Sharing my Experiences

By Bruce Firestone | Uncategorized

Oct 05

(Guest post by Saad Rashid) 

Prof Bruce,

I wanted to share my experiences at a conference I recently attended in Toronto – which was phenomenal. It was a privilege to listen to (among other speakers) Dr Peter Diamandis, Chairman and CEO of the X Prize Foundation, who spoke about linear vs exponential growth and how advancements in technology radically change the way we live.

In 2004, I wrote a paper on SpaceShipOne, the first ever private spacecraft capable of carrying three people 100 kilometers above the earth’s surface (twice within two weeks). The X PRIZE Foundation awarded $10 million to Scaled Composites, the creators of SpaceShipOne. It was surreal that nine years later, I got to meet Peter in person. Below is a picture of me with Dr Diamandis.

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Dick Hockenson, Partner and Managing Director of Global Demographics for International Strategy and Investment, spoke about tremendous challenges we face with an aging demographic. China, if you can believe it, is running out of workers.

There has been a steady decline over the last couple of years in the working age population (15 to 59). This is a trend happening in other countries, including Canada (although not at the same rate).

People are also living longer–the fastest growing demographic in Canada is 100 and up. This drives home the point that we cannot solely depend on governments to support us as we get older; we also have to support ourselves and ensure it lasts. It’s quite possible that many of us could outlive our money. Finding a financial advisor you like and trust will become more important going forward.

Colonel Chris Hadfield, commander of the International Space Station spoke about his career and the preparation he needed to become an astronaut, a leader, and also someone that the next generation looks to for advice and inspiration. It was a proud moment to be Canadian when he spoke about how important the Canadarm was in building the station. From the time he took off from Kazakhstan in December 2012, his final day on the ISS when he discovered a leak in the station (which was a life or death event for his whole team) to when he finally landed on Earth–it felt like I was there; it was amazing.

I also leanrd more about: analysis of financial statements, risk management for business owners, whole life as an asset class and the state of global markets.

It was a great experience,

Saad Rashid, B Com (Finance), Consultant, Investors Group Financial Services Inc, 613.723.7200 w 613.862.5629 c

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