You invest to grow your money. But most investment growth is not guaranteed.Investing involves risk. You might make money but you might also lose money. This guide tells you about your rights as an investor so that you have a better chance of making good investments.
There are different types of investments and different ways and places you can buy them. There are also special accounts for investments which can help you pay less income tax. These are helpful, but they make investing more complicated. They can also cause you to make investment decisions too quickly when you are trying to meet tax deadlines.
Most investors need help with choosing and buying investments. You should be careful about who you buy investments from. You should also understand the risks of taking advice from someone who is selling you something.
Many investors use financial advisors at banks or other places to help them buy investments. These people are allowed or “registered” to sell investments. They advise you on which investments to buy and can help you. You might get good advice from a registered financial advisor. But you might get poor advice or be taken advantage of.
Sometimes people who are trying to sell you investments are not allowed to and are trying to take your money. This is illegal and is known as investment fraud. Checking to see if someone is allowed or “registered” to sell investments is a first step in protecting yourself from investment fraud. This is easy to do on your computer or cell phone.
Government agencies,like the Nova Scotia Securities Commission (NSSC) register individuals and firms to sell investments. They have rules about what registered financial advisors may do and may not do when giving advice or selling investments. These rules help protect you when you buy investments, but you also need to protect yourself. Most people don’t know much about the rules, their rights as investors or about investing in general. This makes it hard to stand up for their rights or to even know when there is a problem. The more you know about investing and your investment rights,the better the chance that you will meet your investment goals.
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.