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.


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.


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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.


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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.


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


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.


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.

Farmland Investing with Joelle Faulkner on The Unlimited Podcast

In this episode of The Unlimited Podcast, Ginsler Wealth CEO, Brian Ginsler, speaks with Joelle Faulkner, Founder and CEO of Area One Farms.

Joelle is a multi-generation Canadian farmer. She is a Rhodes Scholar and Fulbright Scholar and obtained degrees in Engineering, Business, and Law from Western University, Oxford University and Stanford University. She was named one of Canada’s Top 40 Under 40, Canadian Private Equity Summit Emerging Leader, EY Entrepreneurial Winning Women, and Canada’s Top 100 Most Powerful Women: Future Leaders.

In 2011, Joelle combined her finance expertise with her farming knowledge and founded Area One Farms – which now has $450 million of committed and invested capital, and owns 140,000 acres of farmland in partnership with 28 farm partners in 4 provinces.

Brian and Joelle discuss what life is like for farmers today, the current global climate for farming, why farmers need partners like Area One Farms, and why investors should think about farmland as an asset class for their portfolios.

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.


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Ginsler Wealth Third Quarter 2022 Client Letter – Opportunity Knocks

(An audio version of this letter can now be found as Episode 11 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 economic and investment climate remained very challenging in Q3, following a very difficult first half of the year. As at September 30, 2022, the U.S. equity markets (as measured by the S&P 500) are just 6% above where they were in February 2020, just prior to the pandemic, after having risen 41% above the February 2020 peak and 107% from the March 2020 lows.

S&P500 Performance Since 2020

The Canadian equity markets (as measured by the S&P/TSX index) are just 3% above February 2020 levels after having risen 23% above the February 2020 peak and 97% from the March 2020 lows.

S&P TSX Performance Since 2020

Canadian bonds (as measured by the S&P Canada Aggregate Bond Index) are down almost 11% this year. Central banks continue to raise interest rates to fight high inflation and Russia continues its war with Ukraine. It is reasonably likely that all the equity market gains made from the time Covid-19 began will be erased. Two and a half years…gone. So, what does this mean?


While it is easy to focus on the negative, we are focusing on opportunities this environment presents. For GW, this means taking the following actions:

  1. Looking at historic trends, especially equity market returns
  2. Adjusting your portfolio and/or finding new strategies
  3. Putting cash to work (even if just to earn more than bank account interest)
  4. Taking time to plan
  5. Focusing on your health

Looking at Historical Trends

While all client portfolios are tailored to your specific needs, goals, and objectives, in general, your investment portfolios with Ginsler Wealth include more than just traditional stocks and bonds. This diversification has helped insulate your assets from some of the challenges of this year.

However, we still believe that over time, equities should be the highest return contributor to your overall portfolios. What does history say about equity returns following large declines? The table and chart below show that following declines of 25% or more, the S&P 500 (the barometer of the overall U.S. equity market) has historically gone on to post substantial gains.

Chart of S&P Performance Post-25% Declines

Average S&P500 Performance Post -25% Losses

As Ben Carlson says in the article where the above data was reported: “History provides no guarantees for the future, but I do find some level of comfort in knowing that buying stocks when they’re down big like this tends to offer positive outcomes.”

Adjusting the Portfolio and Finding New Strategies

While the data above should provide a level of optimism for equity returns going forward, I do note that the 2022 decline shown in the table above is also the smallest major decline. There certainly could be more pain in the short term. But the current environment has also created opportunities in other areas. These are just a few of the strategies we are either adding to or exploring on your behalf:

  • Actively managed bond portfolios – as interest rates have risen, so too have yields on these portfolios – and we are confident that the managers we utilize are well aware of, and planning for, potential future interest rate increases,
  • Agriculture, infrastructure, and other assets that could perform well in inflationary and/or recessionary environments,
  • Structured Notes that provide dramatic downside protection along with the potential for high interest payments or magnified returns,
  • Cash management opportunities – ways to earn a better return on cash that is sitting in your bank account (see next section).

In finding new strategies, we have spent a significant amount of time reviewing investment opportunities from existing and new managers, exchange-traded-fund providers, and even the banks (see Structured Notes above). We do not make investment decisions lightly. Our due diligence process is detailed, rigorous, and thorough.

For instance, we recently reviewed all the legal documentation (a few hundred pages!) for a U.S.-based fund that could be a good fit for certain client portfolios. In our review, we believed we had found one very important missing word, the missing needle in the haystack. After inquiring, we received the following (redacted) email back from the manager:

“Ginsler Wealth Team – It turns out you were quite correct, and our hilariously expensive NYC attorneys missed a very important word in the XXX clause.” 

You rely on us to be thorough and thoughtful before investing your money. We take this responsibility very seriously.

Putting Cash to Work

We know some investors are concerned about the current economic environment and have been sitting on cash in their bank accounts. This cash earns next to nothing and, net of inflation, its value is being eroded.

Due to demand from existing and new clients, we have compiled a selection of lower-risk, shorter-term “Cash+” strategies that we believe could provide a higher and potentially more tax-efficient return on dormant cash. The chart below provides a comparison of bank high interest savings account rates versus the target return on the Ginsler Wealth cash management mandate.

Bank Savings Rates vs. GW Cash Strategy

We believe a reasonable portion of the target return above should come in the form of capital gains which are taxed at half the rate of interest income. As a result, the net differential return after taxes, relative to the bank savings accounts, should be even higher than illustrated in the chart above.

While high and rising interest rates are bad for borrowers, they are beneficial to savers.

Taking Time to Plan

When investment gains are challenged, it is a reminder that keeping every dollar is even more important. On the planning side, we have been working with several clients to introduce more tax effective trust and corporate structures. This planning can serve to potentially minimize taxes over time and/or at the time of a business sale, while also protecting the owners of the assets from lawsuits and/or creditors. Doing this structuring work today, could lead to perpetual, risk-free returns in the form of ongoing tax savings.

We are also (continuously) seeking opportunities to harvest investment losses to be used in the future to offset capital gains. While no one enjoys crystallizing losses, when other opportunities present themselves (see above), switching out of current losers can lead to tax savings on future winners.


Focusing on Your Health

Finally, while finances and investments are what we do and are important, we aim to be helpful in many aspects of your lives. It is often said that “health is wealth” and we totally agree with this sentiment. As such, through a new relationship with Medcan, Ginsler Wealth clients can now enjoy a 15% discount on Medcan’s flagship Comprehensive Health Assessment, along with three other advanced health tests. Please contact us if you want to take advantage of this. We are also exploring partnerships with other health organizations with the goal of bringing more value to you in the future.

During the past quarter, we also recorded an Unlimited Podcast episode about the state of mental healthcare in Canada with Dr. Juveria Zaheer and Sandi Treliving, both involved with Toronto’s Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH). Mental health is an equally important component of your overall health, and we hope this podcast episode can help provide some insights into what you can do to help others or manage your own mental health.



As we head into the final stretch of 2022, I don’t believe uncertainty or volatility will dissipate. Our role – on your behalf – is to seek out opportunities this challenging environment presents. I hope you can tell…we are on it.

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


Brian singnature

Brian Ginsler
President & CEO

Income Equities with Jeannine LiChong on The Unlimited Podcast

In this continuing period of challenging markets, we are pleased to share with you the latest episode of “The Unlimited Podcast by Ginsler Wealth” – a timely discussion with Jeannine LiChong of Waratah Capital Advisors Ltd.

Ginsler Wealth CEO, Brian Ginsler, speaks with Jeannine, Portfolio Manager of the Waratah Income Fund, about her path to portfolio management, North American income equities, navigating through investment crises, and the importance of being a good listener. They also discuss their shared experience working with Ira Gluskin, and how they still carry his lessons with them today.

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.


An additional disclaimer from Waratah: The information relayed by any employee of Waratah Capital Advisors Ltd. (“Waratah”) in this podcast is not to be construed as investment advice or as an endorsement of any entity or security discussed.  Waratah takes no obligation to correct, update or revise any statements made. In addition, participation in this podcast does not constitute an offer, promotion, or solicitation of an offer to buy any interest in any fund, product, or service in any jurisdiction managed by Waratah.