everyone should have a financial advisor, someone who counsels on financial matters, asses the needs and comes up with solutions. it is best to centralize all mutual funds, segregated funds, insurances, RRSPs, investments with the same advisor. however, not all advisors are equal. since all advisors, except some financial planners and some higher-end investment specialist, work on commission, it is important to know if your advisor is biased towards a certain product or a certain company.
for example, captive agents from companies such as industrial alliance, manulife, sun life, clarica, ing and the banks have incentives to sell products from the companies that employ them. their bonuses and commissions are higher for thos products. they can offer others, but generally wont, since they would be loosing money.
the best advisors are either accredited financial planners or independent financial security advisors. financial planners work partly on commission, and partly on pay. a financial planner can bill you for all his advice, whether you take it or dont, make you sign an exclusivity aggreement with him, so that you dont implement his planning advice with someone else.
some speciality brokers that manage solely investments for clients take off a trailer fee for themselves, an additional 1-3% every year as their pay. to work these brokers there always is a minimum investment, varying from 100000$ to 500000$.
independent financial security advisors are like unaccredited financial planners. they can not bill you for advice, nor can they make you sign an exclusivity aggreement. however, they are mostly unbiased. they have aggreements with a multitude of insurance and investment companies. most commission from these companies is standard, so there is no incentive to sell one product more than another. which is good for the client, since he gets the best of both worlds. independent unbiased advice, that wont cost money each time new advice is given.