I spent the day on Tuesday at the Delivering Alpha conference, which is hosted by CNBC and Institutional Investor — it’s not the kind of confab that includes “secret” or special ideas that you can’t hear about elsewhere (it’s hosted by CNBC, after all, and they broadcast from the conference all day), but it’s an interesting way to see the honchos of institutional investing up close, to listen to how they think, watch what they say, and get a sense for how their sentiment comes across… and to remind yourself that the Masters of the Universe are real people. And, perhaps, to think a little bit more deeply about some of their investment ideas or big-picture positioning and asset allocation.
No Quick Take for this one, there’s no one focus or take-away though I’ll be pursuing some of these ideas in future pieces.
The fear I had going in, of course, was that the conference would be as bad as CNBC itself — anchors who spend their time crafting and sharing their own opinions and fail to even listen to the answers of their guests, who, regardless, have no time to actually share what they know… but that didn’t turn out to be the case. You cannot understand an idea or convey expertise in 45 seconds under the hot lights of a TV studio camera, but, it turns out, if you give that same person even 15 minutes or half an hour (many of the presentations at the conference are short, befitting a short-attention-span TV network), you can learn a few things.
(I should walk back that criticism a little bit, to be fair — CNBC does a fine job of covering actual news, like earnings reports or corporate developments… they’re just terrible at sharing investment ideas or strategies or any thought deeper than a double shot of whisky, the medium doesn’t lend itself to that. Though I will note their colleagues at Bloomberg TV do, at least, let their interviewees have a few moments to answer questions, which is probably why their ratings are so much lower.)
So what stood out for me today? Other than the fact that I was probably the only paid attendee there wearing jeans, and that investment conferences are just about the only place in the world where the men’s bathroom has a line and the women’s does not?
Here are ...