Over the last couple of weeks as part of my Weekend Reading posts, I’ve mentioned the Canadian Personal Finance Conference (CPFC). The 2012 edition was held in Toronto this past weekend and to sum up the event in a few words, it was a “killer event”. Here are some of my reflections and highlights from this great conference.
About the conference organization
As someone who works in management for their day job, I consider organizational skills critical. Few people get it better than Preet Banerjee and Krystal Yee who organized CPFC12. The facilities, the agenda and the events were outstanding. All the speakers did an excellent job and the panel events facilitated lively discussion.
About the agenda
Although an evening social event was organized on Friday September 21st, the meat and potatoes of CPFC12 occurred over two days, Saturday September 22nd and Sunday September 23rd morning. CPFC12 was organized to discuss issues and opportunities within the sphere of personal finance and investing in Canada. There is a wealth of talent and expertise in Canada to help improve financial literacy for Canadians, and it was clear from the CPFC12 participant list this conference included many of those subject matter experts.
About the speakers and session list
If you’re going to start off a personal finance and investing conference as big as this you might as well begin with a bang, listening to one the most successful bloggers in Canada, FrugalTrader @ Million Dollar Journey. FrugalTrader discussed blogging as a business, what he learned over the years and shared how he has grown his business into one of the most successful, trusted and recognized blogs in Canada.
Next up, Glenn Cooke challenged many life insurance assumptions and shared some cold hard truths about the life insurance business and its products.
Adam Mayers, the Editor of Moneyville.ca discussed some valuable lessons and opportunities for our blogs based on his experiences with Moneyville.
Tom Hamza, President of the Investor Education Fund praised blogs like this one that are doing their part increasing financial literacy in Canada.
The presentation of the conference (in my opinion) was delivered by Kerry Taylor, better known throughout Canada as Squawkfox. Kerry discussed how to build traffic on your blog and offered a host of tips for me to explore. Her presentation was educational and engaging and captivated everyone’s attention.
Preet Banerjee took some time with us to reveal what he’s learned in the media industry, to help us become more prepared for print, radio or TV interviews that might come our way. You can read about one positive media experience I had here with the Toronto Star.
Alyssa from RateHub.ca delivered a very informative presentation about Search Engine Optimization (SEO), something I definitely need to use more on my site.
Yours truly had the pleasure of sharing panel with Canadian blogger pioneer Canadian Capitalist and CPFC12 co-organizer and popular blogger Krystal Yee to share our thoughts and perspectives about the work/life balance of blogging. It was nice to hear many participants had takeaways from our panel discussion.
Everyone listened to Tim Stobbs from Canadian Dream: Free at 45 about his lessons learned from blogging to becoming an author using the self-publishing process.
Steve Zussino from GroceryAlerts.ca delivered an outstanding presentation about building a newsletter list for blogs and offered a host of best-practices for folks running an online business to consider.
The effective writing panel was another highlight of the conference that wrapped up the two-day event. It was great to learn from professional writers like Jonathan Chevreau, now the Editor of MoneySense Magazine, Dan Bortolotti, the Canadian Couch Potato and Vikram Barhat, Content Editor at Advisor.ca.
Some reflections and highlights from the conference
- I was totally impressed how friendly, supportive and open superstar Canadian bloggers like Squawkfox, Canadian Capitalist and FrugalTrader are. Their willingness to share ideas and help others blew me away.
- I finally met the blogger of Million Dollar Journey who is probably one of the most successful and humble people I have ever met.
- I had some great conversations with Dan Bortolotti, the Canadian Couch Potato and Ram from Canadian Capitalist, two of the sharpest people who understand finance thoroughly and yet don’t work in the industry.
- The networking and social event on Saturday night was fully sponsored by PT Money with appetizers and adult drinks bought and paid for all conference participants – which was outstanding.
- Preet Banerjee is arguably the best conference/meeting moderator I have ever seen.
- Ellen Roseman from the Toronto Star wished me continued success on my blog.
- Sustainable Personal Finance is a very friendly and driven blogger, with some great goals and objectives.
- Steve Zussino is one talented businessman.
- Kerry Taylor is the best public speaker I have seen that rarely does public speaking.
- I got the chance to meet many bloggers and business entrepreneurs that I have only interacted with online before this conference. I can’t begin to list all these names but you know who you are.
- I was thrilled to learn how many people at the conference knew about My Own Advisor!
I could probably write more but if you’ve made it this far, you’ll know from the previous 800 words this was a great event. I look forward to next year’s Canadian Personal Finance Conference to reconnect with fellow bloggers, learn more about personal finance, investing and blogging about it - continuing my efforts to contribute to financial literacy in Canada – all the above I remain passionate about.
I look forward to reading the comments from other attendees and any readers if you have questions about the event.