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14 Reasons To Attend The 2016 Ira Sohn Conference

One of the most anticipated investment events of the year, the Sohn Investment Conference promises to be an exciting day of fresh market insights presented by the biggest names in the investing world. Taking place on May 4, 2016, this “must attend” event attracts thousands of investors, portfolio allocators, and fund managers from across the globe. This is one of my favorite events of the year – not only because I get to experience the excitement as legendary investors reveal their latest ideas, but also because the annual event support an important cause.

Founded in 1995, the Conference honors the memory of Ira Sohn, a talented Wall Street professional who lost his battle with cancer at age 29. In 1995, Ira’s colleagues and friends Douglas Hirsch, Lance Laifer, and Daniel Nir, along with his mother Judith Sohn and brother Evan, created The Sohn Conference Foundation. Dedicated to the treatment and cure of pediatric cancer and other childhood diseases, the Foundation supports cutting-edge medical research, state-of-the-art research equipment, and innovative programs to ensure children with cancer survive and thrive.

More than 3,000 members of the global financial community flocked to last year’s conference,  which raised $4 million, bringing the total raised to more than $65 million. We urge you to help bring this figure above $70 million by attending this year’s Conference. Hedge funds collectively spend billions of dollars every year researching stocks and narrowing the potential investment candidates down to a manageable number. The Sohn Investment Conference provides a prime opportunity to hear first-hand some of the best investment ideas  without investing in any of the speakers’ funds.

This year’s renowned speaker lineup will feature:

  1. Stanley Druckenmiller: He is the investor who challenged Warren Buffett and got it right. He has been publicly shorting IBM and instead betting on Amazon. His other big technology bets are Facebook and Microsoft, all winners in the last couple of years.
  1. Jeff Gundlach: Touted the new bond king, he is probably the most colorful presenter of the Conference. We don’t know whether he will wear his signature purplish-blue suit again this year, but his presentation will definitely feature a modern art theme.
  1. Larry Robbins: He is one of the best long-term investors in the hedge fund business. His fund, Glenview Capital Management, returned more than 80 percent in 2013 and beat the market by about 50 percentage points.
  1. David Einhorn: One of the best-known billionaire investors, he generally shares his best short ideas every year at the Sohn Investment Conference. You probably remember his Lehman short presentation in 2008. His pick from last year, a short position in Pioneer Natural Resources (PXD), was also very successful with the stock declining nearly 20 percent since the presentation.
  1. Dan Ariely: He is a professor of psychology and behavioral economics at Duke University. Having authored several books, his presentation will prove interesting.
  1. Carson Block: Don’t miss this. Short sellers who publicly publish their ideas don’t always have the best reputation, but they have been delivering the best average returns in recent history. His presentation will probably be one of the most impactful of the Conference.
  1. James Chanos: While most investors don’t understand short selling or how to evaluate performance, he has established himself as the king of short sellers. His most recent successful short call was Valeant .
  1. Richard Deitz: He is an alternative asset manager that specializes in distressed sovereign and corporate debt in emerging and developed markets.
  1. Adam Fisher: He is the founder of Los Angeles-based macro hedge fund, Commonwealth Opportunity Capital. He made a splash after explaining how to invest in Europe’s ongoing problems in a Barron’s article published in 2010.
  1. John Khoury: He is the founder of New York-based Long Pond Capital, which focuses on real estate. According to Insider Monkey calculations, his long positions over the last 12 months performed better than nearly 90 percent of all US equity hedge funds that are in our database.
  1. Chamath Palihapitiya: He is the founder of Social Capital, a Palo Alto-based venture capital fund. He established a reputation within the high-tech community as a savvy investor and executive who made it big when Facebook went public.
  1. Zach Schreiber: He predicted the decline in oil prices two years ago at the Sohn Investment Conference. As Chairman, CEO, and CIO of PointState Capital, his investing portfolio focuses largely on energy, power, and utilities.
  1. Jeff Smith: He is one of the most effective activist investors in history. We have been tracking him since the days he started targeting tiny companies. Currently, his highest profile target is Yahoo.

Alongside these legendary speakers, the winner of the Sohn Investment Idea Contest will present his or her idea at the Conference. The contest, which kicked off March 30, is open to any individual with an investment idea for a marketable security (long or short) with a market capitalization above $1 billion. Submissions are due by 5pm on April 22 and will be judged by a panel of the world’s most elite investors, led by Michael Price and including William Ackman, David Einhorn, Joel Greenblatt, and Seth Klarman.

Last year’s winner, Angelo Martorell, pitched a long bet on Interactive Corp (IACI). His investment idea was centered on Tinder, making the case that the stock was significantly undervalued due to the sum of the parts analysis not reflecting the true value of Tinder. For more details or to enter the contest, please visit www.sohnconference.org/idea-contest.

Year after year, the caliber of speakers has elevated the reputation of the Sohn Investment Conference on a global scale. I’m looking forward to being a part of this year’s event and learning what new ideas the speakers will bring to the table.

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