Canadian Financial Summit 2020 is now online

The four-day Canadian Financial Summit 2020 edition kicks off at 8 pm EST (5 pm PST) tonight (Oct. 14): an all-virtual event featuring 30 personal finance speakers and financial bloggers. You can get tickets and catch up here. Tickets are free via the website.

After kicking off with a webcast tonight, the online event runs till this Saturday, October 17.

Kornel Szrejber

The summit’s host is Kornel Szrejber, who runs the finance and investing podcast The Build Wealth Canada Show.  Szrejber [pictured right] says on the site that he became one of Canada’s youngest retirees at age 32 (“before I got bored and took on the Podcast and Summit as passion projects,”) following a career in the financial planning and investing industry.

The event will also feature the experiences of two others who are among Canada’s youngest retirees, Kristy Shen and Bryce Leung, who will pass on their wisdom about how they reached retirement at so tender an age.

Scheduled speakers include Rob Carrick of the Globe & Mail, former Toronto Star financial columnist and consumer advocate Ellen Roseman, and Financial Post columnist Peter Hodson.

There are also several names that should be familiar to regular Hub readers: BoomerandEcho’s Robb Engen, MyOwnAdvisor’s Mark Seed and certified financial planner Ed Rempel. (The Hub often republishes their blogs.)

You can see some of the other speakers below, including Tom Drake, Kyle Prevost and other well known bloggers and personal finance gurus.


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Book Review: 12 takeaways from Michael Cohen’s Trump book, Disloyal

There are of course a glut of books about Donald Trump, especially now we’re fewer than two months away from the U.S. election. We have previously looked at several of these from an investment point of view, and most recently Mary Trump’s book, Too Much and Never Enough.

On the weekend I read Michael Cohen’s Disloyal, which — like Mary Trump’s book — provides the kind of insider perspective that outsider journalists and authors can’t quite match. Cohen spent a decade as Donald Trump’s personal lawyer and “fixer” and as he says in the book, “I know where the skeletons are buried, because I helped bury them.”

In its review this week, the Washington Post is a bit harsh on Cohen but I found the book to be among the most insightful I have read about Trump: certainly more enlightening than John Bolton’s snoozer, or some of the early journalistic books like Michael Wolff’s Fire & Fury.

Below are a dozen takeaways that provide either insights not before quite articulated, or which seem to bear repeating. While much of what follows may be known or hinted at it in earlier books and journalistic investigations, Cohen wraps it all up with his ten years of close observance of Trump as he evolved from real estate hustler to Reality Show “star” and now his turn as the Reality TV president.

Clearly, Cohen views Trump as a purely transactional beast who cares little for anything but his own hide and possibly his close family members. He doesn’t come out and say it explicitly but my own view of Trump is that he epitomizes the single-minded pursuit of the four goals cherished by many in this secular society: Money, Power, Sex and Fame. And give him credit for this if nothing else: he certainly has attained copious quantities of all four.

1.) Motivation to run in the first place was as a “lark and a PR stunt.”

Trump, largely at Cohen’s instigation, initially decided to run for president because “it would be cool” and as “a lark and a P.R. stunt.” Or as Cohen has famously said, the presidency would prove to be “the greatest infomercial in the history of politics.” Not exactly noble motivations and there’s not a hint of even pretending it was ever about “public service.” Even if Trump’s team thinks he deserves the Noble Prize (which his team infamously misspelled the other day, when the correct spelling of course is “Nobel,” after Alfred Nobel.)

2.) What’s with the Putin obsession?

Trump’s fascination for Russia’s Vladimir Putin is based on his perception that Putin is also the richest man in the world, and therefore hugely influential. He also serves as a model for the “dictator for life” aspiration Trump clearly harbours. And, Cohen insists that should he lose the November election, he will try to find a way not to leave.

3.) “a cheat, a liar, a fraud, a bully, a racist, a predator, a con man.”   

No surprise here on this list of character traits. From page 15 of the e-book I read on SCRIBD:

“…. I bore witness to the real man, in strip clubs, shady business meetings, and in the unguarded moments when he revealed who he really was: a cheat, a liar, a fraud, a bully, a racist, a predator, a con man.”

It’s been previously reported how Trump has repeatedly stiffed contractors but Cohen cites several particular examples, including even those that backfired: like when he tried to welch on one of those famous $130,000 porn star payoffs covered by the tabloid National Enquirer.

4.) Pathological lying and baseless smears

The dirty tricks and pathological lying will continue. Cohen nicely recaps how the birtherism lie about Barack Obama originated, which first propelled Trump to media prominence. Similarly, he recaps the shameful smears that let Trump eliminate his Republican rivals in 2015-2016, ending with the smear about Ted Cruz’s father’s alleged (and ridiculous) role in the assassination of JFK.

5.) Sexual allegations

There’s plenty of salacious material about Trump’s sexual predator inclinations, both as the owner of beauty pageants and various ogling incidents, including ones about Cohen’s own daughter on a tennis court. That same daughter declared soon after Trump’s run was announced that he “wasn’t qualified” to become president. Out of the mouths of babes …. Continue Reading…

Welcome to the Financial Independence Hub!

Welcome to the Hub!

We are a North American portal site dedicated to all things related to Financial Independence: blogs, books, podcasts, discussion forums, web videos and the like. We are not a site about Personal Finance per se. Personal Finance is all about tactics, not long-term strategy. Nor are we strictly a site about Retirement. We believe there is a profound difference between the traditional concept of “Retirement” and the paradigm shift we call Financial Independence. We always refer readers to Wikipedia’s definition of financial independence.

To save syllables speaking about financial independence, we’ve invented the contraction “Findependence.” The state of being financially independent we call “findependent.” Therefore we have also unveiled a mirror site to help save a few keystrokes: We expect it to get more use as the term “Findependence” gains currency.

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