Posts Tagged ‘Smorgasbord’
Wednesday, May 25th, 2011
The CIFPs 8th National Conference Review
By Marc Lamontagne, CFP, R.F.P, FMA
This is my second consecutive year attending this conference and once again the agenda was PACKED. Each day began about 7:30 am and typically went to 6:00 pm, with dinner starting pronto at 6:30. You clearly earn your CE credits and receive your money’s worth at this conference.
The agenda was a smorgasbord; enough to quench the thirst for novelty of 500 to 600 attendees. The highlight was undoubtedly Hermann F. Leiningen with RBC Global Asset Management. Leiningen was very funny, and he managed to walk the audience through several complex economic scenarios and sustain their interest!
Take away: Expect U.S. interest rates to stay low for at least the next nine months or until there is a jobs recovery, stocks are still trading at the lower end of the band due to continued global economic uncertainty, and the demand for oil from China and India has barely scratched the surface.
Like any conference there were a few mutual fund company “talking heads,” although the more interesting material came from industry participants such as Cary List, President and CEO of the Financial Planners Standards Council. List presented some of the findings of their recent consumer survey on the benefits of financial planning. This is news that all CFP professionals will want to share with their clients and prospects. Shawn Brayman, President of PlanPlus, offered us an overview of the top academic and industry research in the field of financial planning. However, he had so many fascinating papers to discuss, it was unfortunate he had only an hour to cover his material. And yours truly gave a short presentation on the recent 2010 Advisor Survey Report, concluding that the delivery of financial advice is not that different between fee and commission models.
Susan Wolburg Jenah, President & CEO of IIROC, provided an update on the Client Relationship Model (CRM) proposals that will impose greater disclosure on the industry in order to increase investor protection. However, the CRM has dragged on for so long and morphed so many times, it is hard to believe it will ever materialize. Asked by an attendee how the developments on compensation in the U.K. and Australia might affect us here, Wolburg Jenah said that IIROC was keeping a close eye on developments that could potentially influence compensation models in Canada, although it is preferable that industry participants “voluntarily” assess how to better align the interests of clients and advisors.
The final day ended at noon, but the morning still had several excellent speakers such as Dr. Dale Orr, Jamie Golombek, and Kevin O’Brien, who filled the morning with great nuggets of wisdom.
Take away: Dr. Orr from Economic Insight provided his short-term predictions for Canada’s economy: negligible inflation, the dollar will trade close to par or maybe even higher if the price of oil increases, short-term rates will be higher in Canada than the U.S. (again putting upward pressure on our dollar), expect the Bank of Canada policy rate to increase by 25 basis-points at every fixed announcement date for the next three years until it reaches the target of 4% to 4.5%, and finally, don’t expect to see a balanced federal budget until 2014–2015.
Jamie Golombek from CIBC Private Wealth Management, who always stages a grand show, regaled the audience with stories of creative brokers who supposedly found loopholes in the TFSA contribution rules. He also offered several useful tax strategies, updates, and suggestions on advising your clients based on recent tax court decisions.
Take away: Advisors should be recommending to almost every client that they top up their TFSA contribution room prior to making RRSP contributions.
And finally, certified financial planner Kevin O’Brien from Kevin O’Brien & Associates told the audience his sometimes funny, sometimes heartfelt story of managing his parent’s messy estate before he became an advisor. It affected his current approach to estate planning so much that he published his story for other advisors to read in Where There’s a Will….There’s a Way.
Overall, it was an excellent conference, and I would highly recommend attending CIFP 2011 to be held in Ottawa from June 5 to 8. Media articles from some of the presentations are available on the CIFP website.
Fall Conference Alert!
There are two first-rate conferences coming up in the fall that I will attend and recommend as well worth the investment.
The first is the IAFP Annual Symposium in Banff from September 23 to 25, 2010. This one is particularly enjoyable; it is more symposium than conference because it is anchored by a single financial planning case study. All speakers are required to reference this case study in their presentations and are encouraged to publish papers from their specialty perspective. This certainly eliminates the disorientation one can sometimes feel listening to multiple talking heads on several diverse subjects at other conferences. This year the case study is about a retiring business owner who also happens to be a financial planner (is this a coincidence?). The symposium culminates with a half-day discussion on the case study by the 125+ attendees.
The second is the Knowledge Bureau’s (KB) Distinguished Advisor Conference in Orlando from November 14 to 17, 2010. Knowledge Bureau faculty speakers such as Richard Croft and Doug Nelson are top notch and KB President Evelyn Jacks obviously used her time wisely recruiting the likes of Don Stewart, CEO Sun Life Financial, while she was a fellow member of the Federal Task Force on Financial Literacy. The other compelling reason to attend is this: each day ends at the utterly civilized time of 1:30 pm, giving attendees ample time to enjoy the sun and nearby amenities with colleagues and family.
Marc Lamontagne, CFP, R.F.P., FMA is a fee-based financial planner with Ryan Lamontagne Inc., fee-model practice management trainer, and author of To Fee or Not to Fee II — How to design a fee financial advisory practice. www.tofeeornottofee.com
Tags: Benefits Of Financial Planning, Cfp, Client Relationship, Consumer Survey, Economic Scenarios, Financial Advice, Financial Planners Standards Council, Global Asset Management, Global Economic Uncertainty, Greate, Industry Participants, Leiningen, Mutual Fund Company, Rbc Global, Recovery Stocks, Relationship Model, Second Consecutive Year, Smorgasbord, Survey Report, Talking Heads
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