Thursday, September 3, 2009

First Thursday Club

Going back to the mid ‘90s when I was responsible for a significant 9-digit private fund, I gathered up many of my favorite investment managers and had them to lunch at Bones, my favorite restaurant here in Atlanta. It occurred on the first Thursday of the month and so it became the “First Thursday” group. The lunches served multiple purposes, but primarily gave me the benefit of a few hundred more years of investment experience and insight every month. It also helped the managers attending get feedback on their ideas as well as to better define key inflection points in the markets. For years we only had buy side attendees, but after a while we invited one institutional sales guy from Merrill Lynch. He is probably the best-read person I have ever known, and I have become quite dependent on his “Cliff’s Notes” over the years.

We don’t have minutes, but in the last few years I have been making notes about what we like and don’t like and it is uncanny how savvy this group has been. I guess that is why we still meet. Many of the managers have retired, but still have their own accounts and like to have a regular forum to check in and talk about the markets and hear the occasional investment pitch.

Now that I am formalizing my investment thinking in this open forum I will be mentioning each month the highlights of First Thursday meetings. I hope you will find it as helpful as I have.

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