is a term commonly used to describe investment management and financial planning services for individuals and families – including asset and income protection strategies, estate and succession planning, retirement, planning, tax planning, etc.

Financial planning is the development of a plan for evaluating a client’s current financial situation, identifying areas of need and planning for future life events. Wealth management is a comprehensive approach to provide advice on investment management, estate planning and asset protection.

FirstOntario Investments is the wealth management division of FirstOntario Credit Union, the second-largest credit union in Ontario and one of the top 15 in Canada. The FirstOntario wealth team strives to provide its customers with the highest level of financial advice usually reserved for the wealthiest investors at other financial institutions. Through a team of experienced and highly qualified professionals, it offers financial planning, investment portfolio management, business succession planning, estate and asset protection and insurance consulting services.

FirstOntario Investments utilizes credit union system-owned investment dealer Credential Securities Inc., to provide investment advisory services. Credential Securities is a member of Canadian Investor Protection Fund (CIPF).

We are driven by FirstOntario values. We always put customers first. We do the right things for all the right reasons and treat everyone with respect. Our advice is highly personalized, keeping in mind your goals, risk tolerance and current financial obligations. We strive to provide the best customer experience, more than anyone else, at every level every day.

Our first consultation is designed for us to get to know each other and to assess if there is value in establishing an advisor-client relationship. Once there is a mutual agreement that there is a fit for us to work together, we’ll begin the formal process of establishing our business relationship with you and your family. We will conduct a thorough discovery and review the financial and personal information you provide us. We will analyze this information and prepare our recommendations for your investments and any other wealth management issues that we identify.

Provided you agree with our analysis and recommendation, we will set up your investment accounts and transfer your assets in. We will prepare an Investment Plan. This is a written document that sets out how your money will be invested. Think of this as a “business plan”, against which our strategy will be implemented. Although there is a lot of work going on in the background, we make every effort to make this transition seamless and as convenient as possible for you.

We believe in an open and transparent fee structure. We disclose all of our fees and charges upfront and at the outset of account opening. We prefer to operate on a fee-based advisory model. Our fees are a percentage of assets you have entrusted us to administer. These fees may be a combination of advisory service fees paid directly to our investment dealer, Credential Securities, for our advice and fees that are paid to portfolio managers. This places us in alignment with you and your interests, as we are not incented to trade or transact, but rather to protect and grow your investments.

We also offer traditional accounts where a charge is levied for every transaction and trailer fees are earned on invested funds directly from the fund companies. In any case, we provide complete disclosure of fees and compensation arrangements before an account is opened and a transactions is initiated.

Our advisors are compensated with a guaranteed salary, a comprehensive employee benefit package and performance based bonuses.

FirstOntario wealth advisors are dually employed by Credential Securities (CSI). CSI is a full service investment dealer registered under Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC) and the Ontario Securities Commission. All of our wealth advisors are licensed and regulated by IIROC.

FirstOntario Investments utilizes credit union system-owned investment dealer Credential Securities Inc. to provide investment advisory services. Credential Securities Inc. is a member of the Canadian Investor Protection Fund. Customers’ accounts are protected by the Canadian Investor Protection Fund within specified limits. A brochure describing the nature and limits of coverage is available upon request. For more detail, please visit the CIPF website at www.cipf.ca.