The NYC Junto is a monthly meeting focused on free markets, Objectivism, and investing. It was founded in 1985 by investor Victor Niederhoffer, who hosts each meeting. Information about Niederhoffer is available at his website DailySpeculations. Niederhoffer is active on twitter @VicNiederhoffer.
The NYC Junto is inspired by the Junto hosted by Benjamin Franklin in Philadelphia from 1727 to 1757. Like Franklin, we bring together intelligent people to discuss intellectual issues in a respectful manner.
Our meetings are always held at the Mechanics Institute at at 20 W 44th Street between 5th and 6th Avenues in Manhattan on the first Thursday of each month. We usually have a guest speaker who can bring new insights and ideas to us. Debate and questions are encouraged. Admission is free. No donation is requested. There is no connection with any political or religious organization or group.
Why I started the group:
I read in Benjamin Franklin's autobiography that the most valuable thing he ever did in his life was to have a series of meetings with a dozen of his friends where they would try to make contributions to natural philosophy as well as their individual welfare.
I always had tremendous respect for Doug Casey of the Eris group and I tried to model a group halfway between the Eris Society and the kind of group that Benjamin Franklin had. I invited people interested in free markets and the idea was to have one paper from the point of view of liberty to give us something hard to bite into and then discuss it and have a lot of feedback. And it has spontaneously grown.
We have it once a month, almost always on the first Thursday. It used to be at my office in New York until they chased me out of New York with their excessive taxation.
We started out by trying a few different formats but we coalesced on a format that works. We have about an hour where members unload various things about liberty in the news that they have a particular insight into. Then we have an invited speaker who talks about his own work on the forefront of individualism or liberty, and then we have a very animated discussion and feedback.
In our group, we have experts on almost every subject. The speakers always tell us that it's one of the most dynamic experiences for them. People write to me from all over the U.S. that they love my Junto, that it is one of the highlights of their life, that they hate to move out of New York, and that they will never be able to find anything like it.
I finance it and pay for the speakers.
Almost every major free market and individualist speaker has spoken at our group, and it has been going for almost 30 years.