Distinction among Canadian investors

Feb 14, 2023

Different Categories of Investors

In Canada, securities regulations establish a distinction between accredited investors and retail investors, based on their income, net worth, and investment experience. Here is a comparative table outlining the differences between these two types of investors:

Criteria Accredited Investor Retail Investor
Minimum annual income $200 000 ou $300 000 as a couple no revenu minimum
Minimum net worth $1 000 000 (including the primary residence) No minimum net worth
Experience in investment/asset management Financial work experience or professional certification no specific requirement
Financial access to investments Access to investments that may not be offered to the general public limited access to certain types of investments
Regulation N/A Increased/Enhanced regulatory protection for regular investors


In Canada, a qualified investor typically has a high income, significant net worth, and some investment experience, which allows them to access a greater variety of investments, including some that are not offered to the general public. On the other hand, regular investors benefit from increased regulatory protection to ensure they are better informed about the risks associated with investments.

Why such a distinction?

The distinction between accredited investors and retail investors is established in Canadian securities regulations. It is based on the principle that investors with more experience and financial resources can better understand and evaluate the risks associated with more complex and sophisticated investments.

Accredited investors are considered to have greater financial expertise and higher financial capacity to withstand potential losses. They have access to a wider range of financial products that may be riskier or more complex than those offered to retail investors.

On the other hand, retail investors, who have less investment experience and more modest financial means, are considered more vulnerable to investment risks. To protect these investors, Canadian securities regulations impose stricter rules on brokers and financial advisors working with retail investors.

For example, brokers must ensure that the financial products offered are suitable for the profile of the retail investor in terms of their level of knowledge, risk tolerance, and financial needs. Additionally, retail investors also benefit from increased legal protections, such as stricter disclosure rules, which provide them with more comprehensive and clear information about the offered financial products.

In summary, the distinction between accredited investors and retail investors aims to better protect investors by establishing different rules for each group. Accredited investors have access to more sophisticated financial products, while retail investors benefit from enhanced protection rules to mitigate the risks they face.

Note: Il est important de se rappeler que le trading est une activité risquée et qu’il est important de se rappeler que les pertes sont possibles. Il est donc important de bien comprendre les risques associés au trading et de ne pas investir de l’argent qu’on ne peut se permettre de perdre. Il est aussi important de se rappeler que les performances passées ne garantissent pas les résultats futurs. Il est donc important d’avoir une stratégie de gestion de risque appropriée en place et de ne pas se fier uniquement à un seul indicateur pour prendre des décisions d’investissement.

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