After two years of 0 conferences, financial events, and public gatherings, I seem to be making up for lost time with a vengeance. This week I am at ETF Exchange, a huge annual ETF event taking place in Miami in the 1990s (more on this later). It’s a great event with a killer lineup for advisors, asset managers, and ETF firms.
It’s my 6th city in as many weeks1 and I will be ready for a break soon enough, if only I don’t lose my voice or catch Covid.
Perhaps the most impressive experience so far has been to walk into the main lobby of the Fountainbleu Hotel Miami last night into a wall of noise, the roar of the crowd in the Bleu Bar. It was like walking onto the trading floor at Merrill Lynch in the 1990s: the noise, energy, the sheer spectacle of it all. I apparently am not the only person missing social interaction, seeing old friends and colleagues, especially in a different context.
Matt and John did an amazing job pulling this event together – especially since it was rolled over from February last minute due to the surging Omicron numbers. The hotel was nicely updated a few years ago (but its badly understaffed – it’s the same story everywhere you go).
If you attend any event these guys put together, you will understand why we were so excited to work with them on Future Proof.
About today’s Miami, circa 1990s: It’s a city working to manage its fast growth, made easier by a huge influx in cash and business courtesy of no-state-income-taxes (and low real estate taxes). Still, Miami lacks for owner-occupied housing; computer, and internet usage; and below average education (bachelor’s degree or higher). Its median household income, per capita income, is also below the national average while there is a high percentage of poverty.
But you couldn’t tell that being on the streets last night. Even on a Monday night in April, Miami is a party. Sure, some was spillover of a 3,000 person event at the tail end of a pandemic, but it feels like the 1990s: Big bucks, big hair, big plastic surgery, big everything. I saw more Lamborghinis last night than I do in a month at home (and I live 15 minutes from a Lambo dealer).
Miami has a Gross Metropolitan Product of $257 billion, and it felt like most of it was on display last night. Good on you, I say.
Back to the event: You can see the full event agenda here, and some of the content will find its way online.
Swing by the beach and say hello!
1. Not counting NYC: Louisville, Aspen, San Diego, La Jolla, Los Angelos and now Miaimi.