The missus and I were off to Bhutan this year end, and while I was there, I was receiving some calls to attend a trading conference. So there began a discussion on the value of attending conferences and my view on it.
My view is that trading or anything of value has to have a lot of nuance, which comes from years of experience and practice, and expert is an expert because he/she has developed that nuanced skill/intuition.
With that said, ask yourself as to what would you like to focus on, depending on were you are on your learning curve -
If you are a beginner - It would help immensely to find a mentor, and work with him/her to develop core skills, in other words try to be an Apprentice - Takes at least 8 to 10 Years
If you think you are at an Intermediate level - At this point, it would help to connect with more experts to understand what others are doing, and and build your skills by borrowing ideas and adapting them to your context, as Cal Newport says - this could be the Creative Active phase. - Beyond 8 to 10 years
If you think you are an expert - It would again help to engage with others in the space, to continuously learn and understand the space at a more macro level. This is at a point when you have reached Mastery - 15 + years of experience
Now the reason I called these things out is to help you contextualize - what would help you at a given point of time. I personally believe a lot of our adult life is a Resource Allocation Problem, the better we get at it, the better would be the outcomes.
We have these three fundamental resources which feed into one another - Time, Energy (Cognitive & Physical) and Money.
Money can help us buy Time a bit, but Energy determines how well we can use that Time.
Hence we need to ask ourselves where would you like to allocate your fundamental resources so as to achieve your goals.
You can use your time, money and energy to either attend a conference or perhaps buy a few books or may be fund a trading account. Which one these would help you get to your goals faster, and that depends on where you are on the learning curve.
Lastly think of it this way, if you have to choose a heart surgeon, which one of would you choose, the one who has spent 10,000 hours doing surgery or the one who has attended 100 conferences.
To flip the context - So which category of surgeon would you want to be?
Its the same with Trading.