On Friday September 16, I attended the Toronto MoneyShow which seemed to be aimed at various levels of investor experienced and attended to by retail investors, day traders, investment advisors and accredited investors.
This was my first finance related expo and it was very relevant to me. I know of fintech-type of events more geared towards technologists and entrepreneurs but I was looking for something more towards the investor side.
State of the Canadian ETF market
The first main speaker that I saw was on the current state of the ETF market and the types of ETFs available in Canada. Very interesting topic as I have not had much exposure with these types of tax efficient, Canadian-focused vehicles deemed to be the modern to the mutual fund. However, the Canadian ETF is now $100 billion and growing.
The speaker, Jaime Purvis, introduced the notion of a strategic beta ETF. This is any passively managed index strategy that uses a different methodology from cap-weighing to determine security weight. Morningstar has a guide on strategic beta. There were also other weighing strategies that he introduced such as equal weighting, FAFI or fundamental indexing and low volatility. The best takeaway that I had obtained from the expo was how far ETFs had grown since they were first introduced as an investment vehicle.
Personal finance emails to The Globe and Mail
The next speaker was from The Globe and Mail, a Canadian news media outlet, who recounted about 17,000 emails that he had received as a personal finance writer over 18 years. I didn’t take away that much from him, however it would be interesting if there was a way to automate the findings in those emails to determine any patterns from it. For example, is there a linguistic pattern arising that could measure overall sentiment of a particular event? I know that in social media, there are data mining SaaS that automates and measures sentiment based on tweets.
Gold / GDX
Definitely an interesting panel introducing this precious metal as an investment.
The overall sentiment, I found, was that they were bullish on gold investments overall with gold being seen as ‘chaos insurance’ especially in the threat of quantitative failure.
If you want to read more about gold, The Bull and Bear has a digital edition out dedicated to gold which you can read here.
Eight years after our near meltdown in 2008, trust in our politicians, central banks and the intelligentsia have eroded…As such investors are more concerned about the return of their money, rather than the return. Investors beware, better to come up with a Plan B. Gold is everyone’s Plan B.
Active Investment Management
One of the dedicated sessions that I sat in was on high probability swinging strategies as a swing trader capitalizing on oscillations on the market, analysing price behaviour, a bit about risk management and candle stick charts. This was a really great panel and spiked my interest, especially when trying to make sense of the world through finding out what is ‘normal’, pattern recognition. The risk management portion really struck out to me. I think that there is surely a correlation between expats/nomads and day traders when it comes to risk management.
Having been aware of roboadvisors since early last year, I was very interested to see what the panel can bring. I am personally not a big fan of the term but it really is about technological innovations in current investment vehicles and in wealth management. It’s about digital going to the future.
One could determine that roboadvisory services are simply services that utilizes technology to make things more efficient. The mechanisms could be in algorithm but there is still a component involving human interaction. While traditionally these types of services have high human touch points, robo advisories could bundle up high human touch with lower human touch for certain areas, or it could even do away with human touch in portfolio management depending on the segment. I appreciate the ability to innovate bundling offers and I can easily sense a writeup regarding the potentials roboadvisors have with expats.
Roboadvisors enhance the digital experience of how you interact with portfolio management
One of the panel speakers made an interesting note about the difference between the US model (which can be fully digital) and the Canadian model (more correlation with portfolio managers).
Profiting and trading from dark pool prints
This was by far the most interesting part of the day for me at the Toronto MoneyShow. The presentation was by The Stock Whisperer or Stefanie Kammerman. LightSpeed Trader has a recorded webinar on how to profit off the dark pool which you can view which has some points from this talk. I subscribe to her Whisper of the Day which lands in my inbox each morning also.
Please note that these do not count as investment advice whatsoever. View the LinkedIn post here.
Follow up blog post: Session with a professional coach formulating a personal investment education plan.