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3 Takeaways: Interview With Mohnish Pabrai

Mar. 07, 2021 9:36 AM ETAMZN, BRK.A, BRK.B, GME, MSFT, TWTR, WMT, QQQ, SPY22 Comments
Anay Gawande profile picture
Anay Gawande


  • I recently interviewed legendary value investor Mohnish Pabrai in my capacity as a healthcare portfolio manager for the Babson College Fund.
  • Mohnish Pabrai manages $469Mn in Pabrai Investment Funds, and has beaten the NDAQ by 400bps for the past 22 years.
  • I share my key takeaways from one of the most disciplined value investors which should be particularly valuable in today's volatile markets.

I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing Mohnish Pabrai, and wanted to share his timeless wisdom.

We discussed a range of topics including the legendary value investor's views on value investing (is it dead?), compounders, importance of entrepreneurship, having intestinal fortitude during market sell-offs, his investment in Turkey and more!

Who is Mohnish Pabrai?

Mohnish is the managing partner of Pabrai Investment Funds which he started in 1999 with $1Mn after selling his IT company, TransTech, for $20Mn. As of Q3'2020 that has ballooned to $469Mn due to Mohnish's Munger/Buffett focused value investing style (BRK.B).

In other words, his fund has had a 12% CAGR vs. the NDAQ's (QQQ) 8% in the same time frame. Mohnish is now extensively involved in philanthropy with Dakshana Foundation where he provides educational opportunities for gifted but underprivileged children worldwide.

I learned of Mohnish a few years ago after reading the Forbes article, "How Mohnish Pabrai Crushed The Market By 1100% Since 2000." The article gave me my first introduction to Mohnish's proud Buffett/Munger copy-cat styled value investing. In the article, he cites the University of Nevada study by Martin and Puthenpackal showing how merely investing alongside Warren Buffett (after information about Berkshire's buys and sells became public through the 13Fs) managed to beat the market by 11% every year over a 31-year period.

To say the least, I was very excited to have the opportunity to interview Mohnish and soak in his knowledge. Here are my 3 key takeaways:

Maintaining Intestinal Fortitude

I have been analyzing the greatest investors and found a common trait: temperamental control. While investing prowess is certainly important, the nature of the investor is equally, if not more, important.

Mohnish's fund lost 65-70% of its value during the Great Financial Crisis, and even then, as a result of maintaining his conviction and

This article was written by

Anay Gawande profile picture
I am a rising senior at Babson College, interested in the stock market. I'm also a Portfolio Manager for the Babson College Fund that manages $5Mn by conducting bottoms-up, fundamental equity valuations.

Analyst’s Disclosure: I/we have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours. I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it (other than from Seeking Alpha). I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.

Seeking Alpha's Disclosure: Past performance is no guarantee of future results. No recommendation or advice is being given as to whether any investment is suitable for a particular investor. Any views or opinions expressed above may not reflect those of Seeking Alpha as a whole. Seeking Alpha is not a licensed securities dealer, broker or US investment adviser or investment bank. Our analysts are third party authors that include both professional investors and individual investors who may not be licensed or certified by any institute or regulatory body.

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Comments (22)

Michael Dolen profile picture
Thanks for sharing. Mohnish Pabrai is one of my all time favorites, if not favorite, when you factor in where he is at in his career. He’s 57. If he goes another couple decades, he will no doubt become a household name among all investors.
arewolfe profile picture
Wow, thank you. I never get tired of hearing Mohnish's thoughts and wisdom.
Anay Gawande profile picture
@arewolfe glad you enjoyed it!
BM Cashflow Detective profile picture
Wonderful wisdom from Mohnish Pabrai in thinking and acting.

To be wise - and to behave wisely - are inseparable.
Anay Gawande profile picture
@BM Cashflow Detective the follow through is important!
Scbnymph profile picture
What a great article, I’m excited to follow the links provided to his personal writings.
Anay Gawande profile picture
@Scbnymph happy reading!
Great read! Big fan of Mr. Pabrai. Thanks for the write up and the links. Ya got a new follower.
Anay Gawande profile picture
@Sgray808 Thank you!
Is this in youtube?
Anay Gawande profile picture
@jamesrusso1020 yes it is. Here's the link: www.youtube.com/...
This is awesome , a lot to learn from , thank you for the artilce and also the links
Mr. Pabrai is one of my heros, Thank you Sir.
Anay Gawande profile picture
@Toros_SofM glad you enjoyed it! Please feel free to share
richjoy403 profile picture
@anay Gawande -- Many sincere thanks for bringing us that interview.

It happens Chuck Carnevale (aka Mr. Valuation) has written of the importance of compounding doubles, and the use of the Rule of 72.
See "10 Reasons Why Growth Stocks Can Be Appropriate For Retired Investors" seekingalpha.com/...

@richjoy403 one of Chuck’s comments in this article:
“ Companies such as Netflix (although I consider the stock significantly overvalued)”

This is when Nflx was $100
richjoy403 profile picture
@Syed Faraz Naseem -- Chuck has also written...
"If you must overpay to obtain a wanted stock, do so in a growth stock, never a value stock such as a ute.

The growth stock is likely to soon grow into its price, and the value stock may not within any reasonable period."

Some SDI's, having repeatedly read the market's average FV p/e ratio is 15 to16, mistakenly believe average means all stocks regardless of their growth rates.
Anay Gawande profile picture
@richjoy403 glad you enjoyed reading it! Please see the YouTube video for the full talk!
Trebeks_mustache profile picture
This is some underrated, valuable content I came upon reading this morning. What a treat to learn about!
Anay Gawande profile picture
@Trebeks_mustache thank you! Please share it with whomever may find it useful
Azred profile picture
This is such a great story & really gave me inspiration! Especially after losing 20% since Jan.29, 21. But I am still very much higher since 2-5-2020. Have to look on the bright side! I put a lot of work into 1/2 of my IRA and Seeking Alpha is a huge factor to that success. In my little world out here, need all the help we can get. In my opinion. That on top of my job & everything else. Once in awhile I can feel pretty bummed. A story such as this makes me smile. Hopefully my (2) selected compounders will bring some gains back plus more. Thanks!
Anay Gawande profile picture
@Azred It was great to hear Mohnish's approach in a down market especially given the rough past few weeks!
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