Camp Kotok

Camp Kotok  (“CK”) is an “by invitation” event initially developed and implemented by David R. Kotok and now in conjunction with Cumberland Advisors and the Global Interdependence Center for prominent economists, wealth managers, traders, heads of research, pundits, financial luminaries, and often a few journalists, authors, and individuals associated either directly with Cumberland Advisors or with the financial industry.

Fishing, wine, and conversation are the hallmarks of this annual event held at Leen’s Lodge in Grand Lake Stream, Maine, one of the state’s most remote venues ( In recent years, craft beer has also made a prominent appearance, many brewed locally in Maine further making a positive economic impact on the area's communities.

Here, attendees spend a long August weekend fishing on some of the most pristine lakes in the country; a place to breathe deeply, feel the earth, and replenish the mind with intellectual and stimulating conversation. Vigorous debates are regular and run the gamut from market valuations and the rise of exchange-traded funds to Federal Reserve policy, virtual currencies, and health care. It’s easy to see why some even in the financial press refer to Camp Kotok as the “Shadow Fed.”

Attendees are bound to “Chatham House Rules” (participants are free to use the information received, but neither the identity nor the affiliation of the speaker(s), nor that of any other participant, may be revealed). General thoughts, ideas, forecasts and comments, however, can and are discussed and published outside of CK with implicit permission. Cumberland Advisors has published a series of videos and written interviews with campers desiring to go on the record.

This annual gathering broadened in 2002, after David Kotok invited several other September 11, 2001 “survivors” to spend the weekend reflecting on the one-year anniversary of the attacks. Many of the original Camp Kotok attendees had escaped from the World Trade Center and surrounding buildings, and lost friends on that fateful day. Those who attended that year decided to go back the following year… and so on. 

Now, these weekends in Maine have become a staple for those “in the know” in the financial industry. Please see Sharon Prizant's thoughts on "What is Camp Kotok???" here where she brings her observations through many years of attendance into a thoughtful synopsis:

A glimpse behind the screen door at Camp Kotok

Cumberland Advisors Week in Review (Aug 12, 2019 - Aug 16, 2019)
 Posted: Sun August 18, 2019

The Cumberland Advisors Week in Review is a recap of news, commentary, and opinion from our team. These are not revised assessments, and circumstances may have changed in the market from the time of original publication. We also include older commentaries that our editors have determined may be of interest to our audience. Your feedback is always welcome.


This week, we talk about:

-Whip in the Market -Where the NASDAQ & DOW are -Fixed Income…

Report from Leen’s Lodge (Camp Kotok)
 Posted: Fri August 16, 2019

The 50-person gathering at Leen’s Lodge encompassed diverse political views, financial and economic specialties, and asset class focused from cannabis to currency trading, real estate to debt of all types, stock markets and ETFs, derivatives and futures, and more. Over $1 trillion in managed assets were represented as we gathered for each informal meal. No lectern, no PowerPoint. The China Panel and the MMT panel are public and in the social media domain and the press and public are free to…

Camp Kotok: Wall Street In The Woods
 Posted: Wed August 14, 2019

Excerpt from Camp Kotok: Wall Street In The Woods

by Dave Nadig at


My experiences at Camp Kotok involve a little bit of shinrin-yoku in the literal sense: There are indeed a few hours a day floating through nature in a boat. But they also involve an intense, highly concentrated kind of economic shinrin-yoku. I surround myself with the zeitgeist and just try and absorb it through osmosis.

Under the rules, attendees can report specific comments with approval of…

Bloomberg Surveillance: The Long Party is Over, Kotok Says (Podcast)
 Posted: Wed September 5, 2018

David Kotok speaks with Bloomberg’s Tim Fox and Tom Keene

Tune in around the 24:50 mark to hear David weigh in on the "bogeys for the next several years" and the view that the long party is over.

He also talks about takeaways from Camp Kotok and Leen's Lodge.

Tune in at 20:22 to hear the full interview.

Kotok: "Hateful belligerency accomplishes nothing."

This is a Bloomberg podcast.

LISTEN HERE: Bloomberg Audio

NOTE: Links to…

From the Maine Outpost: The Corporate Bond Market - A Frog in Boiling Water?
 Posted: Sat August 25, 2018

By Jeanine Prezioso

Federal Reserve monetary policy and its anticipated effects – in addition to the debate over who caught the largest salmon or smallmouth bass – was one of the many discussions bandied about in the northeast Maine woods earlier this month at Camp Kotok, an annual gathering of economists, pundits and investment professionals hosted by Cumberland Advisors' David Kotok.

Trade wars and a slowdown in the U.S. economy are ubiquitous market concerns, but one…

A Camp Kotok Debrief Plus Sector Rotation Ramifications
 Posted: Thu August 16, 2018

Excerpt from "A Camp Kotok Debrief Plus Sector Rotation Ramifications" by Jeremy Schwartz

Last week's "Behind the Markets" podcast came on the back of the annual Camp Kotok investment retreat in Maine - with one of the key portfolio managers for Cumberland Advisors, Matt McAleer, joining us for a discussion on macro positioning and takeaways from the camp discussions.

McAleer discussed the continued headaches being caused by international markets - the U.S. markets…

Camp Kotok 2018 - The Maine Surprise Was Time
 Posted: Sun August 12, 2018

The Maine Surprise Was Time

By John Mauldin August 10, 2018

I’m back from Camp Kotok. As always, it was both rejuvenating and enlightening. The Maine woods, lakes, and general environment encourage more candor than I see most places. This, combined with David Kotok’s talent for assembling a diverse group and the always-marvelous Maine hospitality, made it another great success. It helps that David aggressively enforces Chatham House Rules and the…

Camp Kotok 2018 - Riding Shotgun With a Bear Behind the Wheel
 Posted: Thu August 9, 2018

Riding Shotgun With a Bear Behind the Wheel

By Crystal Kim Aug. 7, 2018

Bear country beckoned. Economists, portfolio managers, pundits, and Barron’s flocked to Leen’s Lodge in the backwoods of Maine for the annual fishing trip hosted by Cumberland Advisors’ David Kotok lovingly dubbed “Camp Kotok.” The five-day confab promised discussions about the state of the economy, markets, and, of course, the day’s catch.

To get there, we hailed a ride…

Richard Yamarone
 Posted: Fri December 1, 2017

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="480"] Richard Yamarone sings Folsom Prison Blues[/caption]

By now many know that Richard Yamarone passed away on November 28th, 2017 at age 55. There are many of us who enjoyed his company in Montana and in Maine as part of annual gatherings of fishing, discussions, and camaraderie. We mourn his loss.

I can picture in my mind when he picked up the guitar and sang Folsom Prison Blues. I can picture him standing on the deck at Leen’s…

What is Camp Kotok???
 Posted: Thu August 24, 2017

David Kotok, Senator Susan Collins and Sharon Prizant at Camp Kotok (Leen's Lodge)

What is Camp Kotok???

Originally published August 2017, featuring minor updates as time progresses.

This is not a routine Cumberland Advisors Commentary!  Rather than offering commentary on issues and events of importance to the investment and advisory community, this Commentary reports on a very unique and special event for the investment and advisory community known as "Camp Kotok", held annually at Leen's Lodge in Grand Lake Stream, Maine, one of the State’s most remote…


“CNBC and others began calling Camp Kotok the “Shadow Fed” but it is really just a meeting of wickedly smart people focused on economics and markets.”

John Mauldin