Onwards with part 3!  To catch up on the digital-paper trail, here’s parts 1 and 2.  Jumping right into things —

Alex Tsukernik delivered a live (and unscripted, in the greatest sense) presentation at Best Ideas 2017.  When asked to share professional perspectives into Iron Ore and China, his response (or at least, what I recall hearing, which might differ slightly from what he actually said…):  “Oh, Fortescue was an interesting story…” before proceeding to share direct thoughts drawing from serious first-hand experience in the sector.  Which is, again, the joy of direct interactivity with our talented instructors.  And, again, a similar level of remarkable cumulative and personal knowledge, when touching on possible opportunities in North American coal.  Of course, the presentation was a treat as well…

Michael Melby, and his team, are looking for value in some very interesting air-pockets of opportunity, broadly overlooked by most mainstream managers…and when Michael finds a nice ‘off-the-beaten-path’ investment opportunity (both appropriately obscure yet obvious) — he really digs.  It’s one thing to read about a collection of deeply distressed assets with embedded earnings power, and another to enjoy in-depth conversation with someone who’s walked the properties.  Michael gave us a real treat, and the ValueConferences team remain grateful for his intellectual generosity.

I love the mix of managers at Best Ideas 2017, as there’s opportunity in small situations and large situations — and wisdom to gain from both emerging managers and deeply experienced veterans.  Shawn Kravetz deserves the latter title, and I loved learning from an expert who truly could say, “I’ve seen this before, and it rhymes” — certainly in general, and I think potentially with relation to the specific situation he shared.

Phil Ordway of Anabatic Investment Partners delivered a live presentation so detailed that: (1) he pre-emptively answered almost all the questions I was planning to ask before we got to the Q&A, and (2) a transcript of his presentation is effectively a “textbook” guide for uncovering opportunities.  Phil nailed it.

As John Mihaljevic hinted at when welcoming Chris Crawford to the final live session of the day, we were graced with the interactive perspective of a professional manager who, “Prior to co-founding Crawford Fund Management in 2009…was Managing Director, Portfolio Manager and head of the Boston office with Stark Investments, a $10B multi-strategy global hedge fund. At Stark, Chris built the firm’s equity long/short team and managed $1.5B in equity long/short assets as well as a $200M short-biased portfolio.”   Chris, in my opinion, surpassed already high expectations — with a very detailed presentation into an idea that has the workings of a “compounder” coupled with a solid paper-trail of resilience and aligned leadership.

Circling back to a prior comment about “textbook” caliber wisdom, Keith Weissman is uniquely passionate about teaching the art of intelligent investing – while practicing the craft from the front-lines.  He got into the details of a fascinating spin-off situation, that in many respects reminds me of a chapter from Joel Greenblatt’s You Can Be a Stock Market Genius.

Looking forward to Day 2, tomorrow!