‘New vibe’ draws 2,200 to sands for a wealth festival like no other

Good morning. It’s Friday, Sept. 16. I’m Carol Cormaci, bringing you today’s TimesOC newsletter with the latest roundup of news and events.

Huntington Beach was the draw for about 2,200 investors, many of them on the south side of 30, who participated Sunday through Wednesday at a unique gathering — the inaugural Future Proof wealth festival.

Los Angeles Times reporter Andrea Chang provides a colorful and witty description of the event in her story, “Tesla, TikTok and taquitos: On the beach at the world’s first wealth festival.” It’s a great read.

As she notes in her story for The Times’ business section, financial service conclaves are not known for being anything other than buttoned-down affairs.

“It’s always: conference room, panel, generally four white dudes, being talked at, sitting, the same words, the same everything,” Chang quotes Andrew Saunders, co-founder of Castle Hill Capital Partners in New York.

Future Proof was an entirely different scene. “[Organizers] began by dubbing it a wealth festival — ‘the world’s first,’ and, also somehow, ‘the world’s largest,’ according to the splashy hot pink and orange signage plastered on every available surface — and planted it in Huntington Beach, right on the beach itself,” Chang writes.

Instead of setting up speaker sessions and panels in drab conference rooms, the organizers of Future Proof employed outdoor concert stages, “which on Tuesday night doubled as performance venues for musical acts Big Boi and Fitz and the Tantrums,” Chang wrote.

Those who attended were encouraged to post their experiences on social media, and Chang reports there were “made-for-Instagram selfie stations aplenty.”

“Finance has become cool. It’s become part of pop culture,” Matt Middleton, chief executive of Advisor Circle, the company behind Future Proof, told Chang. “You have athletes, you have celebrities spending more time talking about their portfolio or where they’re investing, versus it used to be the conversation you’d have in a corner or at a golf club. What we’re trying to do is usher in this new vibe.”

Tickets to the event ranged from $300 to $3,495, depending on a festivalgoer’s professional background.

The average age of financial advisors at Future Proof was 35, a stat that Josh Brown, a CNBC commentator and chief executive of Proof co-presenter Ritholtz Wealth Management, told Chang was “off the charts. The average age of a financial advisor in America is 59. That makes us one of the oldest professions. Second oldest to Walmart greeters.”


Rep. Katie Porter (D-Irvine), a law professor at UC Irvine before her election, addresses a packed room at Kean Coffee in Tustin, in 2019. Her Republican opponent in this year’s midterm elections, Scott Baugh, says she should not still be living in housing reserved for UCI employees.

(Ana Venegas / For The Times )

— As the November election nears, the campaign for Rep. Katie Porter’s seat in the U.S. Congress has drawn keen interest — and now a controversy. Porter, a Democrat, is running to retain her position against former Assemblyman Scott Baugh, a Republican. Baugh accuses Porter of participating in an “insider deal” because she lives in housing reserved for UC Irvine employees. “Insider deals like this are what’s wrong with Congress. She should have given up this taxpayer-subsidized housing benefit four years ago when she was elected.” Before her 2018 election to represent her O.C. district, Porter was a law professor at UC Irvine. According to UCI spokesman Tom Vasich, Porter took an unpaid leave of absence from the school but is still an employee, which makes her eligible to remain in the housing. The details of the controversy can be found in this story by my colleague Seema Mehta.

— In an advisory it issued Sept. 9, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention noted an increase last month in the number of children hospitalized for severe respiratory illness — including enterovirus D68, or EV-D68. Orange County also issued an advisory, with Health Officer Dr. Regina Chinsio-Kwong saying the county “is seeing a lot of respiratory illnesses affecting our community right now, both in children and adults … resulting in hospitalizations.” There are no vaccines available to protect against EV-D68.

— A potential strike by freight worker railroad unions that would have affected Orange County commuters who rely on Metrolink services, along with their counterparts throughout the Southland, was averted early Thursday morning. According to an Associated Press report, the tentative deal will go to union members for a vote after a cooling-off period of several weeks.

— Newport Beach residential properties owned under fractional agreements — which tend to be used for vacation purposes — have raised concerns from neighbors who say the high turnover rates of those homes’ occupants lead to extra traffic, noise and parking issues. So far, 11 properties, primarily on Balboa Island, the Balboa Peninsula and in Corona del Mar have been identified as having fractional ownership. The complaints have reached City Hall and have officials there trying to figure out how best to deal with the issue.


A new playground, dedicated this week at Costa Mesa’s Jordan Park, encourages sensory and exploratory play.

(Courtesy of the city of Costa Mesa)

— Costa Mesa officials this week celebrated the completion of a $96,384 playground renovation at Jordan Park on the city’s east side that features a structure for children ages 2 to 5 designed to accommodate different levels of climbing experience and has a kaleidoscopic installation that casts rainbows onto the ground upon which kids can see their own shadows. There’s also a helix tower connected to a space-ship climber with multiple pathways to climb and an 8-foot spiral slide. The project’s design came from Game Time Playground Solutions.

— Tommy Lasorda, who died in 2021, was an iconic figure for the Dodgers, but he was also a family man who made his home in Fullerton. The Fullerton Museum Center is honoring him by including “Lasorda Legacy: A Tribute to Baseball & Dodgers Legend Tommy Lasorda” in its current exhibit, “Picturing America’s Pastime.”
Open through Dec. 31, “Picturing America’s Pastime” features 51 framed photographs from the National Baseball Hall of Fame.


UCLA women’s soccer’s Madelyn Desiano.

(Scott Chandler)

— San Clemente native Madelyn Desiano, a fifth-year soccer player for UCLA, has overcome two ACL injuries and three knee surgeries to become one of only two field players to start every game for the Bruins this
season. My colleague Thuc Nhi Nguyen, who covers college sports and the NBA for the L.A. Times, writes that Desiano is the engine that’s driving the Bruins’ success, helping to make UCLA the top-ranked team in the nation for the first time since 2017.

— Los Alamitos High defensive lineman T.A. Cunningham, one of the top football prospects in the country, filed a petition Tuesday requesting that the Superior Court of California block a California Interscholastic Federation Southern Section decision to deny him a hardship waiver. The request wasn’t processed by the court until Thursday afternoon and included a temporary restraining order that would block the CIF decision and allow Cunningham to play Thursday night. The CIF denial prevents Cunningham, a 6-foot-6, 265-pound junior, from playing for Los Alamitos this season after he transferred from Georgia. The complete story by Luca Evans can be found here.

— The Corona del Mar and Palos Verdes Peninsula high school girls’ tennis teams are typically two of the top teams in the CIF Southern Section, year in and year out, according to my colleague Matt Szabo. Tuesday, in a nonleague match at the CdM courts, the Sea Kings led throughout a 10-8 victory to remain undefeated in the early season.


An Allen’s hummingbird feeds on nectar at the Urban Forest in Huntington Beach, where the inaugural Bird-A-Thon is set to take place Sept. 22 through 25.

(Kevin Chang / Daily Pilot)

— Whether or not you’re a seasoned bird watcher, you might be interested in this new event: Organizers from the Huntington Beach Tree Society are preparing for the inaugural Urban Forest Bird-A-Thon, which starts Thursday, Sept. 22 at dawn and runs through Sunday, Sept. 25 at dusk. Participants can compete in the Bird-A-Thon as individuals or teams, raising pledge money by counting birds and bird species. Checklists will be provided, as will helpful pictures displayed at the site. Here’s the story with all the details. The Urban Forest is located at 6681 Ellis Ave., Huntington Beach.


If you have a memory or story about Orange County, I would love to read and share it in this space. Please try to keep your submission to 100 words or less and include your name and current city of residence.

I’d appreciate your help in making this the best newsletter it can be. Please send news tips, your memory of life in O.C., or comments to carol.cormaci@latimes.com.