Francis Chou

Francis Chou

Last Update: 02-14-2017
Related: Chou RRSP Fund

Number of Stocks: 25
Number of New Stocks: 1

Total Value: $305 Mil
Q/Q Turnover: 3%

Countries: USA
Details: Top Buys | Top Sales | Top Holdings  Embed:

Francis Chou' s Profile & Performance

Profile

Francis Chou, the fund manager of Chou America Mutual Funds, has been managing the Chou Funds in Canada since 1986.


Francis Chou's experience is an amazing success story of value investing. He came to Canada in 1976 at age 20 with $200 in his pocket. Without a college degree, he could only work on blue collar jobs. Finally he landed a job at Bell Canada as a telephone repairman. Somehow he was introduced to the books of Benjamin Graham. As written by Warren Buffett in his famous article, The Superinvestors of Graham-and--Doddsville, "It is extraordinary to me that the idea of buying dollar bills for 40 cents takes immediately to people or it doesn't take at all." The idea apparently took Francis Chou immediately.

In 1981, together with six of his fellow telephone repairmen, Francis Chou started an investment club with $51,000. He left Bell Canada in 1984 and became a retail analyst at GW Asset Management, where he met Prem Watsa, the great future Fairfax CEO. He turned the investment club into Chou Associates Fund in 1986.

The rest is history. If you had invested $10,000 in 1986, when Chou Associate Fund started to operate, that $10,000 would be worth $136,916 as of Dec. 31, 2010. During the 24 years of the fund's history, he had only five down years. Over the past 15 years, Chou Associate Fund average gained 13.6%, while the S&P 500 gained just 6.8% a year.

When asked about what the most important things are for him in investing, he said: "Buy bargains. Get the returns slowly. Think independently. Don't be afraid of what other people are saying."

This is exactly what he has done. In the 1990s, during the height of the tech bubble, Francis Chou wrote to his shareholders that he had "no concrete idea of where to proceed from here." He said the market at that time was a fool's game where investors were buying stocks trading at 100 times revenues in the hope of being able to to sell them for 200 times revenues a week later. His fund was down in 1999.

As the stock market made its first crash from 2000 through 2002, Chou Associate Fund gained 71%. By 2006, his fund gained 160% while the broad market just barely broke even from its high at the beginning of 2000.

Web Page:http://www.choufunds.com

Investing Philosophy

"The investment process followed in selecting equity investments for the Funds is a value-oriented approach to investing. This involves a detailed analysis of the strengths of individual companies, with much less emphasis on short-term market factors. Far greater importance is placed upon an assessment of a company's balance sheet, cash flow characteristics, profitability, industry position, special strengths, future growth potential and management ability."

Total Holding History

Performance of Chou Associates Fund

YearReturn (%)S&P500 (%)Excess Gain (%)
2016-2.7911.96-14.8
2015-6.951.38-8.3
201412.0613.69-1.6
3-Year Cumulative1.4 (0.5%/year)29 (8.9%/year)-27.6 (-8.4%/year)
201341.3332.398.9
201226.961611.0
5-Year Cumulative81.9 (12.7%/year)98.2 (14.7%/year)-16.3 (-2%/year)
2011-16.912.11-19.0
201019.2115.064.1
200929.726.463.2
2008-29.3-377.7
2007-10.225.49-15.7
10-Year Cumulative48.3 (4%/year)95.7 (6.9%/year)-47.4 (-2.9%/year)
200618.7715.793.0
200513.74.918.8
20049.0210.88-1.9
20033.5728.68-25.1
200229.99-22.152.1
15-Year Cumulative194 (7.5%/year)164.2 (6.7%/year)29.8 (0.8%/year)
200121.44-11.8933.3
20008.37-9.117.5
1999-9.6321.04-30.7
199823.2228.58-5.4
199740.3133.367.0
20-Year Cumulative504.5 (9.4%/year)339.2 (7.7%/year)165.3 (1.7%/year)
199622.6922.96-0.3
199531.0137.58-6.6
1994-2.581.32-3.9
199316.1910.086.1
1992207.6212.4
25-Year Cumulative1219.7 (10.9%/year)791.8 (9.1%/year)427.9 (1.8%/year)
199123.2530.47-7.2
1990-10.68-3.1-7.6
198918.731.69-13.0
198814.2716.61-2.3
19875.025.1-0.1
30-Year Cumulative1969.5 (10.6%/year)1719.7 (10.2%/year)249.8 (0.4%/year)

Top Ranked Articles

GuruFocus Value Conference 2016 Pictures Highlight from GuruFocus Value Conference last week
We had a great success for 2016 GuruFocus Value Conference last week. More than 140 investors from 14 countries attended the conference. We had 9 great speakers and our attendees thoroughly enjoyed it. 92% of the attendees indicated that they are likely to attend GuruFocus Value Conference again in 2017. Read more...
Francis Chou Comments on Sears Holdings Corp Guru stock highlight
In July 2015, Sears Holdings Corporation (NASDAQ:SHLD) announced that it closed its rights offering and sale leaseback transactions with Seritage Growth Properties ("Seritage"), a newly formed, independent, and publicly traded real estate investment trust ("REIT"). Read more...
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Francis Chou Comments on EXCO Resources Guru stock highlight
In 2015, we initiated the position in EXCO Resources second-lien term loan 12.5%, maturing in 2020. This term loan did quite well in 2016, rising in price from 55.8 cents on a dollar at December 31, 2015 to 72.9 cents on a dollar at December 31, 2016, an increase of 30.7% excluding interests received. Read more...
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Commentaries and Stories

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Chou Income Fund 4th Quarter Message to Shareholders Francis Chou discusses fund and market Francis Chou - Chou Income Fund 4th Quarter Message To Shareholders
Dear Shareholder, More...

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Francis Chou Comments on Resolute Forest Products Guru stock highlight
Resolute Forest Products (NYSE:RFP) is primarily involved in Newsprints, Specialty Papers, Wood Products and Market Pulp. As the downturn in global commodities intensified, RFP was not spared as all four of the company's business segments got hit. Management has concentrated on lowering the cost of every segment but these actions were not enough to compensate for the deterioration of prices in their respective markets. More...

  • Currently 5.00/5

Rating: 5.0/5 (2 votes)

Francis Chou Comments on Sears Holdings Corp Guru stock highlight
In July 2015, Sears Holdings Corporation (NASDAQ:SHLD) announced that it closed its rights offering and sale leaseback transactions with Seritage Growth Properties ("Seritage"), a newly formed, independent, and publicly traded real estate investment trust ("REIT"). More...

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Francis Chou Comments on Valeant Guru stock highlight
At the current price, Valeant (NYSE:VRX) stock is not a mouth-watering bargain at less than 3 times earnings or less than 2 times free cash flow because it carries around $30 billion of debt, but it is still relatively cheap. If Valeant can reduce its debt by as much as $8 billion as stated by management, through a combination of organic earnings and the sale of non-core assets, it will remove the feeling that the company is standing on the edge of a precipice. More...

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Francis Chou Comments on EXCO Resources Guru stock highlight
In 2015, we initiated the position in EXCO Resources second-lien term loan 12.5%, maturing in 2020. This term loan did quite well in 2016, rising in price from 55.8 cents on a dollar at December 31, 2015 to 72.9 cents on a dollar at December 31, 2016, an increase of 30.7% excluding interests received. More...

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Chou Opportunity Fund 4th Quarter Message to Shareholders Francis Chou's annual letter discussing holdings and market Francis Chou - Chou Opportunity Fund 4th Quarter Message To Shareholders
Dear Shareholder, More...

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This Guru Loves Valeant; Should You? Francis Chou likes Valeant and continues to increase his position Francis Chou,Warren Buffett,Bill Ackman,Jeff Ubben - This Guru Loves Valeant; Should You?
Hedge funds’ final 13F forms for 2016 were published last week, and as usual, the data has been scrutinized by the financial media. There were a few surprises in the figures, including Warren Buffett (TradesPortfolio)'s new favorite position, Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), and the general rotation away from tech toward financials. More...

VALEANT, VALUE INVESTING, VALUE, GURU INVESTING


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Francis Chou Adds to Valeant, Trims Sears in 4th Quarter Successful guru reports quarterly portfolio Francis Chou,Warren Buffett,Prem Watsa,Bill Ackman - Francis Chou Adds To Valeant, Trims Sears In 4th Quarter
Francis Chou (Trades, Portfolio), founder of Chou Associates Management, started an investment club in 1981 with six of his fellow telephone repairman. Throughout the next five years, Chou worked as a retail analyst at GW Asset Management where he met “Canadian Warren Buffett (Trades, Portfolio)” Prem Watsa (Trades, Portfolio). The successful guru established his flagship fund, the Chou Associate Fund, in 1986. On an annual basis, Chou’s fund outperformed the Standard & Poor’s 500 index benchmark by approximately 7% on More...

FRANCIS CHOU, WARREN BUFFETT, PREM WATSA, BILL ACKMAN, BRUCE BERKOWITZ, MURRAY STAHL


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23 Questions With Lukas Savickas of Vertes-Investavimas 'I trust Mr. Market’s weighing machine' Stanley Druckenmiller,Francis Chou,Warren Buffett - 23 Questions With Lukas Savickas Of Vertes-Investavimas
1. How and why did you get started investing? What is your background? More...

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Chou RRSP Fund Buys Valeant Fund acquires shares in troubled company Chour RRSP Fund,Francis Chou,Bill Ackman - Chou RRSP Fund Buys Valeant
The Chou RRSP Fund (Trades, Portfolio) acquired a new holding in Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc. (TSX:VRX)(NYSE:VRX) in the second quarter. More...

VALEANT, CHOU, ACKMAN, PERSHING SQUARE


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Francis Chou Adds to 2 Positions in 2nd Quarter Guru reports quarterly portfolio Francis Chou,Ruane Cunniff,Bill Ackman,Fairholme F - Francis Chou Adds To 2 Positions In 2nd Quarter
During the second quarter, Francis Chou (Trades, Portfolio) of Chou Associates Management added 48.11% and 38.77% to its positions in Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc. (NYSE:VRX) and Sears Holdings Corp. (NASDAQ:SHLD). As the stock prices continue to decline, the companies offer investing opportunities. The above transactions align with Chou’s strategy of investing in companies with depressed prices. More...

FRANCIS CHOU, RUANE CUNNIFF, BILL ACKMAN, BRUCE BERKOWITZ


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Francis Chou Comments on Sears Holdings Corp Guru stock highlight
In July 2015, Sears Holdings Corporation (NASDAQ:SHLD) announced that it had closed its rights offering and sale-leaseback transactions with Seritage Growth Properties (“Seritage”), a recently formed, independent, publicly traded real estate investment trust (“REIT”). More...

  • Currently 5.00/5

Rating: 5.0/5 (1 vote)

Francis Chou Comments on Resolute Forest Products Guru stock highlight
Resolute Forest Products (NYSE:RFP) is primarily involved in newsprints, specialty papers, wood products and market pulp. As the downturn in global commodities intensified, RFP was not spared, hitting all four of the company’s business segments. Management has concentrated on lowering the cost of every segment but this wasn’t enough to compensate for the deterioration of prices in their respective markets. More...

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Chou Associates Fund 2015 Annual Investor Letter The latest from value investor Francis Chou Francis Chou - Chou Associates Fund 2015 Annual Investor Letter
Dear Unitholders of Chou Associates Fund, More...

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Francis Chou Takes Stake in Valeant, Coal Company [update] Chou made two large buys during the quarter Francis Chou - Francis Chou Takes Stake In Valeant, Coal Company [update]
Update: Chou refiled his first-quarter 13F on May 18. The position in Westmoreland Coal Co., previously reported as representing 35.4% of his portfolio, did not appear on the new 13F filing. - GuruFocus editorial More...

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Rating: 5.0/5 (11 votes)

GuruFocus Value Conference 2016 Pictures Highlight from GuruFocus Value Conference last week Francis Chou,Jeff Auxier - GuruFocus Value Conference 2016 Pictures
We had a great success for 2016 GuruFocus Value Conference last week. More than 140 investors from 14 countries attended the conference. We had 9 great speakers and our attendees thoroughly enjoyed it. 92% of the attendees indicated that they are likely to attend GuruFocus Value Conference again in 2017. More...

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Chou RRSP Fund Buys 1st Oil Stock on Acquisition News Suncor acquires Canadian Oil Sands for higher price than Chou paid Chou RRSP Fund,Francis Chou - Chou RRSP Fund Buys 1st Oil Stock On Acquisition News
During the second half of 2015, the Chou RRSP Fund (Trades, Portfolio) led by Francis Chou (Trades, Portfolio) purchased only one new holding of 348,000 shares in Canadian Oil Sands Ltd. (TSX:COS) for an average price of C$9.05 per share. More...

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Francis Chou Raises Stake in Resolute Forest Products Guru makes 3 trades in 4th quarter Francis Chou - Francis Chou Raises Stake In Resolute Forest Products
Francis Chou (Trades, Portfolio)’s fourth-quarter portfolio activity consisted of three transactions, which seems light for an investment guru. Nevertheless, while that is half the volume of his third-quarter activity, it is triple his activity of the first and second quarters. More...

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Francis Chou's Holdings Trading at Low PE Canadian guru holds several cheaply valued stocks Francis Chou - Francis Chou's Holdings Trading At Low PE
Francis Chou (Trades, Portfolio), the fund manager of Chou America Mutual Funds, has been managing the Chou Funds in Canada since 1986. The investment process followed in selecting equity investments for the funds is a value-oriented approach to investing. This involves a detailed analysis of the strengths of individual companies, with much less emphasis on short-term market factors. More...

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Francis Chou Adds to 3 Holdings Value investor adds to Ascent Capital Group, Resolute Forest Products, China Yuchai International Francis Chou,Warren Buffett,Chou RRSP Fund -  Francis Chou Adds To 3 Holdings
The Chou Associates Fund was started on Nov. 28, 1986 and since its inception it has netted an 11.2% return. More...

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