Monday, March 30, 2009

Morningstar Investor Conference

This is not an advertisement for Morningstar, but it is hard to even imagine a better gathering of great investors than those that will assemble at the coming 21st Annual Investment Conference.

The keynote speakers are Bill Gross, Chris Davis (of Selected Funds), and Bob Rodriguez (of First Pacific).

-- Vanguard founder John Bogle will take part in an in-depth conversation about the current challenges and opportunities that investors face.

-- David Winters, Wintergreen Fund; Diana Strandberg, Dodge & Cox; and Rajeev Bhaman, OppenheimerFunds will discuss where they're finding great investments.

-- Wally Weitz, Weitz Funds; Bruce Berkowitz, Fairholme Capital Management; and Tom Marsico, Marsico Capital Management will swap stock picks.

-- John Rogers, Jr., Ariel Investments, LLC; Chuck Royce, The Royce Funds; and Jeff Cardon, Wasatch Funds will debate whether or not the small-cap rally is over.
Marty Whitman, Bill Nygren (of Oakmark Funds), and Meggan Walsh (of Invesco AIM) will offer their differing takes on value investing, Jeremy Grantham will offer his seven year forecast, and so on.

The cost is 795 per person, but what a collection of minds! Read more about the conference, and the other speakers, in this FoxBusiness article. The Guru 5 will be looking to link to anything new that is said at the conference--or anything revealing of their methods.

As fund managers trying to cope with redemptions, there is likely to be a lot of people talking their book and a bit less candor than usual can probably be expected from each manager too. That said, the other managers are likely to be less polite about their differences--in both style and positions--and that could lead to some very interesting, educational conversations. If I had to bet, I'd say the conference is undervalued.

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