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Alternative Thinking: Both Sides of the Investment Coin
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Alternative Thinking: Both Sides of the Investment Coin

Author: caasa

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We explore global and Canadian markets in alternative investments from two distinct perspectives. Our guests include Pension Funds, Single Family Offices, Multi-Family Offices, and Managers that are involved in Hedge Funds, Private Equity, Private Lending, Venture Capital, Crypto and Blockchain, and other alternative strategies.

Brought to you by Canadian Association of Alternative Strategies and Assets (CAASA).
71 Episodes
In this episode we are talking agriculture from two angles: equity investment into working farms and lending to farmers to get them through a tough growing season or to expand their operations.  Both of my guests have a great deal of experience in their respective areas and you’ll love to hear about how Canadian agriculture is staying competitive and delivering quality food to your table.
In this episode, we have another first. We have the Ontario Securities Commission participating in a podcast, along with LockDocs, which recently completed the OSC's Innovation Lab AKA TestLab Program. The result was a KYC online app that, while not endorsed nor approved by the regulator, was brought to market via the program and with a great deal of industry input. Let's hear about their journey together.
In this episode we speak with a veteran investment advisor and a specialist in investing in a diverse set of Ontario-based construction projects.  You’ll hear what investors are looking for these days and how these two professionals deliver for their clients.
In this episode we speak to two CAASA members, Gord Ross, Chief Sales Officer of W.A. Robinson Asset Management & Darren Reid, Portfolio Manager of Aligned Capital on the opposite side of Canada. Where their values and purpose couldn't be more aligned (apologies for the pun), their respective businesses are structured to provide quality income to clients and have done so for many years, even decades.
In this episode we are speaking with two CAASA members who joined forces to produce an innovative ETF product in the global real estate space - offering the benefits of this asset class to investors who like a little liquidity now and then.  We hope you enjoy it!   The contents of this presentation are not to be used or construed as investment advice or as an endorsement or recommendation of any entity or security discussed.
Recorded July 28th, 2022. In this episode we speak with an OCIO - or outsourced chief investment officer - based in Vancouver, BC and a major Toronto-based fixed income manager active in both long only and hedge fund strategies. We go from top-level asset allocation to more granule topics like the corporate bond curve. 
For today’s podcast we welcome back Sandy Poklar with Firm Capital and Darren Coleman at Raymond James.  Both have been in the industry, and their respective roles, for three decades or so and they’ve been professionally connected for about 15 years, so you can be sure this conversation will be like two old friends chatting - because they are!   We’ll talk client experience, real estate, inflation and much more.  Enjoy!
In this episode we speak with two in the crypto and Defi sub-sets of the digital assets industry.  One from the so-called trad-fi or traditional finance area, taking a crash course in this new space, with his company offering a platform for trading various instruments.  The other is an old school commodities and financial trader who moved his expertise to the crypto-assets market and now runs a hedge fund that specializes in relative value, delta neutral trades which capture yield for their investors. You’re in for a treat as we get to know this fast-moving topic!
In this episode we sit down with two veterans of the digital assets space and talk Defi and much more.  These are areas that are growing in popularity and investors of all stripes are really digging into them, as we do during this podcast. We hope you like it!
In this episode we discuss real estate investing and due diligence that investors should perform as well as how investor demographics and their behaviour can have a huge effect their overall returns. 
In this episode we speak quantitative and systematic investments with two folks who have a great deal of experience in the space.  One manages a hedge fund selection team in Paris, London, and New York, overseeing fund due diligence and onboarding of the managers who trade via a variety of products.  The other is in business development at a New York based manager that uses an investment process that takes human emotion out of the trade in order to produce disciplined portfolios.  Perhaps not surprising, they are both engineers by education and use these skills in their own way in this part of the industry.
In this episode we speak with a leader in the pension fund management space as well as a noted expert in quantitative methods for extremely large portfolios such as those with $100 billion. Both have a passion for E.S.G. and creating portfolios that support both environmental social and governance imperatives as well as the return and income requirements of pensioners and investors that rely on their products.
In this episode we speak with a leader in the assisted living space in Canada as well as one of the most prolific distributors of exempt products. We talk about how this type of seniors living and housing is used by its occupants and the prospects for its growth going forward and hear about what investors are looking for when considering investments for their portfolios.
In this episode we are happy to speak with two experts from the foreign exchange market, one who heads those operations of a major asset manager in Canada and the other in charge of a global platform that facilitates the trades. We talk about such things as FX flows, the Triffin Dilemma, and even bitcoin so get ready!
In this episode we have a noted Canadian pension plan that has evolved its business to include external money so investors can take advantage of their experience and expertise. As well as an asset manager that specializes in emerging market private lending and other EM fixed income such as sovereign debt. You will hear how they are adapting their offerings and internal capabilities to keep up with and make their mark in the international investment scene.  
In this episode we speak with a veteran manager from Vancouver who recently released a new fund and a product specialist from an investment dealer that is very active in the alternative investment scene. Join us as they discuss how alternative investments are becoming less of an alternative for virtually every type of client and how the idea of 60/40 can be reinterpreted since bond yields are at record lows and the probability of having capital gains in that part of the portfolio is surprisingly low.
In this episode the tables are turned as my colleague Paul interviews Matthew Latimer who heads the Federation of Mutual Fund Dealers and little ol’ me!    We chat about how the industry is evolving to include more alternative investments - making us think that maybe we need a new moniker for these non-correlated investments - thanks to the liquid alts legislation that our team worked on for 6 years.
For this episode we are delving into the surprisingly resilient world of student housing - speaking with a fund manager in the asset class and an award-winning investment advisor with an enviable roster of clients in this and other alternative investments.
In this session we have two portfolio managers with high conviction portfolios that come at the markets from different tangents.  Whether one is looking to longer term trends or short-term trading, knowing the markets you’re in can make the difference between star performance and being at the back of the pack.
In this episode we speak with two asset allocators - one with a multi-family office and the other with an ETF-only allocation service for investors.  Both have a great deal of experience across many asset classes during many markets and we will talk about current market dynamics and infrastructure of trading and where it is headed.