HomeNames and Faces around IFIDContact IFIDEmploymentSitemap



Who Funds Us







The IFID Centre organizes a conference every year which takes place at our host institution; currently the Fields Institute for Research in Mathematical Science. Each conference has a unique annual theme but is generally devoted to the topic of "personal wealth management".


Our inaugural annual conference took place at the Fields Institute in the Fall of 2001, with a roster of high-level keynote speakers including Professor Richard Roll (UCLA), Professor Zvi Bodie (Boston U) as well as Professor Laurence Kotlikoff (Boston U). Indeed, we launched with a big bang.


Since then our annual conference has included keynote presentations and seminars from world renowned scholars like Professor Terrance Odean (UC, Berkeley), Professor Jim Porterba (MIT), Professor Chester Spatt (CMU), Professor William Reichenstein (Baylor U), Professor Phelim Boyle (U of Waterloo), Professor Jeffrey Brown (UIUC), Professor Ragnar Norberg (LSE), Professor Stanley Pliska (U of Illinois), Professor Roger Ibbotson (Yale), Professor Eitan Sheshinski (Princeton U), Professor Virginia Young (U of Michigan), and Professor Steven Haberman (City U) among others.


In addition, to balance the scholarly and theory oriented presentations, the annual conference features presentations from well-regarded practitioners in the financial services industry. During our first ten years of events, conference participants heard from: Dr. Peng Chen, Dr. Sid Browne, Dr. Paul Kaplan, Dr. Robert Reitano, John O'Brien, Arthur Fliegelman, Harry Marmer and Malcolm Hamilton.


These events and conferences are open to graduate students, researchers, practitioners and the public at large for a small nominal fee. Alas, the bulk of the expenses and costs associated with our annual conference is absorbed directly by The IFID Centre and implicitly supported by the sponsors and contributors, some of which have sponsored specific events linked to their interests and lines of business.



2016 Annual IFID Centre Conference

Theme: The Optimal Household Balance Sheet: Who Has Too Much Debt?

Date: Wednesday, October 19, 2016 -- 9:00am - 12:00pm

Location: *McMaster University, DeGroote School of Business*

Ron Joyce Centre, Great Hall, 4350 South Service Rd, Burlington, ON, L7L 5R8


The IFID Centre & the DeGroote School of Business at McMaster University will be jointly organizing this scholarly conference which will take place at the DeGroote School of Business' Ron Joyce Centre in Burlington, Ontario during the morning of October 19, 2016.


Registration is complimentary but limited. To reserve a seat, please send an email request to Alicja Siek at McMaster University, at: siekal@mcmaster.ca


Local Hotel is available - book by Sept. 30th for the group rate. Details here.





Guozhong Zhu (University of Alberta)

(co-authors: Vyacheslav Mikhed & Barry Scholnickand)

Personal Bankruptcy Over the Lifecycle

Abstract: Using data on the universe of personal bankruptcy filings for Canadian households, we provide new evidence on the age profiles of the filing bankruptcy rates for both homeowners and renters. These profiles are hump-shaped. The bankruptcy filing rates peak at age 30-35 for homeowners and at age 45-50 for renters. We construct a lifecycle optimization model that quantitatively matches these data facts. In the model, households are subject to income shocks, house price shocks and taste shocks, and they make bankruptcy decisions along with choices over a risk free asset, housing, mortgage debt and unsecured debt. Two important points are highlighted by the model.

Discussant: T.B.A.


Nitzan Tzur-Ilan (Hebrew University of Jerusalem)

The Effect of Loan-to-Value Limits on the Demand for Housing: The Case of Israel

Abstract: This study examines the effect of a Loan-to Value (LTV) restriction on property purchases of Israeli households. Using a large and novel micro-economic database and a matching technique to compare consumers affected by the regulation with similar consumers who are unaffected, I find that the LTV restriction has a significant effect on households. Consumers affected by the LTV limit take smaller mortgages (are less leveraged), and purchase smaller, cheaper properties, in locations farther away from the major urban centers. I also find that no segment of the population is excluded from the market because of the regulation, in contrast with critiques according to which macro- prudential policies prevent certain segments of the population from obtaining credit. I conclude that an LTV limitation, the most common macro-prudential policy tool, has an impact not only from a financial stability perspective, by reducing the leverage of households, but also on the housing market, by changing the households' preferences over the characteristics of the acquired asset.

Discussant: Sherman Cheung


Phillippe d’Astous (HEC Montreal)

Consumption, Debt, and Delinquency Responses to an Anticipated Increase in Cash-on-Hand

Abstract: I use account-level bank data to analyze consumers’ response to an anticipated increase in cash-on-hand following the final payment on a term loan. Liquidity constraints are elicited using past payment behavior on the credit card, and can rationalize the response of credit card expenditures and debt. However, contrary to predictions, unconstrained consumers increase their propensity to finance durable goods with a new term loan by 23%, suggesting other behavioral explanations, such as mental accounting, might influence term loan contracting. Default probability decreases, which shows that financial delinquency can be an important margin of adjustment for consumers.

Discussant: Ron Balvers




2015 Annual IFID Centre Conference

Theme: Tax Efficiency and Retirement Income Planning
Thursday, November 26, 2015 -- 9:00am - 12:15pm

Fields Institute, 222 College St., Toronto, ON, M5T 3J1



Runhuan Feng (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)

The other side of the table: insurer's modeling of variable annuity guaranteed benefits


Jamie Golombek (CIBC Wealth Advisory Services)

Optimizing Registered Plan Contributions: Is there a right answer anyway?


Huaxiong Huang (Dept of Math & Statistics, York University)

Tax-Efficient Withdrawals, Longevity Risk Aversion and Required Minimum Distributions


Amin Mawani (Schulich, York University)

Tax Efficient Investing

2014 Annual IFID Centre Conference

Theme: Financial and Actuarial Implications of Very Old Age
November 27th, 2014 -- 8:55am - 12:00pm

Fields Institute, 222 College St., 2nd Floor, Toronto, Ontario



Leonid A. Gavrilov (NORC at the University of Chicago)

Determinants of survival to very old age: Role of familial and life course factors


Natalia S. Gavrilova (NORC at the University of Chicago)

Mortality trajectories at very old ages: Actuarial implications


George Graziani (SVP Head Longevity North America, Swiss Re)

Longevity risk- key trends, issues, and opportunities


Les Mayhew (Cass Business School)

On the decomposition of life expectancy and limits to life and some implications for pensions

Presented by: David Promislow (York University)



2013 Annual IFID Centre Conference

Theme: Alternative Annuity Designs
November 28th, 2013 -- 8:55am - 12:30pm

Fields Institute, 222 College St., 2nd Floor, Toronto, Ontario



Jorge Miguel Bravo (University of Évora & Nova University of Lisbon)

Sharing longevity risk in life annuity contracts


Catherine Donnelly (Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, U.K.)

The future is not guaranteed: lesser-known relatives of the life annuity


Don Ezra (Principal, Don Ezra Consulting Services)

The Ideal Retirement Annuity: A Personal Perspective


Michael J. Sabin (Independent Consultant, Sunnyvale, CA)

Fair Tontine Annuity



2013 Mini Conference
June 14th, 2013, Half-day: 9:00am-12:00pm

Fields Institute, 222 College St, 2nd Floor, Toronto, Ontario



Thomas Post (Maastricht University)

What Makes Investors Optimistic, What Makes Them Afraid?


Moshe Milevsky (York University)

Optimal Retirement Tontines for the 21st Century: With Reference to Mortality Derivatives in 1693



2012 Annual IFID Centre Conference

Theme: Withdrawing Money from your Nest Egg

Fields Institute, Toronto, Ontario
November 22nd, 2012


Wade D. Pfau

Director, Macroeconomic Policy Program

Associate Professor, Economics, National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS)

An efficient frontier for retirement income


Anthony Webb

Economist, Center for Retirement Research, Boston College

Should households base asset decumulation strategies on required minimum distribution tables?


Marie-Eve Lachance

Associate Professor, Finance, San Diego State University

Roth versus traditional accounts in a life-cycle model with tax risk


Thomas Salisbury

Professor, Mathematics and Statistics, York University

Optimizing variable annuity income (Optimal Initiation of a GLWB in a Variable Annuity: No Arbitrage Approach)


2011 Annual IFID Centre Conference: Annuity Day

Toronto, Ontario
November 24th, 2011

Mark Kamstra
Schulich School of Business, York University

'The Annuity Duration Puzzle'

Raimond Maurer
Finance Department, Goethe University Frankfurt

'Optimal Purchase of Life and Longevity Risk Insurance Products for Retired Couples'

Alessandro Previtero
Richard Ivey Business School, University of Western Ontario

'Stock Market Returns and Annuitization. A Case of Myopic Extrapolation'

Gabriele Stabile
Methods and Models for Economics, Territory and Finance (MEMOTEF), University of Rome
'Pension Planning and Investments under Transaction Costs'

2010 Annual IFID Centre Conference: Models for Lifecycle Finance, Insurance & Economics (LIFE)
Keynote Presentation by Professor Menachem Yaari
Toronto, Ontario
October 28th, 2010

Please click here for audio and slides of conference lectures

Please click here for further information regarding the conference

Please click here for information regarding the student paper competition

2009 Annual IFID Centre Conference: Retirement Income Analytics
Toronto, Ontario
November 25th, 2009

Please click here for audio and slides of conference lectures

Please click here for further information regarding the conference

Please click here for information regarding the student paper competition

IFID Centre/Ibbotson Associates Conference on Guaranteed Living Income Benefit (GLiB) Insurance Products
Chicago, Illinois
November 11, 2008

     Please click here to browse and download our past lectures listed below.

Moshe A. Milevsky; "Who Buys Guaranteed Living Income Benefits (GLiBs) and Why?"

John O Brien; "The Retirement Investing Challenge"

David F. Babbel; "Un-Supermodels and the EIA"

William Reichenstein; "Withdrawal Strategies to Make Your Nest Egg Last Longer "

Peng Chen; "Retirement Income Planning: A New Efficient Frontier and Outcome Based Investment Strategies"

IFID/MITACS Conference on Financial Engineering for Actuarial Mathematics
Toronto, Ontario
November 9th & 10th, 2008

     Please click here to browse and download our past lectures listed below.

Erhan Bayraktar; "Proving the Regularity of the Minimal Probability of Ruin via a Game of Stopping and Control "

Sid Browne; "Active portfolio management: investment goals and portfolio constraints (or how to invest, if you must)"

Steven Haberman; "The Lee-Carter Mortality Model for Mortality Dynamics: Recent Devlopments "

Sheldon Lin; "Pricing Perpetual Catastrophe Put Options and Related Issues "

Michael Ludkovski; "Optimal Risk Sharing under Distorted Probabilities "

Manuel Morales; "On a New Generalization of the Expected Discounted Penalty Function"

Ragnar Norberg; "Management of Financial and Demographic Risk in Life Insurance and Pensions "  

Annamaria Olivieri; "Developing a Stochastic Mortality Model for Internal Assessments " 

Shige Peng; "On Risk Measure via Gaussian Distributions under Model Uncertainty" 

Gordon Willmot; "Generalized penalty functions in dependent Sparre Andersen models "   

4th Annual IFID Centre Conference
May 31st, 2005

     Please feel free to browse and download our past lectures listed below.

Jeffrey Brown; "The New Retirement Challenge"

Phelim Boyle; "Variable Annuity Guarantees"

William Reichenstein; "Non-qualified Guarantees in After-tax Optimizations"

Chester Spatt; Discussion of "Non-qualified Guarantees in After-tax Optimizations"

Lowell Aronoff; "An Exchange for the Canadian and US Payout Annuity Markets"

Garth Bernard; "Successful Product Innovation: Taking Concepts to Market"

Paul Kaplan; "Asset Allocation with Annuities for Retirement Income Management"                

3rd Annual IFID Centre Conference
April 28, 2004

Please feel free to browse and download our past lectures listed below.

Roger Ibbotson,  Lifetime Advice: Asset Allocation, Life Insurance & Payout Annuities

Harry Marmer, "Lessons from Capital Market History"

Laurence Booth, "Retirement Models"

Malcolm Hamilton, "The Risks and Returns for DB & DC Pension Plans"

Kristen Moore, "Optimal Asset Allocation and Ruin-Minimization Annuitization Strategies:
            The Fixed Consumption Case"

Ashraf Al Zaman ,"Asset Location and Allocation with Multiple Risky Assets"

Francesco Menoncin, "Mortality Risk and Real Optimal Asset Allocation for Pension Funds"

Raimond Maurer, "Betting on Death and Capital Markets in Retirement: A Shortfall Risk Analysis of    
            Life Annuities versus Phased Withdrawal Plans"

Susan Thorp, "Annuitization and Asset Allocation with HARA Utility"

Chester Spatt, "Diversification and Capital Gains Taxes with Multiple Risky Assets"

Alexander Melnikov, "Hedging Methodologies in Equity-Linked Life Insurance"

2nd Annual IFID Centre Conference
November 21, 2002

The Individual Finance and Insurance Decisions (IFID) Centre is proud to announce the second annual conference on Personal Risk Management to be held at the Fields Institute. This one-day event is dedicated to the topic of Personal Finance and Insurance Issues and will focus on applying quantitative and rigorous financial techniques to the decisions individuals face in their daily life.

This conference is sponsored by The Investor e.ducation Fund. The IEF was established by the Ontario Securities Commission in 2000 to develop and support initiatives that educate investors. The Fund is committed to narrowing the gap between investment knowledge and investment activity.


James Poterba (Economics, M.I.T.), "After-tax Benchmarks for Individual Investors"

Chester Spatt (Carnegie Mellon University), "Optimal Asset Location and Allocation with Taxable and Tax-Deferred Investing" (with R. Dammon and H. Zhang)

Terrance Odean (University of California-Berkley), "Recent Developments in Behavioral Finance"

Michael Stutzer (University of Colorado), "The Ratings Game: What is the Risk in Risk-Adjusted Mutual Fund Returns?"

Svein-Arne Persson (Norwegian School of Economics), "Mortgage Financing: To Fix or To Float?"

Joao Cocco (London Business School), "Household Risk Management and Optimal Mortgage Choice" (with John Campbell)


1st Annual IFID Centre Conference
September 24, 2001

The Individual Finance and Insurance Decisions (IFID) Centre is proud to announce the first annual conference on Personal Risk Management to be held at the Field Institute. This one-day event is dedicated to the topic of Personal Finance and Insurance (PF&I) and will focus on applying quantitative financial techniques to the decisions individual's face in their daily life.

The broad objectives of The IFID Centre are to disseminate and conduct applied research in the growing field of financial risk management for individuals. This includes the obvious areas of finance and insurance as well as economics, actuarial science, taxation, operations research, law, psychology, sociology and marketing as they pertain to individual consumers and their financial decisions.

Research projects at The IFID Centre are partially supported by AIG, CANNEX, Manulife Financial, TIAA-CREF Institute, Keyport Insurance, Ibbotson Associates and a variety of other participants and organizations in the financial services industry.

Featured and confirmed speakers:

Richard Roll (UCLA)

Zvi Bodie (Boston U.)

Robert Brown (U. of Waterloo)

Pauline Shum (York U.)

Ted Cadsby (CIBC)

Mark Warshawsky (TIAA-CREF)

Mike Orszag (Watson Wyatt)

Larry Kotlikoff (Boston U.)