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Pabrai's Savvy P.R.
Posted by: David Pinsen (IP Logged)
Date: May 2, 2008 12:29PM

You've got to give credit to whoever Pabrai has hired to do his public relations. This Bloomberg article, "Buffett Plots Buying Spree as Crunch Diverts Bidders", is the latest of several articles about Buffett that I've read that has quoted Pabrai. Here's the Pabrai quote from this article:

``Buffett has got the liquidity that others are lacking,'' said Mohnish Pabrai, founder of Irvine, California-based Pabrai Investment Funds, who manages $600 million and holds Berkshire shares. ``The disruptions work in his favor. This is a perfect market for Berkshire.''


There's a reason why Pabrai is quoted here, instead of another money manager who owns Berkshire shares (e.g., Berkowitz, the managers at Sequoia, etc.): good public relations work. It's interesting too, that while Pabrai's friend Whitney Tilson is often quoted in the press praising Pabrai, I don't see him quoted praising Buffett as often. Nearly 20% of Tilson's Focus Fund's holdings are in Berkshire Hathaway. Pabrai appears to be the business media's go-to man for Buffett quotes now.


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Rating: 3.1/5 (14 votes)



Re: Pabrai's Savvy P.R.
Posted by: Sivaram (IP Logged)
Date: May 2, 2008 02:33PM

They should be quoting Pabri because he is a value investor and is quite succesful (supposedly), not because he owns Berkshire shares.

As for Whitney Tilson I have no idea how he became so popular without a strong record...

---------
Check out my investing blog - contrarian with a macro focus and a value investing tilt: Can Turtles Fly? A Contrarian Investing Blog.


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Rating: 2.0/5 (2 votes)



Re: Pabrai's Savvy P.R.
Posted by: JLAnnello (IP Logged)
Date: May 2, 2008 02:55PM

Whitney has piled up a 7-8% advantage over the market since 1999....I'd say those are pretty darn strong results.

However, Whitney is quoting all of the time on Buffett. In fact, I'd argue he is quoted on Buffett much more often than Mohnish is; he is often quoted in articles by Bloomberg and WSJ. Remember, Whitney runs the Value Investing Congress, Value Investor Insight, a $250mm hedge, and a couple of mutual funds. He may not have a tremendous amount of AUM, but be sure that he is very, very well known and respected in the value investing world. He also has an excellent investing record, as I pointed out above.

-Jeff
www.circleofcompetence.blogspot.com


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Rating: 3.3/5 (7 votes)



Re: Pabrai's Savvy P.R.
Posted by: David Pinsen (IP Logged)
Date: May 2, 2008 03:23PM

"However, Whitney is quoting all of the time on Buffett. In fact, I'd argue he is quoted on Buffett much more often than Mohnish is; he is often quoted in articles by Bloomberg and WSJ."

Tilson has savvy public relations as well. I know Tilson gets a lot of media exposure (and is an able promoter of his newsletters, investing conferences, etc.), and I've seen him mention Berkshire (and Pabrai) in his own FT column, but from the recent articles I've read about Berkshire in the business press, Pabrai seems to be the go-to guy (with Tilson the go-to guy on Pabrai).

As for Tilson's performance, I don't know how his hedge fund has done, but here's how his two mutual funds have performed:



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Rating: 2.9/5 (14 votes)



Re: Pabrai's Savvy P.R.
Posted by: alanb9 (IP Logged)
Date: May 2, 2008 04:20PM

The graph shows a big drop in December, when many funds distribute cap gains and dividends, lowering their price. Did that happen to his funds?


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Rating: 4.0/5 (2 votes)



Re: Pabrai's Savvy P.R.
Posted by: David Pinsen (IP Logged)
Date: May 2, 2008 04:53PM

Alan,

I think the Yahoo! charts assume reinvestment of dividends and capital gains (if they didn't I'd be surprised).


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Rating: 2.6/5 (11 votes)



Re: Pabrai's Savvy P.R.
Posted by: cm1750 (IP Logged)
Date: May 2, 2008 06:11PM

If you look at Tilson's Focus Fund (TILFX), he doesn't look any good as these are his best concentrated picks.
[quicktake.morningstar.com]

He is in the bottom 2% for the last 3 years and the bottom 1% for the last 1 year and YTD2008.

With a 2% fee and 170% turnover, not a good bet. Anyone buying this fund is insane.


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Rating: 2.9/5 (8 votes)



Re: Pabrai's Savvy P.R.
Posted by: Laud12345 (IP Logged)
Date: May 2, 2008 07:17PM


Trailing Total Returns through 05-02-08


3-Year Annualized 1.55



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Rating: 3.0/5 (3 votes)



Re: Pabrai's Savvy P.R.
Posted by: yhlbb (IP Logged)
Date: May 2, 2008 07:50PM

The result of Tilson Focus fund shows the high risk of running a 'focused' portfolio, even by a well known value investor.

I am not against anyone holding a focused portfolio. I am against anyone who says a 'focused' portfolio is the way to beat the market.

I can trust all my money to WEB to run a focused portfolio, and not to anyone else.

BTW, a savvy P.R. fund manager is not my kind of fund manager to trust. I'll trust the guys who run the Bruce Fund more.


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Rating: 1.1/5 (9 votes)



Re: Pabrai's Savvy P.R.
Posted by: David Pinsen (IP Logged)
Date: May 2, 2008 08:14PM

Just did some digging around on Tilson's Value Investing Website, and found something interesting. Back in 2003, he wrote a series of articles on Jet Blue for Motley Fool, back when it was trading in the high-30s. Judging by their titles (e.g., "The Amazing Jetblue", "Jetblue's Beautiful Cost Structure", etc.), the first four articles were positive about the airline. Only his fifth and last article did Tilson sound a cautionary note about JetBlue and its valuation. Here's the interesting part: The only article of these five that hasn't been apparently deleted on Motley Fool is that last one. Maybe the same gremlins who deleted the first post in Stockdoxc's Sallie Mae thread deleted Tilson's first four articles about JetBlue.



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