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It's Conference Season


'Tis the season when the leaves change, the National Football League is kicking its season into second gear, the Yankees are once again chasing another championship, and...yes, there's another mutual fund conference to attend.

After a two-month hiatus, mutual fund service providers, and even some mutual funds themselves, are sponsoring conferences and events for advisor, asset manager and investor clients. A cursory check on upcoming events online reveals that if you have the time, inclination and budget, you can hobnob with your peers across the country at various events once a week, or even twice, this month and next.

For example: The Investment Company Institute had its 2012 Tax & Accounting soiree in Orlando from September 30-October 3. Morningstar kicked off its Mutual Fund ETF Invest Conference at the Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel in Chicago on Oct. 3-5. Last week, the FundForum USA 2012 conference was held at the Hyatt Regency Boston from Wednesday through Friday.

This is where yours truly was in attendance for a veritable smorgasbord of research, investment, distribution and even political insights from luminaries such as Avi Nachmany, director of research of Strategic Insight and David Kelly, chief market strategist from J.P. Morgan Funds.

But if you happen to be in New York on the Oct. 12th, perhaps you caught up with Ron Barron, founder of Baron Capital Group, at the Baron Investment Conference at the Metropolitan Opera House in Lincoln Center. Aside from the usual presentations from the firm's portfolio managers and management team, last year's surprise entertainers included Sting and Broadway and Hollywood star Hugh Jackman, who delighted attendees with an hour-long rendition of his now defunct one-man Broadway show. Now that was almost worth braving the cold and long lines for!

This week, NICSA is holding it general membership meeting at the Harvard Club in Boston starting on Wednesday. Winners of the annual NOVA Awards will be announced at a breakfast Thursday morning. The meeting will also feature discussions about operational issues surrounding omnibus accounting, data analytics and back office operations.

What's on the horizon? Well, if you happen to be in Chicago from Nov. 13-16, then consider Schwab Impact 2012.

Make your reservations.