Protecting the financial security of investors has never been more important. With a growing elderly population and our ever-increasing dependence on technology, there has been a rise in cybercrimes.

Fact: Over 46 percent of individuals who are 60 years and older have physical and mental disabilities.

Fact: Each year, one in six seniors falls victim to elder abuse.

Fact: Regardless of age, we remain vulnerable to financial fraud and economic abuse. Canadians lost $380M to fraud in 2021 alone.

With these increasing challenges, the “trusted contact person” (TCP) has been introduced to provide an additional preventative layer of protection to support investors. The TCP is a person you choose, for which you have given us written consent to contact under certain circumstances, such as if there appears to be something amiss, if there is suspected financial exploitation or if there are concerns about decision making. The TCP has no authority to make financial decisions or direct transactions and assumes no liability when it comes to your account(s). The TCP does not replace or assume the role of Trading Authority that may be authorized to an investment account. As well, the TCP is different from the Power of Attorney role that is put in place to provide support in the event of incapacity.

You are able to appoint anyone you wish to be your trusted contact person. It is recommended to select someone who is trusted, mature and knowledgeable about your personal situation and support network. The individual should be capable of speaking with you, and to us, about your well-being, including potentially sensitive topics such as your physical or mental health status.

You may also consider appointing multiple trusted contacts. The person(s) nominated can change and you are able to revoke designations entirely at any time.

While there may not be a current need for a TCP, implementing this safeguard in advance can help to provide protection down the road. Even if you have appointed a Power of Attorney, having a TCP adds an additional layer of protection to your account(s). If you would like to nominate a TCP for your existing accounts, or for more information, please get in touch.

This article was originally published in the Spring 2022 newsletter, "Challenging the Trend." Click here to view.

Harbourfront Wealth Management was one of Wealth Professional Magazines 5 Star Brokerages for 2022. Wealth Professional is a free online information resource for all Canadian advice and planning professionals. This is not a paid award Harbourfront Wealth Management is not a sponsor.