Francis Chou founded Chou Associates Management in 1986. Chou is a well-regarded value investor who was named Morningstar Fund Manager of the Decade in 2004. Francis Chou's investing career all began back in 1981, when Chou convinced his colleagues to pool their money with him. His private investment club fund generated good returns over the course of five years – from 51,000 to $1,5 million and grew into a publicly available mutual fund named Chou Associates Fund. Chou likes to work alone and looks for the best values.
Since its inception in 1986 Chou Associates Fund generated an average annual return of 10.4%, and only had 8 down years. Over the past 15 years, the fund gained 6.43% on average, vs. S&P 500 index's 6.8% annual return. However, Chou’s returns over the last 10 years (and especially over the last 5 years) significantly trailed the market. Over the past 10 years, the fund had an average annual return of 6.44%, while the S&P 500 gained 10.6%. More dramatically over the 5 years Chou Associated generated an average annual return of 4.98% vs. S&P 500’s annual return of 13.5% (all of these return figures are as of September 2018).