Thursday, July 19, 2007

Three Visits with the World's Best Value Investors

When I started this blog last year, my goal was to provide the value investing perpsectives taken from the world's best investors. As we all know, a common theme amongst investors is the willingness to teach. Investing is after all, a continuous education; a game that never ends. It is these two facets of investing that really keep me going - there is always something to learn in order to expand your circle of competence, and the intelligent investor's goal is to use his knowledge to evaluate businesses and come to independent rational decisions on why he should invest. More often than not, the best investments will occur at the point of maximum pessimism, and you have to trust your reasoning when everyone around you is taking you to task.

Over the past year, I have been extremely lucky to have personally met some of the best investors on the planet.

First in January of this year, I met Warren Buffett. After my mother and father, Buffett is without question the greatest influence and inspiration in my life. Without Buffett's teachings and writings, I can guarantee that I would not be the person I am today. Aside from being the greatest investor in the history of mankind, Buffett's leads a life that sets an example for all to follow. When I asked Buffett about what the most important advice he had for me, he quickly remarked, "Do what you love and make sure your kids love you." The two day visit I had with Mr. Buffett is an opportunity I will always be grateful to him for.

Secondly, this past spring, I visited with Mohnish Pabrai. I first met Mohnish last November at the Value Investing Congress in NYC. On the last day of the event, Mohnish sat next to me during breakfast. Since then, I am very proud to call Mohnish a friend. Already, Mohnish's investment record is legendary and he has decades to go. One day the world will be very grateful that Mohnish is doing what he is doing. I am grateful to call him a friend.

Thirdly, I had an opportunity to visit and spend time with Mason Hawkins. Mason Hawkins is quite simply the most underrated money manager in the business. The accomplishments he has achieved operating under the regulatory framework of the mutual fund industry is impossible to accomplish unless you're Mason Hawkins. True to his form, Mason does what he does because he loves it. As far as I'm concerned, any investor in the Longleaf Funds should name their first born child Mason. As a steward of capital, Mason Hawkins sets the standard all should follow.

In less than six months, I had the honor to spend time with three phenomenal human beings and individuals that I look up to not only for thier impeccable investing ability, but also for the example they set each day. All three were gracious with their knowledge about the world and business and most importantly, thier time. Time to give to someone like me and everyone else who's just as passionate about investing.

Some of you may be wondering why the postings on this blog have been more and more infrequent. Gad Capital Management will begin operations in about a month. GCM will be running the Gad Partners Fund, a value-centric investment partnership deeply rooted in the teachings of Graham, Buffett, Hawkins, and Pabrai. Some really terrific individuals and families have decided to join the partnership. I am very lucky to call them partners.

5 comments:

Ryan said...

Congrats on getting GCM off the ground. Do you still plan on writing for fool.com and the blog once you’ve started GCM? Thanks for the blog it has helped lead me in the right direction for my investing education.

Anonymous said...

Sham,
Do you plan on posting your letter(s) to partners and results online for GCM? I think I speak for most expressing it will be interesting to follow your work and progress. Best of luck!!!!!

Rafael Corrales said...

And I'd like to say thank you for listening to comments. I was worried you'd not post my suggestion comment from an earlier post. Hope GCM is going well - you know how my portfolio is doing :-)

Sham said...

Thank you Ryan. Yes, I still plan to continue writing for the blog, the Motley Fool, etc. I feel that the written word is very helpful to an investor. Putting my reasoning on paper is a great mental exercise for me.

For example, last week I was wanting to understand the fine points of the securitization process. As I begin to mentally gather ideas, it occurred to me that it would be very helpful to me to write down the process. The end result was an article.

I wish I could say that I would contribute on a regular basis, but with the start of the partnership, the rate of postings will be a little slower, at least initially.

Sham Gad said...

My partnership letters will be published online at www.gadcapital.com (site soon to go online), but I don't feel that it is appropriate to post them on the blog at this time.

Warm Regards,
Sham