In Canada, the securities regulators have a "Know Your Client" rule, which basically states that financial planners & brokers must have collected certain basic information about a client's financial picture to properly advise them on their investments. As such, planners are required to have a signed Know Your Client form (generally abbreviated to KYC form, and at least one wiseguy in every office will start calling it a KFC form) from every client. Some discount brokerages, where ostensibly the only trades are from clients who do not want advice, are exempt or partially exempt from this rule.

A KYC form will collect the clients name, SIN, date of birth, information about their place of employment (salary, length of employment, address..), similar information about the client's spouse, an estimate of the clients liquid and fixed assets, how much risk they are willing to accept, what their financial goals are, their past investment experience and level of financial knowledge, their insurance, their banking information, and questions about other accounts and any possible conflicts of interest between the client and any public companies (potential for insider trading) or the client and the advisor. Whew! Not all the questions are mandatory, but most are.

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