Early on in 2020 as the pandemic spread across the globe, the decision was made to cancel our annual in-person conference, scheduled for June in Montreal, Canada. Thankfully, we were still able to meet virtually and split the conference into 4 sessions running from June through to December, each featuring keynote speakers.
True to our Association’s aim of continual improvement, 4 sub-committees were created: Marketing, Diamond Teams, Research & Thought Leadership, and Global Solutions; each of which has begun innovating in their key fields.
June saw Brad Steiman, Head of the Wealth Management Group at Dimensional Fund Advisors, Canada, present to the Association on Positive Psychology. Working in a people-centric profession where emotions can often dominate, Brad discussed the useful tools available to Financial Advisors from the burgeoning field known as Positive Psychology.
Vanguard’s Antonia Picca was our guest in August, presenting Delivering Strong Factor Exposure. Key messages from his presentation covered how Advisors can build strategies that deliver strong factor exposure, utilising high exposure factor strategies to build efficient active portfolios and timing factor exposures.
Sustainable Investing was covered in October with Sam Adams from Vert Asset Management. Discussion topics included; is Sustainable Investing a real investment strategy, is there real demand for it and does it have any real impact? Sam and the membership then moved on to how to go about investing for sustainability, how to talk about it with clients and why offer it.
December saw award-winning author Morgan Housel present on the Psychology of Money, a series of short stories exploring the strange ways in which people think about money, teaching us how to make better sense of one of life’s most important topics. Morgan discussed the concept that doing well with money isn’t necessarily about what you know, it’s about how you behave, and behaviour is hard to teach, even to really smart people. Money investing, personal finance and business decisions are typically taught as a math-based field, where data and formulas tell us exactly what to do. But in the real world, people don’t make financial decisions on a spreadsheet, they make them at the dinner table, or in a meeting room, where personal history, their unique view of the world, ego, pride, marketing and odd incentives are scrambled together.
We were incredibly grateful that our keynote speakers were still able to present to the membership on their inspiring and informative topics.