By Lachman Balani
TORONTO: “Come to check out the Who’s Who of the financial Zoo?” asks the person waiting in line in front of me to register for the FREE money show at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre in downtown Toronto on Wednesday morning.
I just smiled, “Yeah here to hear them tell us about what’s in store and learn a few tricks of the trade on how to make money from the stock market. Nice that, it rhymes: ‘who’s who of the zoo!’ I quite like that!”
And our conversation continued as to how nobody could really tell what is to happen with any certainty. Stock markets had too many factors moving them these days. If there was any logic to it, there would be an app and we would make money on the go.
Toronto is hosting the annual Money Show from Oct 24 to 26, featuring top money managers, analysts, TV hosts, authors and heavy hitting pundits of the financial world.
Opening the day was organizer and CEO Kim Githler, following whom a laudable panoply of mavens comprising well renowned personalities in the financial world expressed their views on the economic landscape in Canada and the world.
Prevalent on the first day was the doom-and-gloom scenario of present-day investing and what fund managers do. Peter Hodson, formerly of Sprott Funds and known as the silver bull for his bullish outlook on silver, lashed out at the way the mutual funds and their managers performed claiming that fees were too high and that managers led a lavish life and cruised around in their fancy sports car on the back of fees they charged to the unsuspecting investor.
Peter Schiff, author of several books and well known for his doomsday scenarios for the US economy and its currency, went on record to say that the US is not recovering but still stuck in a quagmire from where there is no escape. The world is selling goods to the US on IOUs that the US cannot honor because it is in deep hock. It keeps raising its debt ceiling when what it should do is cut down on its spending. Quantitative easing, or money printing, went from QE1 to QE2, then there was the operation twist(or operation screw as he calls it) and then on to QE3 and will continue ad infinitum. Ben Bernanke has no exit plan so he is exiting himself and handing the reins to somebody else. He learned to “get the plane off the ground, learned how to keep it in the air and now is handing it over to another pilot to land it as he has no idea how to”, said Schiff. His delivery was made in a very wry and drily humourous manner.
Schiff is also known for his bullish view on commodities and after his doom and gloom talk on stage, at his booth, he claimed that gold stocks are trading cheap, as if the gold price was at $800-$1000, implicitly implying that they should go up further.
Since the object of the Money Show is to empower the individual to take care of his or her own finances, Randy Cass, host on one of Business News Network (BNN) shows, built upon Peter’s scenario of high fees on mutual funds and explained the power of compounding expense destruction of one’s portfolio; that how over time even a small 1.5% fee per year compounds over several years to eat away 45% of your profits. Quite an eye-opener for many!
He also commented that it was a fait accompli that no fund manager can beat the index in the long run.
Several other speakers came on to speak during the day- all extremely powerful and charismatic, presenting their well researched points of view.
At the show there are various booths which one can visit to get more information on how and where to invest including a stand that was promoting investing in diamonds!
All in all, it was an extremely informational day. The show continues for another two days up to Oct 26 with 65 speakers in all. The last day on Saturday is reserved for the most optimistic personality to come out in recent times. Two years ago he predicted that the Dow Jones would reach 38820 by 2025! His name is Jeffrey Hirsch – remember it! Better yet come out and meet him. The show is FREE!
You can get more details at www.moneyshow.com/tradeshow/toronto