Mohnish Pabrai is an entrepreneur who later switched to money management. His best investment ever was probably the $650,100 he paid for lunch with Warren Buffett. We don’t remember anybody who got this much publicity for a pricey lunch. Mohnish Pabrai doesn’t hide the fact that he is trying to monkey Warren Buffett’s investment style. He is clearly a value investor following the footsteps of great value investors like Warren Buffett and Joel Greenblatt. He even set up the fee structure of his hedge fund the same way Warren Buffett did more than 50 years ago. He doesn’t charge any management fees and takes 25% of returns that are greater than a 6% threshold.
Mohnish Pabrai was very popular prior to 2008. His funds lost around 60% in 2008 sending a clear signal about the risks of his investment style. His funds aren’t really “hedged funds”. They seem to have very limited downside protection, if any at all. Warren Buffett had better downside protection 50 years ago. Pabrai’s fee structure isn’t as investor friendly as Warren Buffett’s was because of Pabrai’s seemingly high beta.
Mohnish Pabrai had a complete reversal in performance in 2009, returning around 120%. He says he’s using a checklist now in order to avoid past mistakes. He strongly recommends Atul Gawande’s Checklist Manifesto. Triple digit returns helped him to get more funds flowing in. Currently Pabrai has more than $500 million in assets under management (AUM). You can learn about Mohnish Pabrai’s investment philosophy by reading his two books: Mosaic: Perspectives on Investing, and The Dhandho Investor: The Low-Risk Value Method to High Returns.