On July 29, the Ontario Securities Commission’s Investor Advisory Panel (IAP) published the results of a survey it had conducted about how much advice small and mass-market investors receive (Survey). The IAP commissioned the Survey (covering 3,000 investors) to help the Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) assess what’s at risk if their proposed rules banning trailing commissions and other forms of embedded compensation are implemented. (See our discussion of the CSA’s proposal in our September 2018 bulletin.)

According to the IAP, the Survey raises “significant questions about whether most small and mass-market investors actually have access to advice that is comprehensive and timely enough to effectively meet their needs, even though they pay for it – often through embedded compensation schemes ….” Because of these findings, the IAP suggests that “it is not at all clear” that preserving the availability of trailing commissions will ensure that these investors get access to the advice they need.