I recently attended the Canadian Personal Finance Conference (CPFC16) in Toronto with a bunch of personal finance and investing enthusiasts, passionate money media experts, authors, web designers, and other people fully geeked-out about money management.
It was great to reconnect with friends I haven’t seen in a few years (I couldn’t make the conference last year) and meet new friends.
Here’s a recap of what I learned about frugality, saving, investing, blogging and much more.
Day 0 – Friday night
After checking into our hotel, my wife and I attended the Borrowell conference pre-party. I want to thank Andrew Graham and Eva Wong and the rest of the Borrowell team for their generous food and drink that evening. If you haven’t heard about Borrowell yet, check them out. Beyond a low-cost, personal loan – you can get your FREE credit score in minutes. I recently checked my credit score and was pleasantly surprised. This is valuable money management stuff to know.
Day 1 – Saturday
It was great to hear from Melissa Leong from the Financial Post, who delivered a great presentation about owning your brand, working on your elevator pitch for your site/blog/book, and making the stories you tell more conversational. I’ll work on all of these things in the coming year Melissa…
I also enjoyed the housing panel with Rob Carrick of Globe and Mail fame, Romana King, editor of MoneySense and Lauren Haw from Zoocasa. From them, it was reinforced with me that a house is first and foremost a place to live. Whether you rent or buy, housing is an emotional decision. While owning a home is usually a major financial expense it’s also a lifestyle choice. Choose wisely.
I found the #fintech demos pretty cool, an overview of green-investing company CoPower was interesting, the afternoon brought us Kerri-Lynn McAllister from RateHub.ca. She reminded me about the power of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and all the things I should be doing with my blog. SEO stats:
Tax-advice from an 8-year-old? It happened at CPFC16. That presentation came from Carrie Weinreb and her father just before the keynote speech of the day.
I thoroughly enjoyed Preet Banerjee’s keynote presentation – this one about behavioural finance and why smart people sometimes do very stupid things with their money. His presentation was stellar. If you ever get a chance to listen to Preet speak don’t turn it down. Here was part of his presentation about spending and avoiding “the pain of payment”:
Another thank you needs to go out to Wealthsimple for the Day 1 afterparty – they put on a heckuva evening with DJ and all. You can learn more about Wealthsimple and their low-cost, no nonsense approach to lazy investing here.
Day 2 – Sunday
Author and expert side-hustler Lesley-Ann Scorgie encouraged us to monetize our brands and test-out our pricing. In the process Lesley-Ann mentioned you will fail, people will say no but over time they will say yes. The best way to figure out your value? Ask.
The winner of the dry-humour-and-engaging talk award of the conference goes to Dan Dickinson from EQ Bank. He explained what the !@#$ is a chequing account and how EQ Bank is helping customer better than than most.
After a few more #fintech demos, my personal favourite was Sensibill, Bridget Eastgaard from Money After Graduation schooled us on converting blog readers to paying customers. Makes me wonder if I should develop a product for this site.
Dear reader: what type of product might you be looking for from me?
Last but not least, Bruce Sellery sent us off on a high – motivating us to determine what makes money relevant in our lives; what the heck is it for and encouraged us to take action to make it happen. My wife and I already know what our money is for, it’s for freedom and adventure. It’s a balanced approach to live for today and as we get older. This is our main path to get there.
The conference was fun, collaborative and informative. Although I hope to gain a few more partnerships from this event – it was not the main reason for going. I went to CPFC16 to hang out with like-minded individuals, reconnect with community friends, meet new people and gain new perspectives. Just as importantly I attended this conference to learn more about myself.
On all fronts, mission accomplished.
I hope to see everyone next year.
Did you attend CPFC16? If so, what did you learn? What did you like? What would you change?