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Sunday, April 01, 2007

Off At The R.I.S.E. Forum

I've been away from the Blog for the last few days for a couple of reasons. First, because I was getting a big burned out, and needed a few days off.

Second, and more important, I was at a conference in the teeming metropolis of Dayton Ohio at the 7th annual R.I.S.E (Redefining Investment Strategy Education) Forum. For those of you who aren't familiar with it, here's a description from last year's press release:
The University of Dayton will host the sixth annual R.I.S.E. (Redefining Investment Strategy Education) Forum from March 30 to April 1, 2006. R.I.S.E. is the first forum of its kind to bring students, faculty, and Wall Street together in an interactive learning environment to discuss a range of issues facing tomorrow’s leaders in the financial services industry. More than 1,200 participants, including undergraduate and graduate finance students and professors from universities around the world, will join professionals and internationally renowned industry leaders in what is the world's largest student investment conference.
Since this was my first time at R.I.S.E., I went solo (in other words, I didn't take any students from Unknown University). It burned up a couple of days at the end of the semester (when I couldn't really spare them), but it was well worth it. I heard some good sessions on estimating cash flows, value investing, and private equity. And there was a great session on Saturday where a number of faculty advisors and/or trading room managers from different schools shared their experiences.

Even more important than the sessions, however, was the chance to network. I had a number of good discussions with SMIF faculty advisors from other schools, and have quite a few ideas on how to improve our fund.

On Friday night, instead of going to the dinner at the U.S.A.F museum, I went instead to the "Oregon" district (only a few miles away from the hotel). It's an interesting and extremely funky place - everything from tattoo shops to espresso bars to a Christian Bookstore right next to a porn shop. I had a good meal of sushi and Thai food at Thai 9 and then sat at a table outside the neighboring coffee bar and watched the locals go by for about an hour (hey - I'm the type of persin who likes to watch people at airports).

Next year, I'll definitely bring some of Unknown University's students with me. All I have to do now is hit my Dean up for some $$ (or get some of the investment fund's alumni to pitch in). But I might not bring them to the Oregon district - there are some things I'd rather not know...

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