Letter to Members – Who Builds Moats? Intelligent Fanatics Do

Ian CasselLetter to Members7 Comments

It’s been an exciting 60 days since we launched IntelligentFanatics.com. We want to thank all our members for rallying around our cause and supporting us.

I’d like to make special mention of my partner Sean Iddings. He is the work horse of the site and content, and he deserves much more credit than me. I’m honored to hitch my sidecar onto him.

First, I’d like to tell you the “Why” of our community, and then I’ll get into “Where We Are” and “Where We Are Going”.

The Why


As I’ve matured as an investor I’ve lost interest in only analyzing the quantitative. I want to gain an edge in the qualitative. Why?

Who Builds Moats? People do. Intelligent fanatics do.

Great financial statements don’t create great businesses. Great leaders create great businesses.

On IntelligentFanatics.com we study intelligent fanatics and specifically how they created dominant sustainable businesses. And we don’t limit ourselves only to public companies.

This has much broader ramifications than just investing.

In fact, it would be a disservice to study the masters of business and only apply what you learn to your investing. You need to apply it to your own businesses and life.

You need to become an intelligent fanatic in your own right.

Where We Are


When we launched the membership, the price was $29.99 per year. We have since raised it to $49.99. We will likely raise it again shortly.

Our goal is to continue to add value and make it painfully obvious to join, and early adopters will reap the benefits by being locked in at the current rate for life.

We are excited to have Sanjay Bakshi (@Sanjay__Bakshi) and Brent Beshore (@BrentBeshore) not only as members but also as advisors (Disc: They are unpaid and have no ownership interest). Their knowledge, wisdom, and direction will be paramount to our success.

We now have 465 members from across the globe. The geographic breakdown is as follows:

41% India

34% United States

25% Other

When you launch a community like this, you don’t really know where the adoption is going to come from. Now we know.


We are going to lean into this amazing area of the world.

I’ve always been fascinated by India because unlike here in the United States where our industry pioneers are long dead and gone, in India, they are still running their businesses. We can actually talk to them and learn from them directly instead of from a history book.

Where Are We Going?


We are going to expand our intelligent fanatics research into India.

Sean and I would be mistaken to try to do this ourselves. It’s much more efficient to tap into the young motivated talent in India to research and study the great leaders in their own country.

We are hiring an Intelligent Fanatics Research Analyst (Part-Time).

Thanks to Sanjay and others sharing it on social media, the job posting has received over 4,000 views since we posted it on January 9th.

Applicants need to write a 10-page case study on their favorite Intelligent Fanatic from India. It might take Sean and I several weeks to read through all of them, but it’s worth the time and effort to find the right person.

A funny thing happened when we posted our job posting for the analyst position in India. We received countless emails from individuals from all over the world

“When are you coming to Africa?”

“When are you coming to Brazil?”

“When are you coming to Japan?”

The response was inspiring. But we need to walk before we can run. Little steps for little feet as they say.

We will expand into other areas once we feel we have a good model that works and once we have a membership base and cash flow that can support a larger effort.

Adding Value


We are focused on adding value to members.

Over the course of 2018 we hope to publish several more case studies, and hopefully our first case studies on Intelligent Fanatics from India.

We are also working on our first Online Course. This course is a passion project of Sean, and he has been working on it for several months. Members will receive it for free.

In addition, we will continue to post interesting nuggets of wisdom and learnings to the publicly viewable section of our research community.

We also hope to bring on additional contributors to produce content in our research community.

Your Feedback and Support


Our goal is to make your membership a no brainer value-add to your business, investing and life.

When you launch a new community and website there are always tweaks and pivots that need to take place. We are still squarely in this time period and working diligently to fix any issues that exist.

Some of you have been members for 60 days and others for a few hours, but we don’t know what needs to be fixed unless you tell us.

We would love to hear your feedback on any issues you may be having and/or how we can make your experience better.

To let us know, please private message Sean or myself, on our forum, or email us [email protected]

As always, if you are enjoying your experience and you believe in our vision, we ask that you refer others to join us.

Similar to all the intelligent fanatics we study who put every dollar of cash flow into the business, we are doing the same and then some.

We currently need to 3x our membership base just to support our current initiatives.

Once we scale a little larger we’ll not only benefit from the network effects which will allow us to launch the next phase of our plans (events, etc), but also be able to enter new territories.

The great thing about intelligent fanatics is they are everywhere and we can learn from all of them.

We look forward to learning and growing together.

A Progress Update (03/31/2018)

Our mission is to study and retell the stories of intelligent fanatics so we can learn from them. Through our books, case studies, online course, and articles we provide the tools for investors and entrepreneurs to stand on the shoulders of giants. Our goal is to provide members with an unfathomable value proposition.

February: We started to transcribe intelligent fanatic interviews and presentations for members. We have added 14 of them in the last 60 days ($600 value).

March 1st: We hired our first Intelligent Fanatics Analyst (IFA), Rohith Potti.

March 8th: We published our first Intelligent Fanatics of India Case Study on Sabu Jacob

March 18th: We published our first online course for members: Standing on the Shoulders of Giants. Over 100 minutes of instruction on how to internalize the lessons learned from intelligent fanatics.

About the Author

Ian Cassel

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Ian is a full-time microcap investor and founder of MicroCapClub and the MicroCap Leadership Summit. Ian started investing as a teenager and learned from losing his money over and over again. Today he is a full-time private investor that supports himself and his family by investing in microcaps. Microcap companies are the smallest public companies that exist, representing 48% of all public companies in North America. Berkshire Hathaway, Wal-Mart, Amgen, Netflix, and many others started as small microcap companies. Ian’s belief is the key to outsized returns is finding great companies early because all great companies started as small companies.

7 Comments on “Letter to Members – Who Builds Moats? Intelligent Fanatics Do”

  1. Hi,
    Is this subcription fee locked to the rate at which one join for life or for any specific duration? Thanks in advance for clarifying

    1. Yes, you will be locked in at current price and get all present and future content we produce (books, case studies, online courses, ability to register for events, etc). You’ll be locked in for life, either your life or mine whichever comes first 🙂

  2. Thanks Ian for the wonderful nascent vision that you had shared with the IF coomunity. Every new start has its footsteps inked to create a memorable journey where in the end one has the learnings and applying those learnings on the way as we go, no matter how we go ahead, no matter how much one struggles, I am confident that with support IF can become way of how to inculcate these journey with ours. So I wish good luck.

    Good to know that members are locked for either of our lifetime. I had received the wonderful thankyou note when I joined the subscribtion and it was special. Honestly, I loved the writing which was written on the envelope, not to mention the note inside.

    I had so far found the content impeccable as a top quality and with fresh perspective. I saw your post about the part time research analyst role to write about the IF, however I had never done that. In India, you will find the I F in every imch of country, in varied diversity at their own astute. SME industries flourishing here are inspiring. So if I have to be disciplined and focused on learning in detail about those fanatics and present it here if not as a part time analyst but contributor, how one can start it, do you have any set template regarding the same? If not is it possible to frame one to evaluate IF. Some relevant content if you & Sean can help with, or may be Sanjay sir can help in giving on certain inception I would love to get into it. I do not come from finance background so may not know technical jargon however that may help than being a turn off.

    I would write about my introduction soon. I wish all the best for 2018. May the support reap benefits and shower great benefits to the community, for the fanatic & management we believed in, and the purpose would be served as long as we grow.

    1. Thank you Shalabh for the kind message. We look forward to diving into more IF’s and we can’t do that without the support of others. We’ll reach out to you via email on your other questions.

  3. Hello Ian,

    Thanks for giving such a clear introduction with initial start to next few steps chalked out so crisply. I don’t think anybody has an iota of doubt on value the IF is adding to us as individuals on every sphere of life not just investing.

    Also Sean’s Standing on Shoulders of Giant is a great step further in growing IF, which sets benchmark for IF, to become better with every baby step that we grow.

    Also as Salabh mentioned there are IF in every nook and corner of India, which needs to be tapped. But with demographics of India, baby steps would be better than trying to leapfrog. I am sure all members from India will share the IF they are aware of to be covered within IF and slowly we would try to cover most of them if not all.

    Special Thanks to Sean, Sanjay and Brent whom we can look up to for guidance.
    Wishing all the BEST to you all for laying foundation of such a noble learning experience.

    1. Thank you very much for the kind remarks. We are looking forward to publishing some case studies on some lesser known IFs in India. We appreciate the support.

  4. Hello Ian,

    Thank you for clarification on lifetime subscription at current rate. Does these hold true if I gift subscription to someone.

    Thank you for great initiative.

    You and Sean leading these initiative from front and other members like Sanjay Bakshi are best mind to guide us in right direction whenever needed.

    Thank you.

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