In April 2020, we started to go "on-the-ground" to speak to industry professionals to find the truth about how the pandemic would affect the future of our economy, our lives and our investments.

"I love the Fact Finders. They make me smarter!" – client

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May 4, 2021
Episode 62: Wisdom on Investing and Life from a Legend
Pierre Lassonde, Chair Emeritus and co-founder of Franco-Nevada

In Episode 62 of our Fact-Finding Series, Anthony and Mr. Lassonde discussed (see his full bio):
• How Mr. Lassonde got his start at Beutel Goodman and founded Franco-Nevada with Seymour Schulich, who was President of Beutel Goodman at the time. They took it public with $2 million in 1985 and it is worth $34 billion today.
• The secret to success is in the people: “People is everything. Good people make good things happen.”
• When to invest in gold companies from a risk/reward standpoint and why Marathon Gold (TSX:MOZ) is at that point, in his opinion.
• How to invest in the gold industry: Identifying a good gold company and a bad one.
• Why he owns 12%-13% of Prime Mining (TSXV: PRYM).
• How he got involved with Enghouse (TSX: ENGH) and why that has been another successful investment.
• His outlook for gold, the U.S. dollar and inflation. “I really believe you're going to see US$2,400 gold sometime in the next, I’d say 18 months.”

April 27, 2021
Episode 61: Audit quality and the pandemic - what investors need to know
Carol Paradine, CEO Canadian Public Accountability Board (CPAB)

In Episode 61 of our Fact-Finding Series, Anthony and Ms. Paradine discussed (see her full bio):
• The importance of auditing to the confidence in capital markets;
• The methodology behind CPAB’s recently released 2020 Annual Audit Quality Assessments Report and key findings;
• How the report focuses on areas where problems are likely to be found,” which means it isn’t statistically representative of all auditing in the country. Nevertheless, it found that 29% of the files had a significant inspection finding. “We are concerned about poor inspection results at several of the annually inspected firms, and we are conducting disciplinary panels.”
• How one of the four big accounting firms has repeat problems, why that firm is not publicly disclosed and what improvements are being made to fix problems;
• What investors should focus on in financial statements;
• What has changed in auditing during the pandemic?
• Auditing issues with cannabis, crypto, fraud and going concern evaluations.

April 21, 2021
Episode 60: The White-Hot Cdn. Residential Mortgage Market
Albert Collu, President and CEO of Marathon Mortgage Corp.

In Episode 60 of our Fact-Finding Series, Anthony and Mr.Collu covered (see his full bio):
• Why the doom-and-gloom forecasts for deferral cliffs were so wrong: “The forecasts for what would happen in the housing market couldn’t have been any further from what’s actually going on. In fact, everything you have seen up until this moment sort of blows away any economic model that we’ve ever come across, with the exception of supply and demand.”
• Why the mortgage market is white-hot: “If you had said to me a year ago that we would have to go on a massive hiring spree just to keep up with demand, I probably would have looked at you a little funny.”
• Access to capital and legislation to cool the market: Any time there is tightening legislation, it drives more lending into the private market.
• Predictions for the future, including comments on legislation, immigration and the downtown exodus: “[A year from now] we’re going to sit here still all scratching our heads wondering, how the heck is it possible that the market is still this white-hot.”

Please also see Mr. Collu’s new book: Catapulting Change: Mindful Leadership To Launch Organizations and People. He was also a guest of our Fact-Finding series a year ago: Episode 2: On the ground in Canada’s mortgage industry.

April 20, 2021
Episode 59: The Future of Accounting
Nick Anderson, Member of the International Accounting Standards Board

Anthony and Mr. Anderson discussed (see his full bio):
• Key lessons from the past year: What investors need to continue to focus on, especially with businesses under stress from the pandemic.
• “We really do need to hear from users in terms of what’s important for them,” Mr. Anderson said. Please make yourself heard by completing this 5-minute survey. For more context, please see this investor perspective article written by IASB member Zach Gast encouraging investors to participate.
• Also: Climate change and sustainability reporting, disclosure requirements, supply-chain financing, non-GAAP metrics transparency and goodwill amortization.

April 14, 2021
Episode 58: Investing Like A Gardener
Mark Cullen, Entrepreneur, gardener and spokesperson

Mr. Cullen is an entrepreneur, brand ambassador for Mark’s Choice gardening products and author (see his full bio). His latest book with his son Ben is called Escape to Reality: How the World is Changing Gardening, and Gardening is Changing the World. As the former owner of Weall & Cullen garden centres, which he sold in 2003, Mr. Cullen talks about how his family got into the gardening businesses, its challenges and successes, and eventually why he sold.

Mr. Cullen has a wealth of practical advice about what makes a successful entrepreneur and investor. Anthony and Mr. Cullen discuss this letter that Mr. Cullen wrote his financial advisor Syl Apps (son of the Maples Leafs’ captain) called Investing Advice for 2011. The letter covers what gardening has taught Mr. Cullen about investing, including patience, how everything has a life cycle and harvesting. 

April 6, 2021
Episode 57:Defending Freedoms
John Carpay, President of the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms

The Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms is a federally-registered charity that defends citizens’ freedoms. As the founder and president of the centre, John has devoted his legal career to defending constitutional freedoms through litigation and education. (see his full bio). It has ongoing or pending court actions in five provinces to end Charter-violating lockdowns.
Mr. Carpay and Anthony discussed:
• Restrictions of freedoms: How Canada has restricted our freedoms more in the past 12 months than in WWII? 
• Free-Speech: How universities are meant to support debate and free-speech are becoming a thing of the past.

March 31, 2021 
Episode 56: Cannabis & Psychedelics: The Science Behind the Story
Hance Clarke, Director of Pain Services, Medical Director of the
Pain Research Unit at the Toronto General Hospital

Mr. Clarke and Anthony discussed what trends investors need to pay attention to in pain management, including:
• Cannabis: How Canada went down the wrong path? What is the science behind the story? What lies ahead for the regulators? What about foreign markets? Who wins, who loses?
 • Psychedelics: What is the medical evidence and the regulatory path supporting psychedelics? What do you think happens with this industry and what kind of companies will win? 

March 30, 2021 
Episode 55: Inside this unstoppable Canadian housing market
John Zinati, real estate lawyer at Zinati Kay

With more than 23,000 real estate transactions completed, Mr. Zinati has a unique perspective on the market with a view into buyers, sellers and financing. Mr. Zinati and Anthony discussed:
• What is the mentality of buyers/sellers/financiers in today’s market?
• How does the past year compare with the previous 35?
• Where is the financing coming from now, and how has that changed from previous years?
• The condo market softened in 2020, while detached housing skyrocketed. What is happening now?
• What key metrics are you watching to monitor the health of the housing market?

March 24, 2021
Episode 54: How Do You Value a Dot-Com Today?
Tom Strezos, Senior Business Advisor in the Valuations Group at Grewal Guyatt LLP

Mr. Strezos is a business valuation expert. He and Anthony discussed:
• The “crazy and loopy” valuations of the dot-com bubble of 2000 and the ensuing crash in which the Nasdaq lost 80% of its value in the next 2.5 years as investors returned to using cash flows to value companies.
• Mr. Strezos wrote an article 20 years ago for The Lawyers Weekly on valuing a Dot-com, in which he tried to place a value on the then-struggling Amazon. The video discusses his methodology then and how investors might value Amazon today.
• What are investors missing as they value tech companies today? When a private company is going public, what should potential shareholders of the public entity look at before investing?

February 4, 2021
Episode 53: The future of Canada's capital markets
Maureen Jensen, Former Chair and CEO of the Ontario Securities Commission

Maureen Jensen reflected on her career and journey to be head of the OSC. She talked about women in capital markets, why Canada desperately needs a national securities regulator and why it has been a hopeless effort to get one, how difficult it is to regulate Bitcoin and why this will be a growing problem for taxation and with criminals, and about the “unbelievable amounts of bureaucracy” in Canada – something she tried hard to cull during her tenure but that is a much bigger problem than the securities industry.

January 26, 2021
Episode 52: Financial statement manipulation is a slippery slope
Chris Mathers, Crime and Risk Consulting Services

We discussed why the pandemic has changed criminality and organized crime, why cybercrime is on the rise and how working-from-home is fueling this fire. We also discussed what to look for when evaluating a management team so that you the investor aren’t being led astray.

January 20, 2021
Episode 51: Professional Skepticism for ESG and Sustainability Ratings
Charles Cho, Professor of Accounting & Erivan K. Haub Chair, Schulich School of Business, York University – Business & Sustainability

Professor Cho shed light on the latest trends in ESG and Sustainability Reporting, including which what investors need to be on the lookout for. He discussed how reporting standards need to consider materiality in both financial and non-financial terms, as well as how society needs to rethink the concept of a corporation’s beneficiaries: Investors or Society at large.

January 13, 2021
Episode 50: Electric Vehicle Irrational Exuberance?
Dimitry Anastakis, LR Wilson/RJ Currie Chair in Canadian Business History, Professor - Rotman School of Management – University of Toronto History Department

Despite electric vehicles (EVs) constituting only about 3% of North American auto sales, Tesla’s hyper-growth is seen as a validation of the EV’s arrival.  But in 1900, electric vehicles constituted nearly 40% of American car purchases. Dimitry Anastakis, professor and author of numerous books and articles on the history of the auto industry in North America, talked to us about the EV’s second historical moment and what lessons we can take from its first. 


December 15, 2020
Episode 49: A strategic reboot for Canada to get going
David Dodge, Senior Advisor Bennett Jones LLP and former Governor of the Bank of Canada

The economic backdrop heading into 2021; What Canada should do to improve our economic positioning with the Biden administration; The danger in the federal government building up excessive debt; How to address Canada’s productivity problem; Why China's currency will overtake the U.S. dollar as the global currency this decade.

December 9, 2020
Episode 48: A Firm believer in stock picking
George Athanassakos, Founder & Managing Director-Ben Graham Centre for Value Investing at Ivey
(The slides in this video are not to be copied or redistributed in any form)

December 3, 2020
Episode 47: Understanding legal rights and freedoms during the pandemic
Joanna Baron, Executive Director, The Canadian Constitution Foundation

December 1, 2020
Episode 46: Revolutionizing Canada's payments system
Doug Kreviazuk, Executive Director, PayTechs of Canada

November 25, 2020
Episode 45: Wisdom of a short seller
Carson Block, Muddy Water Research

October 22, 2020
Episode 44: Investment implications for how Toronto is going to change from the pandemic
Joe Berridge, Partner Urban Strategies Inc.
Or read a brief write-up of the session

October 14, 2020
Episode 43: Truths about the state of Toronto's condo market
Avi Levinson, Vice President Sales, Royal York Property Management
Or read a brief write-up of the session

September 24, 2020
Episode 42: How Will The Stimulus Programs Affect Canadians - Today and Tomorrow
David MacDonald, Senior Economist at Canadian Center for Policy Alternatives

September 17, 2020
Episode 41: What consumer stocks will do best in a coming recession
Kathleen Wong, Veritas Consumer Staples & Consumer Discretionary Analyst

September 16, 2020
Episode 40: How should investors use ESG scores?
Elizabeth Demers, Professor at University of Waterloo, School of Accounting and Finance and co-author of ESG Didn't Immunize Stocks Against the COVID-19 Market Crash

September 10, 2020
Episode 39: Understanding how antitrust law can affect stock market winners and losers
John Pecman, Senior Business Advisor in the Antitrust/Competition & Marketing group at Fasken and former Commissioner of Competition at Competition Bureau Canada

August 27, 2020
Episode 38: A Review of the Green Party Platform
Dimitri Lascaris, Green Party of Canada & Former Class Action Lawyer at Siskinds LLP

August 25, 2020
Episode 37: Waste Management Industry: Digging Through the Dirt on GFL
Darryl McCoubrey, Veritas Utilities Analyst

July 29, 2020
Episode 36: Positioning for the next phase of the pandemic
Brad Dunkley, Co-Founder, Chief Investment Officer & Chief Risk Officer of Waratah Capital Advisors

July 23, 2020
Episode 35: Telecoms: Silver lining in hard times
Desmond Lau, Veritas Information Technology Analyst

July 16, 2020
Episode 34: Canadian Oil Coming Back Into Vogue?
Jeffrey Craig, Veritas Energy Analyst
Or read a brief write-up of the session

July 9, 2020
Episode 33: Where to look for signs of optimism in industrials
Dan Fong, Veritas Industrials Analyst
Or read a brief write-up of the session

July 7, 2020
Episode 32: Create order out of chaos and thrive in the post-pandemic age
Nicky Billou, entrepreneur consultant and host of The Thought Leader Revolution Podcast
Or read a brief write-up of the session

June 25, 2020
Episode 31: Housing price head fake coming
Ben Rabidoux, President North Cove Advisors Inc.
Or read a brief write-up of the session

June 24, 2020
Episode 30: Infrastructure risks have increased significantly
Darryl McCoubrey, Veritas Utilities & Infrastructure Analyst
Or read a brief write-up of the session

June 23, 2020
Episode 29: Digging into the strengths and weaknesses of Canada's economic recovery
Michael Rothe, President and CEO of the Canadian Finance & Leasing Association
Or read a brief write-up of the session

June 18, 2020
Episode 28: Exploring trends and investment opportunities in the agriculture industry
Kent Willmore, President, AGInvest Properties Canada, a manager of farmland investments.
Or read a brief write-up of the session

June 17, 2020
Episode 27: The long-term value proposition of cryptocurrencies
Anthony Di lorio, Founder & CEO of Decentral and Co-Founder of Ethereum, the world's second-largest crytocurrency platform.

June 11, 2020
Episode 26: What investors need to know about auditing during the pandemic
Ken Charbonneau, Chair of the Canadian Audit and Assurance Board
Or read a brief write-up of the session

June 10, 2020
Episode 25: Navigating the REITs sector for the best value
Howard Leung, Veritas REITs & Technology and Accounting & Special Situations Analyst
Or read a brief write-up of the session

June 4, 2020
Episode 24: Exploring the details of CMHC's housing market forecast
Aled ab lorwerth, Deputy Chief Economist, Canada Mortgage & Housing Corporation
Or read a brief write-up of the session

June 3, 2020
Episode 23: Why you shouldn't pay 50 times sales for Shopify
Chris Silvestre, Veritas Accounting & Special Situations Analyst
Or read a brief write-up of the session

June 2, 2020
Episode 22: Facing the reality of massive debt burdens
Jasmine Pickel, Ontario Director, Canadian Taxpayers Federation
Or read a brief write-up of the session

May 28, 2020
Episode 21: On the ground in Toronto's downtown real estate market
Natalka Falcomer, Founder, Managing Partner - Groundworks and Executive Vice President Corporate Development at Chestnut Park Real Estate Limited, Brokerage
Or read a brief write-up of the session

May 27, 2020
Episode 20: How the International Accounting Standards Board is responding to the pandemic
Nick Anderson, Member - International Accounting Standards Board
Or read a brief write-up of the session

May 26, 2020
Episode 19: Ten things that keep a Chief Accountant up at night
Cameron McInnis, Chief Accountant - Ontario Securities Commission
Or read a brief write-up of the session

May 21, 2020
Episode 18: An in-depth look at credit vulnerabilities across the Big Six
Nigel D'Souza, Veritas Financial Services Investment Analyst
Or read a brief write-up of the session

May 20, 2020
Episode 17: Why it's time for boards and investors to think differently to get through the pandemic
David R Beatty, Chair David & Sharon Johnston Center for Corporate Governance Innovation, Professor of Strategy, Rotman School of Management University of Toronto
Or read a brief write-up of the session

May 19, 2020
Episode 16: Navigating the next risks for investors
Philip Grant, Associate Publisher Grant's Interest Rate Observer, Editor Almost Daily Grant's Commentary
Or read a brief write-up of the session

May 14, 2020
Episode 15: A new reality for institutional investing
Alissa Kole Amico, Managing Director, Govern
Or read a brief write-up of the session

May 13, 2020
Episode 14: The Coming Consumer Credit Tsunami
Scott Terrio, Manager, Consumer Insolvency at Hoyes Michalos
Or read a brief write-up of the session

May 12, 2020
Episode 13: The shock to the housing system
Ron Butler, Mortgage Broker at Butler Mortgage
Or read a brief write-up of the session

May 7, 2020
Episode 12: How the mortgage market is faring
Rob McLister, Founder and Co-Founder intelliMortgage Inc.
Or read a brief write-up of the session

May 6, 2020
Episode 11: Focus on Vancouver housing
Steve Saretsky, Broker, Saretsky Real Estate Group in Vancouver
Or read a brief write-up of the session

May 5, 2020
Episode 10: How investors can assess financial reporting during the pandemic
Linda Mezon, Chair of the Canadian Accounting Standards Board
Or read a brief write-up of the session

April 30, 2020
Episode 9: The state of the rent crisis
Roelof van Dijk, Director of Market Analytics, Canada, CoStar Group.
Or read a brief write-up of the session

April 29, 2020
Episode 8: Sleuthing out house price vulnerabilities
John Pasalis, President and Broker of Record of Realosophy Realty Inc. Brokerage
Or read a brief write-up of the session

April 28, 2020
Episode 7: Looking at the horizon for construction after the lockdown
Richard Lyall, President Residential Construction Council of Ontario
Or read a brief write-up of the session

April 23, 2020
Episode 6: Getting back to work in a changed world
Flavio Volpe, President, Automotive Parts Manufacturers' Association
Or read a brief write-up of the session

April 22, 2020
Episode 5: Inside the federal government's response to the pandemic
Francesco Sorbara, Member of Parliament
Or read a brief write-up of the session

April 21, 2020
Episode 4: The shape of the recovery for the Canadian technology sector and economy
John Ruffolo, Co-Founder and Vice-Chair, Council of Canadian Innovators
Or read a brief write-up of the session

April 16, 2020
Episode 3: Volatility strategies for a more volatile market
Bill Webb & Ryan Marr of Waypoint Investment Partners
Or read a brief write-up of the session

April 15, 2020
Episode 2: On the ground in Canada's mortgage industry
Albert Collu: M3 Financial Group - President Mortgage Operations
Or read a brief write-up of the session

April 14, 2020
Episode 1: Positioning bond portfolios for offence and defence
Philip Mesman: Picton Mahoney - Partner, Lead Portfolio Manager and Head of Fixed Income
Or read a brief write-up of the session