Ginsler Wealth Second Quarter 2023 Client Letter – Driver’s Training Edition

Ginsler Wealth 2023 Second Quarter Update

(An audio version of this letter can now be found as Episode 24 of The Unlimited Podcast by Ginsler Wealth. Use the link provided or find us on your favourite podcast app.)

To Ginsler Wealth’s Clients:

The first half of 2023 has been a scary one.

Not because inflation continues to be more persistent than expected, or because central governments have continued to raise rates and will likely do so again, or because of the ongoing Russian war with Ukraine, or that in the face of all of this, U.S. technology stocks, especially the largest seven of them, seem to be in their own bubble.

No, the first half of 2023 has been a scary one for me because my sixteen-year-old daughter got her G1 driver’s license permit at the beginning of the year.

Because I am now in “driver training mode”, I’ve become more attuned to my own driving actions that have become second nature to me – in order to help teach my daughter how to become a good driver.

It dawned on me that beyond the basic skill of controlling the vehicle, safe driving is all about math, or more specifically, probability: the actions you take to drive from A to B to maximize the probability of arriving safely at your destination.

  • This is why I adjust my speed (up or down) to get out of another car’s blind spot = lower probability of that car turning into me,
  • This is why I stick to major streets versus taking the highway if the travel time isn’t materially different = avoid the higher probability of major injury if something goes wrong on the highway, and
  • This is why I take an extra few seconds to start driving after the traffic light turns green = minimize the probability of getting hit by a driver running through their newly-turned red light.

With my newfound focus around probability as it relates to driving, over the past quarter I’ve been similarly attuned to how we use the same concept when managing your investment portfolios. Given some of the scary items listed above, we have been particularly active this quarter adjusting client portfolios and introducing new strategies; actions we believe should increase the probability of (a) protecting capital,
(b) minimizing volatility, and (c) generating attractive returns.

In one of my early client letters I stressed that “uncertainty is the only thing I know with certainty”. We acknowledge this uncertainty and combine it with facts and probabilities to arrive at what we believe are the best investment decisions.[i]

  

LET’S START WITH FACTS

The most important fact to reiterate is that interest rates have increased dramatically and rapidly since early 2022.

Chart of interest rate increases since 2022

Increased interest rates make borrowing more expensive for companies and homeowners, among others. A few months ago, I attended a lunch featuring Tiff Macklem, Governor of the Bank of Canada. He was extremely clear that unless and until inflation returns to 2%, he will not cut rates and may, in fact, continue to raise rates. His goal, like other central bankers around the world, is to inflict sufficient pain on companies and individuals, until they dramatically reduce spending. That is a fact.

However, it shouldn’t be a surprise that these initial and swift interest rate increases have yet to achieve Mr. Macklem’s goal. Companies and individuals with floating rate debt can handle increased interest costs for a period of time. Those with fixed rate debt maturing soon will face a harsh reality in the form of dramatically higher borrowing costs upon renewal.

It is our view that interest rate cuts will not be coming soon. This means there is an increased probability of companies’ earnings being lower for some time.


EQUITY MARKETS AND LOWER PROBABILITY

With the above fact(s) stated, clearly the probability of strong equity returns should be lower. So, what happened so far in 2023? The equity markets rallied of course! More specifically, technology stocks rallied, with the NASDAQ Composite Index up 32% and the S&P 500 up 16%, both dominated by the seven large tech giants[ii].

Was this outcome a highly probable forecast on January 1 of this year. Definitely not; and it may not last.

If not for the current excitement around artificial intelligence (AI), equity market performance would likely have been far more in line (and in fact, below) the equal-weighted S&P 500 return of 6% (as opposed to the “regular” S&P 500 that gives more weight to its larger constituents) and the S&P/TSX here in Canada, which was up 4%.

While investors and the media often focus on the latest exciting news (markets up in 2023 – yay!), it is important to remember that equity markets still have quite a way to go to make up for a dreadful 2022. See chart below.

The last point is a great reminder of why it is so important to minimize losses and protect capital when investing. Climbing out of a hole is much harder than avoiding it. The NASDAQ requires a positive 50% return to recoup its 33% losses in 2022. Even its blistering 32% performance so far this year won’t cut it.

We believe the short-to-medium term outlook for equities remains rocky with a higher probability of weaker performance.


FACTS & PROBABILITIES: ACTIONS WE ARE TAKING

Most of our clients are long-term focused investors. When we look at the long-term performance of equities and of the many equity managers we review on an ongoing basis, we find that (good) long-term results tend to all coalesce around the very high-single-digit range. However, in the current environment where we believe equity returns may fall short of this long-term average, and do so with elevated volatility, we have been focused on (and initiating or increasing allocations to) strategies with many of the following characteristics:

  1. Lower volatility = higher probability of generating the target return with smaller fluctuations
  2. Downside protection = higher probability of not losing capital, or losing less capital
  3. Owning higher-ranking securities = higher probability of recouping capital and collecting all interest
  4. Asymmetric return profiles = lower probability of downside relative to the upside potential
  5. Tax-effective = focusing not just on pre-tax returns, but after-tax returns as well
  6. Capitalizing on distress = more specific to the current higher interest rate environment

Interestingly, we continue to uncover opportunities that have many of the characteristics noted above and can also generate pre-tax investment returns similar to, or greater than, equities[iii]. Some examples you may see (or may soon see) in your portfolios include:

Canadian Mortgage Strategy

This strategy has generated a consistent 9%+ return each year since its inception and since we started adding it to client portfolios. It has zero negative months in its history. It issues shorter-term (generally less than one year) mortgages at conservative loan-to-values. The principals who own and run this mortgage lending business have committed $15 million of their own money to absorb any losses that may occur (there have been no losses so far). Has characteristics 1, 2, 3 and 4 listed above.

SPAC The Unlimited Podcast by Ginsler WealthArbitrage Strategy

One of the best examples of an asymmetric return profile. Listen to our recent Unlimited Podcast episode: What is SPAC Arbitrage with Jamie Wise to truly understand this strategy. It exhibits downside protection characteristics with upside opportunity. Has characteristics 2, 4 and 5 listed above.

Bank-Issued Structured Notes

Securities that pay a high contingent income (generally between 9%-11%) as long as a reference portfolio (typically the performance of the Big Six banks) doesn’t fall more than 30%. Has characteristics 1, 2, and 3 listed above.

Preferred Equity Issued by Asset Based Lender

A unique find, this specialty finance company with a ~$2 billion loan portfolio and over 6,000 business borrowers, issues preferred equity to investors that pays 12% per year[iv] in the form of dividends, which are taxed more favourably than regular interest income. This equity ranks as the most senior obligation of the company after its senior bank debt. Has characteristics 1, 2, 3, and 5 listed above.

Stressed and Distressed-Focused Strategy

This is perhaps the most “tactical” new addition to our roster based on our view of the coming stress for companies caused by higher interest rates and lower customer spending. This $100+ billion global fixed income manager has a smaller, dedicated strategy aimed at capitalizing on stressed and distressed corporate bonds. Has characteristics 3, 5 and 6 listed above.

What do all the above strategies have in common? In our view, they offer a higher probability of helping our clients arrive safely at their investment destinations, with a lower probability of getting into an “accident”[v].

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Following on the driving theme of this letter, in our efforts to constantly bring you more value, our Ginsler Wealth Partners Program has been expanded to include an exclusive offer on a specialty, high-end car-detailing service, along with offers/discounts from a few other new partners. Your private weblink was in our client only email communication (or reach out to us directly).

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Wishing you a wonderful summer. And please wish me luck as the driver training continues.

Thank you for your trust, support, and confidence. We are available 24/7 should you need us.

 

Sincerely,

Brian singnature

Brian Ginsler
President & CEO

 

 

[i] For the balance of this letter, please recall that our clients have different investment goals, objectives, and risk tolerances, and therefore will have different portfolios, which may not include some of the strategies detailed herein.

[ii] Apple, Microsoft, Alphabet (Google), Amazon, Nvidia, Tesla, and Meta (Facebook) comprise approximately 27% of the weight of the S&P 500 Index and 45% of the weight of the NASDAQ Composite Index as at June 30, 2023.

[iii] Represented by the longer-term performance of equities, past performance of the strategies under review and Ginsler Wealth’s expected target returns for these strategies. Specific results are not guaranteed.

[iv] The precise securities issued are Common Shares of the company’s Canadian funding entity. 12% is the current dividend rate, which we expect, but is not guaranteed, to continue.

[v] All investments come with risks and uncertainties, and nothing herein should be taken as a guarantee of future results or returns. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Some or all of these strategies may not be appropriate for certain client portfolios and some of these strategies are only available in non-registered accounts or at certain minimum investment amounts.

What is SPAC Arbitrage? with Jamie Wise on The Unlimited Podcast

SPAC Arbitrage. While it may sound complicated, we are lucky to have Jamie Wise, President & CEO of Periscope Capital, as our guest on The Unlimited Podcast to explain. In fact, we’ll go back to basics to understand what “arbitrage” is and why investors have been trying to find arbitrage opportunities forever.

Prior to launching Periscope Capital in 2009, Jamie was a managing director at Moore Capital Advisors Canada, a multi-strategy Canadian-focused hedge fund. Prior to Moore Capital, Jamie was a Managing Director and Portfolio Manager at BMO Capital Markets where he led an internal proprietary trading group (we’ll explain what that means as well). At BMO, Jamie was appointed the youngest Managing Director in the firm’s history. He has an undergraduate business degree (hons.), graduating first in his class from the Ivey School of Business at the University of Western Ontario in 1998 and holds a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation.

Jamie is also the founder of Buzz Indexes, creators of the BUZZ index (NYSE:BUZZ), also known as the VanEck Social Sentiment ETF. BUZZ uses AI to measure investor sentiment across millions of social media posts each month, ranking the top 75 stocks in the BUZZ NextGen AI US Sentiment Leaders Index™.

Brian and Jamie discuss what it takes to be successful as a young professional, SPACs 101, the beauty of asymmetric returns, how AI is being used in markets today, and much more.

This episode can be found here or find us in your favourite podcasting app, including Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts and Amazon Music.

If you like what you hear, please don’t hesitate to rate us kindly. And if there are particular topics you’d like covered, please let us know.

Ginsler Wealth First Quarter 2023 Client Letter – Well Done Edition

(An audio version of this letter can now be found as Episode 20 of The Unlimited Podcast by Ginsler Wealth. Use the link provided or find us on your favourite podcast app.)

To Ginsler Wealth’s Clients:

Back in 1998 during my last year in the Ivey Business School’s HBA program, I organized a large event for the school, which I thought went off very well. A few days after the event was over, I got called in to see Lawrence Tapp, the Dean of the school. Nervously, I made my way to his office where he sat me down and said: “Brian, job not just done…but well done.” Phew. I’ve never forgotten that phrase.

Fast forward 25 years, a few weeks ago I was at Pearson airport at 6am for an early flight with my son. Prior to the flight, we sat down and ordered breakfast off the iPad ordering system. My friends who know me well will know that I like all my food well done…well done eggs, well done potatoes, well done toast, well…you get the picture. (And yes, I am a pain at restaurants).

A few minutes after ordering, I realized that I hadn’t specified my “well done” preferences electronically so I walked to the open kitchen area where the chef was cooking. Remember, this is 6am and I’m sure catering to my particularities was likely not high on his list of things to care about. When I called to him and asked about making everything well done, he didn’t look very pleased to speak to me and said that the food was already ready.

The food as delivered was not well done but I figured I’d make the best of it. After the first bite, to my surprise, I heard the chef call to me from the kitchen area and ask if everything was ok or if I’d like it cooked a bit more. Since he was asking, I let him cook it a bit more and when it was returned to me the chef smiled as he watched me take the second bites with delight.

The chef got the job “done” originally. He delivered what I ordered, and he could have moved on. But he didn’t. He ensured my meal was cooked to my liking and in doing so he got the job not just done…but well done. I thanked him verbally and gave him a tip in excess of the entire cost of the meal.

I explained to my son that there is a magic in exceeding expectations.

I use this same “well done” phrase with our growing but small team at Ginsler Wealth. If we are going to provide you with great service and value, we have to exceed your expectations.

How are we doing on this front? I would like to hear from you.

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This past quarter, in addition to managing your portfolios, we have been very busy taking care of your other wealth management needs. This included updating tax and holding structures, updating wills, and introducing tax effective insurance solutions – all with the expert external partners we work with. For families that utilize our full family office services, we also rolled out technology that enables us to organize and manage all your critical financial documents, accessible at all times via a desktop and mobile app.

By the examples below, I’m encouraged that we are on the right path to delivering our services done well:

  • This past quarter, five different families asked me to be an executor of their wills. (Unfortunately, due to potential conflict of interests, we can’t do this, but we will always be available to support the appointed executors.)
  • In our specific desire to find a forum to allow you to hear from the investment managers we work with, along with other topics, last year we launched The Unlimited Podcast. In January, we learned that the podcast was ranked by Spotify in the Top 20% of Most Followed and Most Shared podcasts globally in 2022.[1]
  • And just recently, we were notified by Wealth Professional, a publisher focused solely on the Canadian wealth management industry, that Ginsler Wealth has been named an Excellence Awardee and finalist for The Avenue Living Asset Management Award for Portfolio/Discretionary Manager of the Year. While we care far less about what our industry thinks than what you think, we are proud to have garnered this recognition early in our journey.

Our ability to achieve the above – for your benefit – emanates from our deliberate decision to operate Ginsler Wealth as a fully independent wealth management firm. We only answer to one group: our clients. We decide what content to share with you via our podcast; we decide the level of breadth and depth of financial advice to provide; and we have no constraints on the investments that we can consider for your portfolios. I believe the latter enabled us to do a good job protecting your capital throughout 2022.[2]

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Speaking of investments, you no doubt are aware of the continued volatility and instability in some areas of the financial system, most notably the unbelievably swift collapse of Silicon Valley Bank (“SVB”). SVB was the largest bank failure since the Great Financial Crisis in 2008. Interestingly, equity and bond markets are positive both since the start of the year and since the day before SVB’s failure. This is a good reminder that while there is always plenty to worry about day-to-day, the markets are forward looking and in the long-run, push through the short-term noise. By now you should not be surprised to hear that while we may have taken some action in your portfolios over the past quarter, we have not made any dramatic changes during this time.

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At a time when some of our independent peers are either being bought or…um…given away to a big bank, we remain undistracted and resolutely focused on getting the job well done for the most important people in this relationship – all of you.

Thank you for your trust, support, and confidence. We are available 24/7 should you need us.

Sincerely,

Brian singnature

Brian Ginsler
President & CEO

 

[1] Source: Spotify. Year-end statistical summary. January 10, 2022.

[2] Reminder that our clients have varying risk tolerance and goals & objectives. All Ginsler Wealth portfolios are customized for each client and therefore all portfolios will have a different performance experience as a result.

The Evolution of Investing with Ira Gluskin on The Unlimited Podcast

On this episode of The Unlimited Podcast, Brian is joined by one of Canada’s “legendary” investors, his friend and mentor, Ira Gluskin.

Brian and Ira discuss the founding of Gluskin Sheff, investing and investment management, Ira’s career advice, and the advantages of a multi-family office over a large investment firm.

Ira Gluskin is the Chief Investment Officer of Irager + Associates Inc., a family office, overseeing Strategy and Investments. Mr. Gluskin was the Co-Founder of Gluskin Sheff + Associates Inc. He served as the firm’s President & Chief Investment Officer from its founding in 1984 until December 31, 2009 and as a Director and the firm’s Vice-Chairman through 2013.

Prior to co-founding Gluskin Sheff, Mr. Gluskin had worked in the investment industry for 20 years. He serves on the Board of Directors of both Tricon Capital Group and European Residential Real Estate Investment Trust and serves on the board of trustees for First Capital REIT. He is a member of the Advisory Board of Vision Capital Corporation, and The University of Toronto’s Real Estate Advisory Committee. He is also on the University of Toronto’s Boundless Campaign Executive Committee, Sinai Health’s Board of Directors and Investment Committee, Board of the Canadian Jewish News, The Walrus Magazine, Capitalize for Kids, and the National Theatre School of Canada. Mr. Gluskin is also the former Chair of the University of Toronto Asset Management Corporation and the former Chair of the Investment Advisory Committee for the Jewish Foundation of Greater Toronto and is currently a member of its Investment Committee.

Mr. Gluskin received a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Toronto in 1964. He received an Honorary Doctorate of Laws degree from Wilfrid Laurier University 2019.

This episode can be found here or find us in your favourite podcasting app, including Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts and Amazon Music.

If you like what you hear, please don’t hesitate to rate us kindly. And if there are particular topics you’d like covered, please let us know.

Real Estate Investing with Jeffrey Olin on The Unlimited Podcast

There are many ways to get exposure to real estate. Our guest, Jeffrey Olin, President & CEO of Vision Capital – managing approximately $1 billion solely focused on real estate investments – tells us how.

In this episode, Brian and Jeff provide an introduction to the real estate asset class (Real Estate 101), different real estate investing options, the challenges of owning real estate directly, public vs. private real estate investing, and much more.

Jeffrey Olin is a co-founder, CEO and has been a portfolio manager at Vision Capital for over 14 years. Mr. Olin brings ten years of direct corporate real estate experience and fifteen years of senior level investment banking experience to Vision Capital. Between 2003 and 2007, Mr. Olin served as the Managing Partner, Ontario and Head of Investment Banking with Desjardins Securities, a $200 billion financial institution. Mr. Olin was previously a Managing Director with HSBC Securities and a Vice President with Canaccord Capital. As an investment banker, Mr. Olin was the Lead Manager and M&A advisor with direct responsibility for over 70 transactions representing over $5 billion in value. He has served as a key advisor to many of Canada’s leading corporate, institutional, and family-owned real estate enterprises on their global real estate investments. Prior to his investment banking career, Mr. Olin has ten years of direct real estate industry experience. Between 1985 and 1991, Mr. Olin was Vice President with Bramalea Limited in Dallas, Texas and Toronto, Canada. In addition, he worked with Olympia & York Developments Ltd., and the Parking Authority of Toronto. His experience in real estate includes acquisitions and dispositions, development, financing, leasing, operations, and planning and design. Mr. Olin has extensive corporate governance experience and expertise. He has served on the Board of Directors for numerous public companies as well as charitable and community boards. He has also acted as an expert witness on behalf of the Ontario Securities Commission and the Government of Canada Parliamentary Finance Committee. Mr. Olin is a graduate from the Kellogg Graduate School at Northwestern University in Chicago with an MBA. He received his Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Toronto.

This Podcast was recorded on February 17, 2023.

This episode can be found here or find us in your favourite podcasting app, including Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts and Amazon Music.

If you like what you hear, please don’t hesitate to rate us kindly. And if there are particular topics you’d like covered, please let us know.

Buffett Gets Mean…in a Passive Way

Warren Buffett’s 2022 Shareholder Letter was released on Saturday (February 25, 2023). Each year I provide a summary of the key takeaways from the letter but I’m starting to feel like an angry parent scolding their children and saying “I’m not going to repeat myself. I’m not going to repeat myself.”

Warren must be feeling the same way…except he’s starting to get somewhat ornery. His use of italics, in particular, adds an additional layer of emphasis.

So below I share just a few of Buffett’s key comments – some of which I rephrase or elaborate further to get even more to the point – while others I leave as is, because I think his frustration comes through clearly.

How Many Times Can I Tell You The Same Thing?

Buffett: “Charlie and I are not stock-pickers; we are business-pickers.”

Rephrase: I am one of the richest men in the world. I am viewed as the greatest investor of all time. I tell everybody every year exactly what I did to get rich, stay rich and get richer. But most of you ignore me – which is why [the prices of] “marketable stocks and bonds are baffling”. Stop day trading and trying to predict the future and just buy (and hold) companies with “long-lasting favorable economic characteristics and trustworthy managers”.

Following Accounting Reporting Rules Leads to Misleading Information

Buffett: “The GAAP (Generally Accepted Accounting Principles) figure, absent our adjustment, fluctuates wildly and capriciously at every reporting date. The GAAP earnings are 100% misleading when viewed quarterly or even annually.”

Buffet spends a few paragraphs (and a table) highlighting why GAAP reporting of Berkshire’s results are not to be relied on…all leading up to the kicker…

“Mindless” Media

Buffett: “…their [GAAP earnings] quarter-by-quarter gyrations, regularly and mindlessly headlined by media, totally misinform investors.”

This a good and more direct reminder by Buffett that media is not a positive influence on investor behaviour, that media are not financial gurus and likely don’t fully understand financial statements and results, and are not necessarily acting or reporting with investors’ best interests in mind.

But You Also Can’t Rely on Companies’ Adjusted or Operating Earnings Figures

Buffett: “Even the operating earnings figure that we favor can easily be manipulated by managers who wish to do so. Reporters and analysts embrace its existence as well.”

[For Berkshire, operating earnings is income calculated using GAAP, exclusive of capital gains or losses from equity holdings.]

Rephrase: You [individual investor] can’t rely on GAAP reporting, you can’t rely on management reporting, you can’t rely on the media reporting, and you can’t rely on research analysts. So take a page from my mentor Benjamin Graham’s investment bible The Intelligent Investor and decide whether you want to make investing your full-time job and figure this out yourselves, or just buy exchange-traded funds (ETFs) or hire an honest investment counsellor (like Ginsler Wealth 😊) to take care of this for you.

Share Repurchasers are Not Evil and Should Not be Subject to Tax

Buffett: “The math isn’t complicated: When the share count goes down, your interest in our many businesses goes up. Gains from value-accretive repurchases, it should be emphasized, benefit all owners – in every respect. When you are told that all repurchases are harmful to shareholders or to the country, or particularly beneficial to CEOs, you are listening to either an economic illiterate or a silver-tongued demagogue (characters that are not mutually exclusive).”

[Demagogue definition: a political leader who seeks support by appealing to the desires and prejudices of ordinary people rather than by using rational argument.]

Wowsers! That last line is a doozy and while the interwebs are speculating he is referencing Joe Biden and his 1% tax on share buybacks, Berkshire has denied that so far. However, Buffett also details in his letter the $32 billion of federal income tax paid by Bershire in the past decade: “When it comes to federal taxes, individuals who own Berkshire can unequivocally state ‘I gave at the office’.” – implying that the government shouldn’t need to tax Berkshire investors even further.

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Buffet is 92 and Munger is 99 (Buffett provides a good list of Munger quotes in the letter) and this letter may have been more direct than those of the past. But I am disappointed in both of them. They could have enormous influence in changing the way investors, politicians, and the media act. But instead, they write a somewhat direct letter and then – like their approach to all their investments – they remain passive. With, dare I say, a shorter time horizon left for both of them, I think they need to actively repeat themselves…but louder.

 

Image credit: Nati Harnik, AP.

Bonus Episode: Bonds 101 on The Unlimited Podcast

A few weeks ago we released an episode of The Unlimited Podcast focused on bonds and bond investing featuring Richard Usher-Jones from Canso Investment Counsel, a $35 billion+ fixed income manager. In just a few weeks, that podcast has become one of our most played episodes and we have received significant positive feedback on the first half dedicated specifically to a “Bonds 101” lesson. So we extracted that section and created this bonus episode: Bonds… Just Bonds.

For those who aren’t very familiar with bonds or may want a refresher, for children, for teachers,…this is the episode for you!

This episode covers:

  • The bond market versus the equity market
  • What is a bond?
  • Coupon payments and “clipping coupons”
  • Who issues bonds?
  • What determines a bond’s interest rate, or yield?
  • The relationship between bond prices and interest rates
  • What are bond ratings?
  • Who has the highest bond ratings?
  • Investing in “junk” bonds
  • Which is safer: bonds or equities?
  • What is the yield curve?
  • And more…

This episode and the full original episode can be found here or find us in your favourite podcasting app, including Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts and Amazon Music.

If you like what you hear, please don’t hesitate to rate us kindly. And if there are particular topics you’d like covered, please let us know.

Artificial Intelligence goes Radical with Jordan Jacobs on The Unlimited Podcast

The excitement around artificial intelligence has gone “radical”. Our guest believes that in time, AI will “eat all software”. And PWC says AI will contribute over USD $15 trillion to the global economy by 2030.* On this episode of The Unlimited Podcast — with the assistance of ChatGPT — Brian is joined by Jordan Jacobs, Co-Founder & Managing Partner of Radical Ventures, a leading venture capital firm focused on investing in transformational AI.

Jordan is also a founder of the Vector Institute for Artificial Intelligence, a director of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research, member of the University of Waterloo President’s International Advisory Board, a Director of Tennis Canada, former Chief AI Officer of TD Bank Group, and was a Co-Founder & CEO of Layer 6 AI and Milq Inc. Jordan was also the Founder & CEO of SpyBox Media and spent over a decade as a lawyer specializing in entertainment, media, technology, and sports.

Brian and Jordan discuss Jordan’s path to AI venture capital, what AI actually is, how AI is being used today, how it may be used in the future, and much more…including a ChatGPT demo.

Brian also asks Jordan about his time working with Elton John and Elvis Costello, and his experience meeting Roger Federer. If you’re a music fan or a tennis player, then this episode is (also) for you!

This episode can be found here or find us in your favourite podcasting app, including Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts and Amazon Music.

If you like what you hear, please don’t hesitate to rate us kindly. And if there are particular topics you’d like covered, please let us know.

 

Picture credit: https://radical.vc/jordan-jacobs/ & https://labs.openai.com/

*https://www.pwc.com/gx/en/issues/data-and-analytics/publications/artificial-intelligence-study.html

For Your Ears Only…Bonds with Richard Usher-Jones on The Unlimited Podcast

After a difficult 2022 for bonds, higher interest rates have created increased opportunities for fixed income investors. So to kick off 2023, this episode of The Unlimited Podcast will cover “Bonds 101” and opportunities in fixed income investing with Richard Usher-Jones, Portfolio Manager at Canso Investment Counsel.

Richard has 30+ years of industry experience, achieving his Canadian Investment Manager (CIM) designation, and is a Fellow of the Canadian Securities Institute (FCSI). Since 2009, Richard has been a Portfolio Manager with Canso, as well as the President of Lysander Funds. Canso manages over $35 billion in assets, specializing in fixed income.

In this episode, Brian and Richard go back to basics to explain bonds and how they work, who issues bonds, bond ratings, and much more. They also review Canso’s approach to fixed income investing and opportunities Richard is seeing in the current environment.

This episode can be found here or find us in your favourite podcasting app, including Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts and Amazon Music.

If you like what you hear, please don’t hesitate to rate us kindly. And if there are particular topics you’d like covered, please let us know.

 

Picture credit: https://www.lysanderfunds.com/our-team/

Ginsler Wealth Fourth Quarter 2022 Client Letter – All Weather Edition

(An audio version of this letter can now be found as Episode 14 of The Unlimited Podcast by Ginsler Wealth. Use the link provided or find us on your favourite podcast app.)


To Ginsler Wealth’s Clients:

Earlier this past quarter, I went on my annual Fall canoe trip in Algonquin Park. There is a core crew of us that have been doing this together for 25+ years. Over the years we have moved the trip from June (too many mosquitos and rain), to July/August (too busy/too many people), to late September/October when the park is much quieter, the bugs are all gone, the air is crisp, and the leaves are changing colours on the trees. It is a beautiful time for a canoe trip…unless the weather doesn’t cooperate.

While you may recall this past October being an unseasonably warm month, leading up to our trip the Algonquin weather was looking very uncertain. But we are quite experienced, we have all the gear, and we know our roles and routines.

When we arrived at the Portage Store on Canoe Lake for departure, we were already layered up in our clothes. It’s always easy to remove layers while on the lake; not so easy to add. It’s critical to be able to adapt and adjust quickly.

The second we started paddling away from the dock, the rain started.

Portaging

When we arrived on our final lake of the day, we explored a number of potential campsites before choosing the one we thought was laid out best, had a shielded campfire area, and good position on the lake.

Once the winning campsite was chosen, we began our setup process immediately. The tent was put up, including a protective extra tarp (angled “just so”). Another tarp was hung to create a covered area for sitting and to protect wood and supplies, should the inclement weather continue.

Tarp over tent.

Then the hunt began. We spent a few hours in the woods searching for, chopping, and sawing firewood in 3 sizes: smallish kindling, medium twigs and branches for building the fire up, and larger logs for sustaining. You can never have too much wood on a canoe trip. It goes much faster than you think, especially in bad weather when you might not have a chance for a second search.

My friend Jeff is responsible for the fires throughout the trip. He completely rebuilt the firepit, creating a protective wall of rocks. I am the head chef. And Todd is the overall organizer and equipment supplier.

All our experience, preparation and setup proved critical this trip. We experienced rain, torrential wind, hail, and snow (yes!). And luckily a few nice moments of sunshine. Being experienced and prepared enabled us to enjoy a trip that for most novice or amateur canoe trippers would likely have been a disaster. The good news is that the weather next year has to be better than what we experienced this past year!

Brian on trip

PREPARING FOR 2023

Why am I telling you the story of my canoe trip in my year-end letter?

We have just experienced a very difficult year from an economic and investment standpoint. The war in Ukraine continues. Equity and bond markets (typically the only asset classes in most non-Ginsler Wealth portfolios) experienced significant losses. Central banks, especially in the U.S. and Canada, have raised interest rates at a higher and faster pace than perhaps any time in history in an effort to curb inflation, and it doesn’t appear that they are done yet. The effect of this will likely be a recession in 2023 (if there isn’t one already hiding in plain site).

As we “check the weather” for 2023, it is looking like it will be inclement. To navigate 2023, we believe you need: experience, the right investment toolkit, and an ability to assess your investment options and make sound decisions. None of us know exactly what investment and economic weather we are going to experience. So, in our view, most investors[1] should be entering 2023 with an “All-Weather” portfolio – a portfolio that can provide a reasonable level of downside protection, some income along the way (like firewood, you can never have too much income), and the opportunity for growth and gains if and when the sun comes out.

My last quarterly letter focused on opportunities we see in this environment. Those views haven’t changed, and we are implementing such in your Ginsler Wealth portfolios. GW client portfolios are typically allocated across a variety of asset classes – not just stocks and bonds – and we believe have the All-Weather characteristics highlighted above.

We are layered up and have raised the tarp over your portfolios for whatever weather 2023 brings. Whether it rains or shines, Ginsler Wealth has you covered.[2]

View from campsite

Wishing you unlimited health, happiness, and prosperity in 2023.

Thank you for your trust, support, and confidence. We are available 24/7 should you need us.

Sincerely,

Brian singnature

Brian Ginsler
President & CEO

 

 

[1] All investors, and Ginsler Wealth clients, have different investment goals, objectives, time horizons, and risk tolerances. As such any investment recommendations or statements made herein may not be appropriate for all investors and/or clients.

[2] Investing involves material risk and uncertainties and nothing herein should be considered a promise or guarantee of investment results.