Dr. Sherry Cooper


Dr. Sherry Cooper

Chief Economist, Dominion Lending Centres

Dubbed the “megawatt celebrity economist” by Report on Business magazine, Dr. Sherry Cooper rose to international prominence because of her uncanny ability to shed light on the oft-murky waters of global economics and personal finance. Making even the most complicated of concepts easy to understand and apply to business or at home, Dr. Cooper’s talks are informative, entertaining and―above all else―useful.

Dr. Cooper is Chief Economist of Dominion Lending Centres. In this role, she helps Canadians understand the issues surrounding their most important financial decision—buying a home. An award-winning authority on finance and economics, Dr. Cooper is also TMX Industry Professor at DeGroote School of Business, McMaster University.

She served until 2013 as Chief Economist and Executive Vice-President of BMO Financial Group, where she was responsible for global economic and financial forecasting as well as country-risk and industry-risk analysis. She joined BMO Financial Group in 1994 when it acquired Burns Fry, where she had been Chief Economist, Co-Head of Fixed Income and the first female director of a Bay Street investment firm.

Dr. Cooper began her career at the Federal Reserve Board in Washington, D.C. where she worked very closely with then-Chairman, Paul Volcker and subsequently joined the Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae) as Director of Financial Economics.

Well-known as a media commentator, Dr. Cooper’s third book, The New Retirement: How It Will Change Our Future, was a block-buster bestseller.

Dr. Cooper holds an M.A. and Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Pittsburgh.

Global Economic Trends

The global economy has emerged unevenly from the most severe and pervasive global financial crisis in seventy years. Initiatives by central banks around the world to stimulate growth through unprecedented monetary accommodation have had limited success. Dr. Sherry Cooper will discuss the forces at play, economic and financial outlook for Canada and the U.S. against this backdrop, and explain the challenges for policy and investment decisions.

U.S. & Canadian Economies

Economic growth, while comparable or slightly better than in most OECD countries, continues to be sluggish, with minimal productivity gains. Canada has been hit hard by prolonged commodity price declines, while the U.S., as the best-performing developed economy, faces a growing rate of labour force exist. What are the implications for fiscal and monetary policy, and the impact on key economic sectors and markets?

Political Developments

Restructuring in the Canadian and U.S. economies has been very disruptive to many segments of the population. People are fearful and insecure about their futures. We have seen this reflected in the remarkable political developments – landslide victory for the Liberals in Canada, the unprecedented Presidential election in the United States.

Housing Markets

Canada is experiencing the dichotomy of some of the fastest-growing markets in North America (Vancouver, Toronto), and severely depressed conditions exacerbated by the commodity price declines (Calgary, Atlantic). What are the factors to understand this pattern and the likely future trends? How sustainable is the housing boom in Vancouver and Toronto? Will it have a soft landing or end badly?

The U.S., after emerging from an acute housing crisis caused by the mortgage-lending debacle of the early 2000s, continues to recover. What is the outlook?

The New Retirement

Sherry Cooper explains that the boomer generation has begun entering the traditional retirement age and that an enormous wave of boomer retirees will crest in 2025. This phenomenon will profoundly affect the labour markets, the economy, and financial markets for decades. But will boomers retire the way their parents did? Will they work longer and transition gradually into semi-retirement?

Cooper tells us that boomers will redefine retirement with great energy and creativity, working well beyond age 65 and mostly by choice. With the dramatic rise in their longevity, healthy goal-driven boomers will seek purposeful leisure, focusing on regeneration, rejuvination, and low-stress contributors to society and their own personal wealth.

Follow Cooper through her own journey to discover the route to financial security. Learn how the new retirement is about living well while achieving both monetary security and your personal goals. The new retirement is a time to work while you play and play while you work.

The Changing Consumer

The past decade has ushered in a number of transformational demographic realities. The baby boomers are adopting new models of active but more flexible engagement in place of traditional retirement, changing patterns of lifestyle and spending on consumer products and services. The emergence of the millennials into their 30s has dramatically increased the importance of this cohort’s share of economic activity. These developments are exerting major changes in the economy – spending patterns, saving, the labour market, familiarity with latest technology, and more. Sherry Cooper shares insights into the latest and emerging patterns and implications for business and investment.

Productivity Growth Disappoints and Coping with VUCA

Despite far-reaching innovation, labour force productivity growth has slowed dramatically. Why and what is next on the horizon? How will existing workers and new labour force entries cope with the volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity (VUCA) of today’s world?