FIRE.144 Chautauqua or Minitauqua?

So it turns out money nerds like hanging out with other money nerds.  It’s like the cool club, but only if you know about it.  I’ve only been to the small-scale gatherings and medium-scale gatherings of this type.  I’ve never been to the granddaddy of FI gatherings.

SMALL GATHERINGS are what I consider local meetups.  They are usually a few hours of your time, possibly up to an hour’s drive away and a load of information.

I’ve been to both ChooseFI local meetups as well as Boglehead local meetups.  (Note: I’ve also been to a sleazy “financial planning education” employment meetings). 

  • ChooseFI local meetups are great.  You get to meet people who live in your area—or are visiting your area—and talk about money topics from the beginning of a financial journey through much later stages of one’s financial journey.  There are people of all ages, places on the financial timeline, different net worths, and different interests.  To me, it seems to always be a very open discussion, and even quite personal at times with people who are very new friendlys.
  • Boglehead local meetings tend to be different.  The meetings I’ve attended are on Monday afternoons and seem to be attended by people who are farther along the personal finance path (i.e. older or retired).  The discussions are quite different in that they tend to be more towards safely/wisely spending your accumulated resources, rather than accumulating resources.

LARGE SCALE GATHERINGS seem more like EconoME or the Financial Freedom Summit idea.  I have not attended either of these yet.  Timing and Topics of interest seem a little different than my current position on the financial journey.  However, I know there are all types of sessions and even more types of people attending that these gatherings would be very interesting.

These are large conference-like settings that aim for 1000+ attendees over the course of a weekend.  There seems to be a presentation-driven structure quite similar to FinCon for the” content creator” folks.

The BIG TIME GATHERING to me is Chautauqua, an entire week set aside for nerds to gather in far off, far-flung locations.  It’s a small group of a few dozen people who have the opportunity to talk deeply about their lives and how being financially sound makes dreams come true.  Well, that’s how I imagine financial intention/success.  I know several  people who’ve been to Chautauqua and every one of them loved it.

Well, what if an entire week on another continent is not possible?  Wouldn’t it be cool if there was a similar version that’s closer, shorter, and with varying levels of FI?  CampFI is like a Minitauqua (I assume)…

MEDIUM GATHERINGS are what I consider to be CampFI weekends.  These are the regional gatherings where people may travel across the country, or even from other countries, to hang out with other money nerds for 4 days over a long weekend.  These are often based around holiday weekends.

Instead of re-hashing my CampFi thoughts, I’ve linked some posts about my amazing experiences at a couple of the CampFI’s I’ve attended.

CampFI Southwest 2018 – CampFI…Mind Blown

CampFI Mid-Atlantic 2019 – Power Center CampFI

CampFI Southwest 2019 – Your Friends…Your Future

CampFI Southwest 2021 – It just keeps getting better

I’ve been to other CampFI’s but I must not have written about them or my search is lacking. I started going in my late 40’s and continued into my 50’s. It’s an amazing weekend that continues to make me better.

Note: I’ve signed up for CampFI MidWest Minn 2022 Labor Day weekend so I can spend time with my intelligent, like-minded, and fun cohorts.

*** Nothing in this article is to be construed as financial advice.  I am not a financial planner, nor do I pretend to be.  You should always consult your own professional when seeking advice. This post is not a piece of literary mastery, just a random thought I had.

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