I’m becoming an advocate of free educational workshops that address your particular investment needs and interest. Dave recently invited me to attend an educational workshop on fixed income ETFs. My brokerage firm, Schwab, occasionally sends invitations to workshops which I’m almost ashamed to say I ignore (too busy, marketing ploy, etc.). But this time I relented because my friend invited me to his broker’s workshop and the topic was focused on one of my main interests, ETFs. The sponsor was Fidelity Investments.
The workshop was held in an attractive venue at evening time. There was a social hour, with nice buffet, followed by 2 presentations: 1) Fixed income ETFs. 2) ETF basics and screening tool. The 2 main messages were: 1) high returns from fixed income investments always incur higher risks when associated with longer maturity date and lower credit rating of the underlying assets. 2) Index ETFs are more transparent and more easily traded than actively managed mutual funds.
The overriding theme was an exchange of information between institutions (in this case, Fidelity/Invesco/PowerShares) and investors who own self-managed brokerage accounts. The question-and-answer sessions were quite ‘liquid’ and informative. I learned that educational workshops are worthwhile for both parties. The brokers derive a major source of income from making trades for do-it-yourself investors AND the investors get to exchange information with peers at an informative workshop.