Over the years, Michele and I have taken some ribbing about our exotic education events. We thought it was time to share the workload. We attended the Manulife Investment Forum in Niagara Falls on Thursday Oct 26, to Saturday the 28th. This event is a national event that changes locations each year to give advisors in each geography a break on travel costs. This year upwards of 500 individuals attended. Our days generally began at 8:00 after an early breakfast and finished about 4:30-5:00 with a dinner later on, 6-6:30. The days started with a main speaker, followed by break-out sessions. For the break-out session, we had to choose 1 of 3 topics. Mornings had 2 breakouts with 1 more in the afternoon. At lunch and dinner, we have a main speaker. Yes… it is very busy schedule and quite tiring.
Topics we attended this year included:
- Current Pension Benefits and the impact of increasing contributions to CPP over the next few years
- An in-depth analysis of a fund that provides a comprehensive one stop solution for small portfolios.
- The impact of tax rule changes on small business corporations, trusts and estate planning
- The impact on the economy and the value of the dollar when foreign investors buy substantial amounts of Canadian Real Estate
- Law suits arising out of wills estates and Power of Attorney
- Increasing regulatory scrutiny of client transactions and advisor responsibility
- Know your client standards and the need for a tri-annual review of their profile
- Know your product rules as they relate to best costs and suitability for the client
- Future trends and the impact of artificial intelligence on parts of the economy including the investment world
- Economic forecasts for various markets over the next 12-18 months
- The impact of inflation and political issues that may affect risk.
- A forecast for interest rate increases (or not) based on the current economic environment
- Investment taxation and globalization of markets
- The impact of social media and fake news as we navigate the investment world
- Risks of identity theft and the security of client information as thieves become increasingly sophisticated along with the need to confirm all transaction requests by voice communication with our clients.
- The need for increased transparency on all client activity and increased communication
The conference offers the opportunity to network with peers from other cities and to mix with Presenters and Head Office personnel. People get to mix during the event and after the formal activities in the evenings. Lot’s can be learned through these conversations
We are back home now and looking forward to another year of work, reviewing investment goals, insuring risks, measuring your progress and working to improve your client experience. The Conference will be located in Vancouver next year.