Vitaliy Katsenelson was born in Murmansk, USSR, and immigrated to the United States with his family in 1991. After joining Denver-based value investment firm IMA in 1997, Vitaliy became Chief Investment Officer in 2007, and CEO in 2012. Vitaliy has written two books on investing and is an award-winning writer. Known for his uncommon common sense, Forbes Magazine called him “The New Benjamin Graham.” He’s written for publications including Financial Times, Barron’s, Institutional Investor, and Foreign Policy. His articles are also published on his website, ContrarianEdge. Vitaliy lives in Denver with his wife and three kids, where he loves to read, listen to classical music, play chess, and write about life, investing, and music. Soul in the Game is his third book, and first noninvesting book.

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  • “I guess I was born in Russia but made for America.”
  • The two ways to look at life.
    • Like an airport… Where you rush to get through it.
    • Or an art museum. Where you take time to enjoy your surroundings. I think we should treat more days like they’re an art museum.
  • “When you love what you do, your work stops being work and becomes a craft. And no matter what it is, you do it with pride, love, and care.”
  • “In our relationships, we should set a goal, not for someone to love us, but to behave according to our values (to be worth loving) and to be a good, caring partner. We cannot control whether people will love us, but we can control our actions and our behavior.”
  • “I’m perpetually in beta. This in beta attitude is liberating, as it gives you the chance to constantly improve yourself; to learn and grow. This doesn’t mean you need to be buried in self-help books. You just need to have this in beta attitude.”
  • “The best way to guard ourselves against our ego is by thinking of ourselves as evergreen students.”
  • Albert Einstein said, “As our circle of knowledge expands, so does the circumference of darkness surrounding it.” We should welcome the circumference of darkness wholeheartedly.
  • How Zeno, the founder of Stoicism approached his students: “He did not claim to be a physician– he saw himself as a patient describing the progress of his treatment to fellow patients in the hospital beds beside him.”
  • When Vitaliy’s mother died (he was young), it made him appreciate his dad much more. I think we’d all be better off if we made the most of the time we have with the people we love and never take them for granted.
  • What Vitaliy learned from Warren Buffett? He was not a present dad. It’s important to be in your kids lives. It’s a gift to get to drive your kids to school.
  • Sit side by side with your children and talk (car rides, sit at the bar at restaurants, go on walks)
  • Vitaliy plays chess and he loses a lot… “Losing is part of tuition.”
  • Seneca said, “Time discovers truth.”
  • Attention is the currency of time.
  • “Writing is the most important thing that happened to me.” Spend two hours a day organizing your thoughts. Writing helps you do that…
    • “Create a connection between the unconscious and conscious mind.”
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