What is The Intellectual Investor about?

I think through writing. When I was younger and lived and breathed only investing, The Intellectual Investor hosted my thoughts as a value investor on the current state of markets and the industries and stocks that we analyzed at my investing firm, IMA.

As I got older – probably influenced by fatherhood – I realized that there is a lot of truth in the words of the immortal Freddie Mercury: “There must be more to life than this.” “This” in my case being investing.

I still spend an enormous amount of time thinking and writing about investing, but as I have gotten older I’ve found that my true passion in life is to learn and to grow as an individual. So today I call myself a student of life.

The Intellectual Investor grew with me and it today contains articles on a variety of non-investing topics, from classical music, to travel and parenting, to Stoic philosophy.

What to expect

I send out an email every Thursday. If there is no new article to share with you that week, you’ll receive a previously published one that I think would be a relevant read. 

Since Substack doesn’t allow for automated emails, these evergreen articles will arrive in your inbox via traditional email software.

My Favorite Classical

This Substack section is not a default opt-in; you’ll need to go into your subscription settings to start receiving these emails even if you are subscribed to everything else.

Classical music has been a passion of mine since I was in my late teens. In 2017 I even joined the board of the Arapahoe Philharmonic – a phenomenal, and one of the oldest, classical music orchestras in Colorado. I cannot read music or play an instrument, but this doesn’t make my love for the music any less passionate. The best way for me to learn about classical music has been to write about it. 

I send out two emails a week: The Thursday email highlights a classical music piece or a composer (this one also comes with my father’s paintings). The Saturday email will help you start your weekend with beautiful classical music. In both cases you’ll get exposed to a lot of lovely music. 

If you love classical music or want to learn more about it, I encourage you to sign up for this section of my newsletter.

Who am I?

About Vitaliy Katsenelson

I spent the first eighteen years of my life in Murmansk, Russia, a city located above the Arctic Circle in the northwestern corner of Russia. My family emigrated to the US in 1991. I received my formal education (both my graduate and undergraduate degrees) at the University of Colorado at Denver. While I was getting my master’s degree I also studied for CFA exams and received my CFA charter in 2000.

2004 was probably the most important year in shaping the direction of the rest of my life – I started writing. First I wrote for TheStreet.com, but I couldn’t sit still, and so I wrote for almost every major financial publication you can imagine, from The Financial Times to The Christian Science Monitor and Barron’s. Writing forced me to think exponentially more than I had thought before and accelerated my growth as an investor and human being. 

I must have been addicted to driving to the University of Colorado campus, because when I stopped going there as a student I started teaching there. In 2001 I taught my first investing class to undergraduates, and later I taught grad students. I did this dutifully until 2007, when my first book, Active Value Investing, came out. In 2010, the publisher, John Wiley & Sons, asked me if I could turn Active Value Investing into one of their “Little Books,” and that’s how The Little Book of Sideways Markets was born. 

In 2022 I published my third book, and my first non-investing one, Soul in the Game. What originated as a simple collection of past essays on topics outside of investing turned into something more when I discovered Stoic philosophy and dedicated a third of the book to it.

In 1997 I joined Investment Management Associates, Inc. (IMA), at first as an analyst. Then I became portfolio manager, CIO, and today I’m IMA’s CEO and its biggest cheerleader. I helped build IMA into a firm that I’d want to be a client of (which I am – all my liquid net worth is managed by the firm). Clients come to IMA (many of them nearing retirement), turn over the bulk of their net worth for us to build them an “all-terrain portfolio”, and basically say, “Vitaliy, don’t screw it up, please.” I take that responsibility seriously.

Most importantly, I am married to a wonderful wife, Rachel, and we have three incredible kids, Jonah, Hannah, and Mia Sarah.

If you have made it this far, I suggest you sign up to receive my articles by email. I share a lot of content in them that never makes it to this or other sites.

How much does it cost?


Writing is my passion and my way of thinking out loud. It’s how I share my thoughts with my clients and readers like yourself.

It is not – and will never be – behind a paywall.

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Value Investing, Life/Philosophy and Classical Music Explained


Vitaliy N. Katsenelson, CFA - Student of Life, Value Investor, Writer, Author, CEO of IMA