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Uncovering Myths and Assumptions of Exempt Market Investing


In the Canadian investment landscape, the exempt market presents a unique opportunity for those looking to diversify their portfolios beyond traditional public market investments. However, this area of investment is often surrounded by myths and misconceptions that can deter potential investors.

Let’s take a closer look at some of the most common myths about exempt market investing in Canada, and clarify the facts.

Myth 1: 

The Exempt Market is Riskier Than Public Markets


While it’s true that exempt market investments often come with higher risks, this is not universally true across all exempt market products. The exempt market includes a variety of investment opportunities, from private equity and venture capital to real estate and infrastructure projects. These investments can offer higher returns, but they also require thorough due diligence. Like any investment, the key is to understand the specific risks and to ensure that they align with your risk tolerance and investment goals.

Myth 2:

You Need a Large Amount of Money to Invest in the Exempt Market


One of the most pervasive myths is that the exempt market is only for the wealthy. While some investments in the exempt market do require substantial capital, there are many opportunities that cater to a broader range of investors. For example, some investment funds and private placements have minimum investment thresholds that are accessible to a wider audience. Moreover, the introduction of new platforms and regulations is making it easier for smaller investors to participate in the exempt market.

Myth 3:

Exempt Market Investments Are Not Regulated


This is a significant misconception. Exempt market investments are indeed subject to regulations, although they differ from those governing public market securities. The Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) and provincial securities regulators impose strict rules to protect investors. These regulations ensure that issuers provide adequate disclosure, and that investors are qualified to participate based on their financial sophistication and experience. For instance, investors must meet certain criteria to qualify, such as income or net worth thresholds, or have the appropriate knowledge and experience.

Myth 4: 

Exempt Market Investments Don’t Offer Diversification


On the contrary, the exempt market can provide significant diversification opportunities. By including private equity, real estate, and other alternative investments, you can enhance the diversification of your portfolio. These assets can have a low correlation with traditional asset classes like stocks and bonds, potentially reducing overall portfolio risk and enhancing returns. The key is to carefully select investments that complement your existing portfolio.

Myth 5: 

The Exempt Market is Only for High Net-Worth Individuals


While high net-worth individuals and institutional investors are significant participants in the exempt market, it is not exclusively for them. Regulatory changes have broadened access to exempt market investments, allowing more Canadians to participate. Certain exemptions and investment funds are designed specifically to accommodate the needs of non-accredited investors, making it possible for a wider range of people to explore these opportunities.

Myth 6:

You Don’t Need Professional Advice to Invest in the Exempt Market


Given the complexity and risks associated with exempt market investments, seeking professional advice is crucial. Dealing Representatives with expertise in the exempt market can help you navigate the options, and align investments with your financial goals. They can also assist in understanding the specific risks and regulatory requirements, ensuring that your investment decisions are well-informed.


The exempt market in Canada offers a wealth of opportunities for investors willing to look beyond traditional public market investments. By dispelling these myths and understanding the true nature of exempt market investments, you can make more informed decisions that align with your financial objectives. Whether you’re an experienced investor or just starting, the key is to do your homework, seek professional advice from registered Dealing Representatives, and explore the diverse possibilities that the exempt market has to offer. 

Invest wisely, and consider how exempt market investments can enhance your portfolio’s growth and stability in an ever-evolving financial landscape.



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