The purpose of this Investor Rights and Protection Guide is to provide education and awareness to help you manage the risks and pitfalls of investing.
Why should you be interested in investing? When you work, you exchange your time for money and you earn what is called “active income.” We all get paid different amounts for our work, but we all have a limited amount of time to earn money by working. You can work harder and longer to make more money but, at some point, you run out of time. Investing is how you earn money without trading in more of your time by working. Instead of working for all of your money, you let some of your money work for you. It still takes time, but it happens while you are busy living life. You are earning “passive income” by investing.
As one of the most successful investors of all time, Warren Buffet, said, “If you don't find a way to make money while you sleep, you will work until you die.”
You have the power to be a successful investor. Once you know the basics of investing, you can choose how to invest your money. You can decide how much help you need from professionals and how much you are willing to do yourself. Whatever investing path you choose, the more you know, the more successful you will be.
Earning money by investing is easier than working, but it involves more risk. With most investments, you do not know how much money you will make or if you will make any money at all. You can choose less risky investments to have more certainty, but they generally make a lot less money. So, to be a successful investor, you can’t avoid all risk. But you can manage your risk and you can avoid certain pitfalls.
Investment fraud is a serious risk but can be avoided with awareness. Being careful about who you buy investments from and knowing the warning signs of investment fraud can keep you safe from being a victim.
Another pitfall of investing is losing a big part of your investment earnings to hidden investment fees or to fees paid for poor investment advice. You can minimize fees and only pay for worthwhile advice by knowing your rights and by using information and tools to protect yourself and your money.
The tabs at the top of each page on this website show the four main sections of this guide. If you plan to review the whole guide, start at the Investment Basics tab. You can also use the tabs and the subsections to look up specific topics.
Any investor can be a victim of fraud, high fees or bad advice, but some people are at higher risk.
These groups include:
- youth and young adults,
- newcomers to Canada, and
- individuals who have recently come into a sum of money.
If you belong to such a group, click on the links above to learn how this guide can help you invest safely.
This Investor Rights and Protection Guide has been developed by the Legal Information Society of Nova Scotia. We thank the Law Foundation of Ontario for their financial support for this project.