Empowering people with financial knowledge

Promoting financial security for seniors by supporting advisors

The past few years have seen increased industry and regulatory scrutiny over the financial welfare of older investors. We recognized that financial advisors were on the front lines in working with older investors, who may experience diminished capacity and can find themselves vulnerable to financial mismanagement or exploitation. In 2018, we set out to support financial advisors’ understanding of the challenges facing seniors in Canada and provide them with enhanced educational tools through the Canadian Securities Institute (CSI).

Acquired in 2010, CSI operates as part of Moody’s Analytics Learning Solutions and offers training and certification services to financial professionals in Canada. As a trusted licensing institution, CSI has access to a network of over 9,600 financial professionals who hold a CSI designation, many of whom work with seniors.

Marie Muldowney, managing director for the CSI portfolio, recognized that our unique role in the Canadian market and our access to investment professionals position us to build awareness and help change the way advisors work with seniors. She organized a team tasked with surveying CSI’s designation holders to better understand the scope of the challenge. “We sought to learn more about the issue directly from the financial professionals who advise the senior population,” she explains.

More than 500 advisors responded to the survey, with the majority acknowledging that additional training would better equip them to recognize and handle the unique issues facing seniors. Based on the survey and follow-on discussions with advisors, the CSI team further identified that lower-income seniors and women who outlive their partners are particularly vulnerable — and the challenges they face are not sufficiently understood by advisors.

“It was heartening that respondents recognized the challenges facing seniors,” says Muldowney. “Even more encouraging was the overwhelmingly positive response to our invitation to participate in the awareness-building effort.”

“I was elated to see so many of our designation holders offering to get involved in this important cause,” she continues. “With the help of our designation holders, we can begin to address the education gap in the industry.”

Over the next few months, the CSI team plans to offer these volunteers access to free resources, such as webinars and other training materials, to share with fellow advisors. The team will also make this training available to end clients and their families through advisor-led local presentations.

“By offering resources, knowledge and skills to both advisors and, through them, the clients they serve, we hope to begin a wave of industry awareness,” Muldowney says.

“By offering resources, knowledge and skills to both advisors and, through them, the clients they serve, we hope to begin a wave of industry awareness.”


Percentage of respondents who reported interest in either participating in or learning more about the effort

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