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Almost one-third of B.C. investors don’t know what they’re paying their advisers: study

Click to play video: 'A lot is riding on the money you’re putting away for your retirement' A lot is riding on the money you’re putting away for your retirement
WATCH: It turns out, investment knowledge for many British Columbians is lacking. and the B.C. securities commission says that's a problem. Aaron McArthur now with what you need to know to help maximize your nest egg – Jan 23, 2017

You might know how much you’re putting into your RRSPs.

But do you know how much you’re paying the person who advised you to do that?

With RRSP season approaching, the B.C. Securities Commission (BCSC) is trying to make it easier for everyday investors to better understand the fees they’re paying their financial advisers.

New rules make it mandatory for the investment industry to disclose the fees they charge for financial advice.

“It’s very transparent and it is a great opportunity for investors to look at it this information, to really understand it,” BCSC’s Pamela McDonald said.

Investors know little about investment fees, said a recent BCSC study.

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Twenty-eight per cent of Canadians don’t know how much their advisers are paid and 36 per cent can’t tell the difference between the fee structures, it said.

Just over half of people surveyed don’t have a clue how much they paid in fees last year.

Some say these regulations are long overdue.

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“The regulators in Canada are, in my respectful opinion, very slow to move,” portfolio manager John DeGoey said. “That’s largely because the industry lobby is doing a good job of protecting its turf.”

“I think we’re always learning over time about how to improve the information, how we can better support the investment industry on how it provides information to its clients,” McDonald said.

The BCSC is making a big push to ensure people are more aware of their financial futures.

It has created several online tools including a fee quiz, fee guide and investment fee calculator as part of its awareness campaign.

The investment industry has until July to comply with the new regulations.

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– With files from Aaron McArthur

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