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Look Back / Look Ahead: Influencer Edition

As strange as the times are that we currently are living through, stranger still is the world of DIY investing.

Scores of online investors are shut in because of COVID-19, savings for many are up despite massive economic dislocation, interest rates are at near-record lows, and individuals turning to investing online, not only as a means of wealth creation but also as entertainment, have materially shaped the direction, sentiment, and performance of the stock market.

It’s precisely at times of immense change or volatility that the steady hand of experience offers its greatest benefits: important context and insight to help make sense of the current state of investing online. Cue the newest addition to the Look Back / Look Ahead series, the Influencer Edition.

This digital series is a companion to the recurring Look Back / Look Ahead feature of Canadian online brokerages that provide their perspectives on the past and future of the online investing industry. In the Influencer Edition, however, we have brought together the most experienced collection of voices and perspectives available in the Canadian online brokerage industry to weigh in on what they think is important to take away from last year as well as what online brokers and investors should pay attention to in the year ahead.

Rob Carrick, the well-known personal finance journalist at The Globe and Mail, has been covering and ranking Canadian online brokerages for more than two decades. Glenn LaCoste, President and Founder of Surviscor, a leading Canadian financial services analysis firm, has been evaluating and ranking financial services firms, including Canadian online brokerages, in detail for almost two decades. Mike Foy is Senior Director of the Wealth Management Practice for North America at J.D. Power and oversees the annual Self-Directed Investor Satisfaction Study, which has been tracking the pulse of online investor satisfaction in Canada. Finally, there’s yours truly, Hamish Khamisa, the voice behind Sparx Trading; I have been covering the world of Canadian online brokerages and running since 2011.

While the credentials and experience of each contributor certainly speak for themselves, the most exciting part of this project has been collecting and relaying the unfiltered perspectives of these influencers in one place. The responses to the questions that were asked are thought-provoking, insightful, and helpful to any Canadian DIY investor interested in investing online or any online brokerage committed to improving their service offering.

Against a backdrop of a historic year, it feels like something equally historic was needed to make sense of the new normal of investing online. Even in the short span of a month, what is considered “normal” activity for DIY investing has radically changed, so the themes identified in this issue around how online brokerages ought to be preparing for change are even more relevant heading into the new year.

On behalf of the Sparx Trading team, I want to thank the authors for their submissions and efforts in providing a voice for DIY investors and driving positive change in the Canadian online brokerage industry. I also want to extend a special thanks to our loyal readers for your continued support and hope you stay safe, well, and healthy in the year ahead.

Hamish Khamisa



Click below to read submissions from: