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December 17, 2021

Beware of product pushers when assessing advisors

There are probably as many perceptions of what a financial advisor is, or should be, as there are people who hire them.

Most advisors these days are busy positioning their practices as real professions, the way lawyers and accountants look at themselves.

But, when assessing his fellow advisors, Ted Rechtshaffen, President of Toronto-based financial planning firm TriDelta Financial Partners, thinks too many of them are still product pushers, rather than truly independent professionals that clients might like them to be.  

And, even though it’s not a particularly popular view, he’s not afraid to tell them so.

“As more Canadians figure they can be buying funds or stocks on their own, the advice industry will be pushed toward providing real financial advice,” he says. “Not due to any great desire to provide more value, but simply a realization that the easy money product sale is becoming harder to achieve.”

There are a lot of honest, conscientious advisors across the country – just as there are also a lot of honest, conscientious car salesmen. But how can you tell when neither is under any obligation to sell you the product that’s in your best interest?

In a recent editorial, Rechtshaffen offers ten commonly asked client questions and the typical answers you might expect from thoughtful advisors on the one hand, and product pushers on the other. You be the judge.

Is your advisor a product pusher? When did you suspect that you weren't necessarily on the same page? 

By Gordon Powers, MSN Money



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Gordon PowersGordon Powers

A long-time fund company executive, Gordon Powers now heads up the Affinity Group, a financial services consulting firm. Gordon was a personal finance columnist for the Globe & Mail for many years, has taught retirement planning...

James HaversJames Havers

James is the senior editor of MSN Money living in Toronto. He has worked for the Nikkei Shimbun (Tokyo),,, Canadian Business and other publications. Havers turned to journalism after teaching overseas.

Jason BucklandJason Buckland

The modern-day MC Hammer of money, Jason can often be seen spending cash that isn’t his with the efficiency of a Wilt Chamberlain first date. After cutting his teeth as a reporter for the Toronto Sun, he joined the MSN Money team with...