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I created VALUEx Vail after attending VALUEx Zurich / Klosters, organized by Guy Spier and John Mihaljevicin 2011. An event where like-minded people who are truly passionate about investing get together and share ideas had a tremendous appeal to me.

I wanted to recreate this special experience somewhere closer to home; and since I live in Denver, Vail, which is a gorgeous little treasure only two hours away, seemed like a perfect choice. (I’d argue that Vail is an improved replica of Klosters, but I am biased.)

To make this event special we had to do things differently:

–   The attendees are carefully selected. There is about a 50% probability (40 attendees, 20 presentations) that an attendee will be a presenter, thus every attendee goes through a careful screening process. Only die-hard investors are allowed to attend. There are no observers. Everyone has to be willing to share ideas. No marketing or sales types.

–   Conference size is limited to 40 attendees. This is not-for-profit-but-for-learning event. Quality of attendees is much more important than quantity. Also, over the years I have discovered that large groups are not conducive to the flow and sharing of ideas.

–   All attendees are asked to share ideas, whether in a 15-minute presentation, in a “dessert talk,” or more informally late at night in the bar. There is only time for about 20 presentations; therefore, while everyone should be willing to present, we’ll select only the most interesting and timely presentations.

The presentation can be on any investment topic, including but not limited to stock ideas (long or short), macroeconomic or geopolitical discussion, sector or industry analysis, insights into the investment process, etc.

When the attendee list is finalized, attendees will be contacted about their presentations. You don’t have to be a pro, though most attendees will be professional value investors. Over the years we have discovered that some of the most insightful presentations come from nonprofessional investors who are die-hard investors at heart but come from a wide range of industries.

You can read my thoughts from previous conferences here: 2011 and 2012 and 2013.

Typically, we have about six presentations every evening (Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday) starting at 4 pm for about three hours, followed by dinner at a different restaurant every night. In addition we have one or two dessert speakers, who deliver an informal talk and Q&A on an interesting subject. To conclude each day, the more adventurous types are welcome to join us at the bar for drinks.

In the morning, those who still can get up after the night before (!) are welcome to join the group for an informal breakfast.

Sometime after breakfast we’ll do a fun activity. In previous years we went to different ranches, did zip lining, played volleyball, threw horseshoes, and tried our hand at bocce ball; and the kids did some fishing. The location of the group lunches will depend on which fun activities we choose.

VALUEx Vail is a perfect opportunity for a family vacation. Vail in the summer is a perfect place for riding bikes, going on long walks, riding the gondola to the top of the mountain, or simply enjoying the wonderful scenery and doing absolutely nothing. Family members, including children of all ages, are encouraged to participate in activities during the day. However, only conference attendees are allowed to attend the investment presentations and dinners.

Though VALUEx Vail starts in Vail, it doesn’t end in Vail. These three special days spill into long-lasting friendships. I have found that most attendees continue to stay in touch with each other long after the conference ends.

I hope to see you in Vail.

Vitaliy Katsenelson, CFA
CIO, Investment Management Associates, Inc. 

Dress code: Very casual, comfortable clothes

Cost: $5,000 $900. This money will cover the cost of facilities where presentations are held, food and drinks during presentations, fun activities (includes lunches) we’ll do on Thursday and Friday (includes all members of your family) and other organizational expenses.  Not refundable after June 1st, 2016.  (This is a not-for-profit event.   All we are doing is taking your hard-earned money and transferring it to the even more hard-working service providers (restaurants, activity providers, etc.)

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"Vitaliy Katsenelson is the new Benjamin Graham."

- Forbes

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