CFA Society Toronto Annual Wealth Conference 2023

October 3, 2023
Written by Rita Silvan
CFA Society Toronto Annual Wealth Conference 2023

On September 21st the CFA Society of Toronto hosted their annual conference where leading speakers from the financial and academic communities presented on a range of timely topics— even recording a live podcast episode. Here are some highlights from the event, along with links to learn more.  

How Canada’s economy has shifted over the last 50 years and the path for Canada to remain competitive over the rest of the 21st century. 

Professor Walid Hejazi of Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto and co-author of Everybody’s Business: How to Ensure Canadian Prosperity through the Twenty-first Century discussed Canada’s powerful attributes and proud history of social, political, and economic progress. Yet, today, Canada is falling behind other countries in terms of productivity and innovation and its share of the world’s economy. He cautioned against a sense of complacency that assumes living standards will continue to rise. There is a risk that future generations will be worse off if we do not capitalize on opportunities in the knowledge-based economy.  

How will the growth of AI impact the wealth management and financial services industries? 

Malcolm White, director and portfolio manager, Global Equity (Technology), BMO, presented his findings on how the new industrial revolution, led by machine learning, may affect the financial services industry in terms of higher productivity and reduction of “grunt work”. He cited a recent study that showed OpenAI’s Chat GPT3 would receive a B-grade on Wharton’s final MBA Exam. “Analyst Helper Bots” may be used to answer investors’ questions on quarterly financial reports and customized bots could provide assistance to such queries as: “what is fair value for a one-year future silver contract based current costs in a contango market?” However, regulations, hallucinations, qualifications, validations, certifications, militarizations, and other “tions” may act as deterrents to deployment.  

Gaining a better understanding of private equity as an asset class. 

Steve Balaban, CIO, Mink Capital provided a comprehensive due diligence checklist to help investors make better-informed private equity fund investments which are more challenging due to their complexity. Due diligence in private equity funds is especially paramount as, once the capital is invested, it may not be possible to withdraw it before the end of the fund’s life cycle.  

Survey report on how accomplished men and women worldwide are investing in themselves. 

Barbara Stewart, keynote speaker and researcher, presented the findings of her 2023 Rich Thinking report. She interviewed over 50 successful professionals around the world on how they invest in themselves. The results showed that the majority invested in themselves through fitness activities, travel, and consuming higher quality food. They also focused on spending more time with family and friends, investing in continued education, funding a passion project, and supporting a creative habit.  

Two of Canada’s most well-known financial podcasters on the lessons they’ve learned over five years of interviewing some of the brightest minds in finance.  

Cameron Passmore and Benjamin Felix, co-hosts of the popular Rational Reminder podcast recorded a live show at the event where the wide-ranging conversation covered their favourite guests, and what they’ve learned about investing (and podcasting) during the past five years of the hosting the show and interviewing some of the brightest minds in investing.  


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