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Human capital is truly the single best investment


That's not funny Tickles!

Realizing you've been reading quite a few excerpts from the MIM Retreat, I'll try and keep my overview brief. However, I do believe it essential to relay some personal thoughts and invigorating moments that transpired in beautiful Crested Butte, Colorado - especially when Daisy won the wet t-shirt contest at a local saloon.

Before continuing I would like to personally thank, with all my heart, Todd Harrison for inviting me to become a writer for Minyanville and not allowing me to let go of a dream. Thanks Toddo!

Since Todd "Human capital is the single best investment" Harrison and Greg "I haven't slept in 4-days" Collins have already covered the presentations, I'll try and stick to the extra-curricular happenings that played a role in my fulfillment of the weekend. Please understand this is not intended to take anything away from the truly exceptional and informative presentations. I learned a great deal from every professor and definitely plan to incorporate many new ideas into my money management philosophy.

When I arrived and for the first time met Todd (with his flip-flops, MV fleece pullover and 5-day shadow), he immediately dropped what was in his hands - literally, right on the floor - and gave me a huge MV hug as if he has known me all of my life. The sensation of family immediately came to the forefront of my mind and rushed over me like Charley through Orlando. At that very point, I knew it was going to be a great weekend.

After unpacking, I stood on my third floor balcony, felt the much-anticipated cool mountain air and saw the most awesome sight of mountains surrounding the little town. I've forgotten how much I loved Colorado since leaving in 1991. The thought of Wall Street and the daily happenings were, for the first time in years, far removed. Sure enough, there in the distance, Boo was riding a mountain bike in his tie-die tellin' Snapper he better hurry up or he's not gonna make the "Meet & Greet."

After the "Meet & Greet" - already described in better words than I could ever come up with - I decided to go and share a pepperoni pie with Tony "I forgot my wallet" Dwyer and Rich "I'm a true Bostonian" Gula. The next hour was a fantastic ending to an already perfect day. Having the ability to discuss market technicals, different approaches and market philosophy with those two truly great minds was something you just can't get from a book.

The following day (Friday), after the presents and a professor meeting, came the infamous softball game with David "Don't talk when the stewardess is" Miller pitching for the opposing team. Amazingly enough, so many showed we could have had 4 teams. I know a few were focused on the score - 31 to 6 - but what was even better, 'cause I was on the winning team, was once again having the opportunity to come together with all the attending Minyans and be able to ask and answer questions one on one.

After the game we headed over for what I would consider the best meal I had throughout the entire weekend. Just imagine it, 80 Minyans in one room chowin' down some of the best fried chicken you could ever find. After dinner Neil "I now have my own holiday" Dingmann, Scott "I really do know how to play pool" Pollak, Kevin "I don't know if I can make it through my presentation because Todd keeps telling me to drink water" Depew, I and many other Minyans decided to spend some quality time together at a local establishment with a mechanical Hoofy. Afterwards we ventured across the street to pretend we knew how to play stick. That night will go down in history, not because of the fact we realized none of us could ride a bull or play pool, but as a night of pure professor appreciation for the Minyans themselves and our utter comprehension that if it wasn't for them, we wouldn't be here today.

After Saturday's presents... 'could you please hurry Succo, Todd needs to present and he's the last on the roster' ....came an hour or two of relaxation and Crested Butte shopping. By the way, has anybody seen my masseuse? Walking the streets you'd think we've lived there all our lives. If you were waring a MV tag around your neck, many in the town knew who you were. What a wonderful experience.

On to dinner and smores at Scott "I'm truly a patient man" Reamer's beautiful mountain house. Without a hitch, everyone arrived - except Todd's luggage. It was truly a site to see. The food was great and the company better. It was another full afternoon of learning and sharing between 80 wonderful minds. Norman Rockwell couldn't have painted a more perfect picture.

After dinner and the fire it started to rain and we all headed out on the town. I didn't know gambling was legal in Colorado. Fokker "Can you teach me how to play" Roberts and I sat down to some entertaining Texas Hold'em. It was a perfect end to a wonderful weekend.

I've got to be completely honest, I left the Butte enriched with 80 new friends that happen to be in the business.

I'll end with this last excerpt...

Todd and I were on the same flight from Gunnison to Denver, and I must admit, I started to snooze. All of a sudden the little 30-person twin prop plane hits an air pocket. I jumped in my seat - good thing my seatbelt was fastened or I would have been paint on the ceiling. I heard Todd yell with a laugh from the back of the plane, "Tickles, you alright?" I turn around, after catching my breath, to see Todd sittin' there with a huge grin. The next comment out of his mouth was, "How about Minyans in the Bahamas for January?"

Would that be MIB?

Thanks to everyone who took part in one of the most memorable weekends I've ever had the pleasure to take part in!!! Please keep in touch and if you're ever in Orlando, don't hesitate to stop by.


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