Some of the best business journalists in the country – many of whom have developed in-depth knowledge of the investment industry in the past few years – produce most of the articles published on Globe Advisor.
Nevertheless, this platform’s growing presence in the financial services industry has resulted in an increasing number of advisors, industry executives, technology providers, consultants, academics, and investment experts to share their thoughts, opinions, and insights with the community.
Here are 10 thoughtful contributions that stood out among readers in the past year:
The COVID-19 pandemic has led to an increase in advisors at all levels of the Big Five banks – branches, brokerages, and all other distribution channels – to explore the options for becoming independent. Jason Pereira, partner and senior financial consultant at Woodgate Financial Inc., writes that familiar complaints about sales pressure, rising grid levels, the push to sell proprietary products, and the ever-growing belief that the banks’ long-term plans are to convert all of their advisors into salaried employees keep resurfacing among these advisors.
The client-focused reforms (CFRs) represent the next major step in the shift toward greater client centricity in the investment industry. And while these reforms are designed with clients’ best interests in mind, they will affect the day-to-day operations of advisors and wealth management firms across the country. Donna Bristow, managing director, North American Wealth, at Broadridge Financial Solutions Inc. in Toronto, points out the seven ways advisors and firms will be required to adapt their processes, activities, and approaches to meet the higher bar set by the CFRs.
It’s not easy to invest when stock markets hit new highs for some investors because they fear equities are at or close to a peak, and a crash could be on the way. However, the reality is investors will see new all-time highs on stock markets many times during their lifetimes. Although predicting stock markets’ short-term performance is impossible, good advisors can help clients by providing the following five recommendations during emotionally charged times when markets hit a new historical peak, writes Jonathan Durocher, president of National Bank Financial Wealth Management.
Exchange-traded funds (ETFs) are proving to be useful portfolio building blocks during these unique times. That’s because they offer a high degree of versatility, precision, and trading efficiency, which can enable investors to align their portfolios to very specific investment objectives like target risk, monthly cash flow, volatility management, or inflation protection. Yet, Michael Cooke, senior vice-president and head of ETFs at Mackenzie Investments in Toronto, writes that several myths about these products continue to persist among advisors and investors alike.
Domestic registration won’t bring harmony or a level playing field to Canada’s crypto trading scene. Instead, it’ll just sting any platforms that maintain offices here. Lacking the efficiencies of scale that firms in bigger markets enjoy, or the freedom to disregard rules like the platforms operating from lightly regulated foreign territory, Neil Gross, president of Component Strategies in Toronto, says that Canadian crypto-asset trading platforms will be weighed down by the cost of dealing with our fragmented system.
The idea of farmland as an investible asset class is a new and novel concept for many, but sophisticated institutional and high-net-worth investors have been invested in farmland for years. An awareness of this asset class and its various benefits is useful for advisors focused on providing a full suite of options to their clients to maximize the performance of their portfolios. Andrea Gruza, vice-president, capital markets at Bonnefield Financial Inc. in Toronto, shares four key reasons why advisors should consider holding Canadian farmland in wealthy investors’ portfolios.
Investors have been told for years that diversification enhances portfolio stability, but diversification itself has taken on a new meaning. While alternative assets are not new, they’re still considered to be non-traditional and unconventional to many investors. Nevertheless, there was a clear sign from institutional investors in 2020: As long-standing and firm believers of the alternatives space, they prioritized even heavier allocations to these investments, writes Travis Forman, senior vice president, portfolio manager, and investment advisor at Harbourfront Wealth Management in Surrey and Kelowna, B.C.
Canada’s tax system has not been overhauled significantly for decades, and there are indications it may no longer be synchronized with Canadians’ long-term wealth management goals. Evelyn Jacks, founder and president of Knowledge Bureau Inc., writes that advisors are positioned perfectly to represent the real financial concerns of their clients and advocate for reforms to modernize the tax system in a big way.
The immediate need for remote learning during the COVID-19 pandemic thrust education technology, or EdTech, into the limelight. The ability to leverage video, interactive software and educational games helped keep education systems running and accelerated the sector’s growth. Yet, it will be after the pandemic that EdTech’s long-term success is determined, which is why there’s now an attractive window of opportunity for investors, writes Warner Wen, research director, Canada, at Global X Management Co. LLC in Toronto.
Mining is a cyclical sector. It generates a lot of wealth for many people. But along with the highs come the lows, and for investors, it’s important to be protected during these times of uncertainty. Alexandra Horwood, director, wealth management, portfolio manager, and investment advisor at Richardson Wealth Ltd. in Toronto, says advisors can ensure their clients participate when mining stocks are performing well while protecting against the uncertainty and stress the mining sector can yield by following a disciplined approach.
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