By Dudley Pierce Baker
This was the first time I had attended a Casey event and because this 2014 Casey Summit was being held in San Antonio, TX, my former hometown, it was a fairly easy decision.
Everyone paid approximately $1600, plus travel and hotels, so a pricey event for most attendees for a three day investment conference. Even myself being in the business bellied up to the bar and paid the price to find out what this was all about.
So it seems a logical question to ask – Was It Worth It?
My estimate was around 375 paid attendees and with speakers and staff a total of 400 to 425 or so.
The event kicked off with registration and a welcoming cocktail party on Thursday evening that provided a great time to mix and mingle with some old friends in the business, i.e., Rick Rule of Sprott Global, John-Mark Staude, CEO of Riverside Resources.
Was It Worth It?
I also met Olivier Garret, CEO of Casey Research, John Mauldin of Mauldin Economics and David Tice, one of my subscribers, and formerly head of the Prudent Bear Fund. During the course of the next three days, I met many more attendees as well as most of the staff and writers at Casey Research but more on that later.
For three days we listened to many big names speaking for 20 to 30 minutes each, such as James Rickards, Doug Casey, John Mauldin, David Tice, Rick Rule, Stephen Moore, Grant Williams, Lacy Hunt and many more.
We were presented with differing views and opinions on China, fed monetary policy and inflation versus deflation but few, if any, ideas on exactly what to do with your investments, other than from the Casey staff, i.e., Alex Daley, Technology, Marin Katusa, Energy Report and Louis James, International Speculator.
Was It Worth It?
Twenty resource companies were invited to attend and present their stories in the Map Room just outside of the main Conference Hall. This was a good mix of companies and a few in which I already hold positions, Riverside Resources, TSXV:RRI and Premier Gold Mines, TSX:PG.
What was interesting to me was that many of the attendees knew little about the resource sector and a couple I chatted with had no positions at all. (Aren’t they the lucky ones). Seems they were attracted to the conference because of Doug Casey and the wealth of speakers. The macro picture of the economy was obviously the compelling reason for their interest and attendees came from literally around the world, Argentina, Switzerland, California, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York and Texas and those are only the few that I actually met.
Was It Worth It? I’m getting there.
Outside of the great speakers at the conference that if you had booked 30 minutes for each of their time would have cost you tens of thousands of dollars, I was most impressed by the staff and Casey writers that I had not previously met.
Alex Daley heads up the Technology Letter. Alex and Nick Giambruno, Senior Editor, International Man did a good presentation in a workshop dealing with Puerto Rico and the tax advantages of moving there.
Marin Katusa heads up the Energy Report for Casey and is very knowledgeable and a good speaker and only 35 years old.
Of course, Louis James rounds out the team writing the International Speculator that focuses on the mining shares many of which I own.
Personally I picked up (for myself and subscribers) several new ideas and stock picks from these guys and for that fact alone the Casey Summit had great value.
In summary, Was It Worth It?
Being in the business, I was already basically up to speed on the macro economy picture of the world and my focus was on specific new ideas and recommendations. Many others in attendance were there of course for the macro picture and not for recommendations, so each of us had our own agenda.
For me I am happy to have attended the 2014 Casey Summit and picked up some great investment ideas and look forward to next event. The opportunity to mix and mingle with other investors of the caliber in attendance was a rare treat.
Be sure to bookmark this event in 2015 on your calendar as dates are announced
Congrats to the entire Casey staff for a conference well done.