12 October 2014

In this episode of The Investor’s Podcast, Preston and Stig invite Hari Ramachandra to talk about Mohnish Pabrai. Pabrai has been adopting Warren Buffett’s principles, thus he’s dubbed to be Buffett’s cloner.

Hari is a Senior Engineering Manager at LinkedIn. He developed a career in investing when he received a number of stock options, which spurred his interest in trading stocks and financial instruments.

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  • Who is Hari Ramachandra?
  • Who is Mohnish Pabrai?
  • Is Mohnish Pabrai the next Warren Buffett?
  • Is Mohnish Pabrai creating the new Berkshire Hathaway?


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Episode Summary

Who is Hari Ramachandra?

With more than 15 years of experience in the software industry, and currently working as a Senior Engineering Manager at LinkedIn, Hari knows what it takes to be a successful leader in his field. His career in investing, on the other hand, happened almost by accident. Years ago he received a number of stock options, which initially spurred his interest in trading stocks and financial instruments. According to Hari the only good thing about his first experience with investing was that he was fortunate enough to only have limited funds to lose! Although that might be how he started, things are a little different these days.

After Hari started to read about Warren Buffett, things quickly took a turn in the road and he started his own promising career in value investing. Inspired by Warren Buffett, Hari has started his own blog, BitsBusiness.com, which Stig and Preston highly recommended. One of the many good features of Hari’s blog is his detailed notes from annual shareholder meetings, like Pabrai Funds and Berkshire Hathaway. We highly recommend his blog for valuable investment information and educational training.

Who is the investor Mohnish Pabrai?

Have you ever wondered what kind of lunch you could get for $10,000? Perhaps you are thinking Kobe beef and caviar accompanied with the finest French wine? Well, Mohnish Pabrai took the concept of expensive lunch one step further and paid $650,100 for the most exclusive charity-lunch of its kind: a private lunch with Warren Buffett.

Mohnish Pabrei is a successful investor in his own right. Since 2000 he has crushed the market by more than 1100%! According to Pabrai, the success of his stock picks can be attributed to Warren Buffett and his sound investing principles. Here’s another interesting article by Forbes on Monish.

Is Monish Pabrai the next Warren Buffett?

Pabrai is a self-proclaimed cloner of Warren Buffett. So why should you go for the next best thing? Hari remarks that Pabrai has the advantage of having much less capital than Warren Buffett. Contrary to Warren Buffett, he can invest in smaller companies that can yield a higher return. Based on Pabrai’s past performance, he has outperformed Buffett in the last decade. To think, Pabrai has an advantage over Buffett because he has less money to invest – oh the irony.

Another thing worth noticing about Monish Pabrai is that he has set-up a fund that “attracts the right kind of investors and keeps money in the fund even during recessions”. Effectively what Mohnish Pabrai does is solving the main problem that most fund managers face. When stock prices are declining and become attractive to fund managers, they typically have less capital to work with, which limits their returns in the long run. Pabrai has avoided this problem by only attracting very high net-worth investors who don’t pull their money out (relative to cheap funds) of the fund during deep recessions.

Is Monish Pabrai creating a new Berkshire Hathaway?

That might very well be the case! In 2015 Mohnish Pabrai plans to go public with the Dhando Holding Company, and just like Warren Buffett has done with Berkshire Hathaway, he plans to enter the insurance business. Another similarity is the holding company is both investing in listed and unlisted corporations.

The upcoming listing for Pabrai’s holding company is also good news for investors that don’t have the $2,500,000, to currently invest in Pabrai Funds. With the entry of a new public company, investors might be able to access Pabrai’s investing skills with a small initial equity purchase. Stig and Preston will definitely cover Pabrai’s IPO for Dhandho Holding Company when it goes public





Disclaimer: The transcript that follows has been generated using artificial intelligence. We strive to be as accurate as possible, but minor errors and slightly off timestamps may be present due to platform differences.

Intro 0:00
Broadcasting from Bel Air, Maryland, this is The Investor’s Podcast. They’ll take complex things and make them seem insanely simple. They make your boring drive to work feel exhilarating. They give you actionable investing strategies. Your hosts, Preston Pysh and Stig Brodersen!

Preston Pysh 1:04
Hey, how’s everybody doing? This is Preston Pysh. I’m your host for The Investor’s Podcast, and today I’m accompanied by my co-host, Stig Brodersen. And we have a special guest, Hari Ramachandra. So Hari, let’s go ahead and just kick this thing off. Give us a quick introduction of who you are. And before we do that, Hari, I just want to open up and tell everybody how we know each other here. So last May, whenever I was at the Berkshire Hathaway shareholders meeting, I was in the airport getting ready to fly out to Omaha, and I bumped into this gentleman, Hari Ramachandra. And he and I were starting to chat. He was wearing a LinkedIn jacket, and I was asking him about his background. And he’s an executive over at LinkedIn and was with the company at the start of whenever they first launched. And, so Hari and I just kind of kicked it off and just started talking there in the airport. And it turns out that we had a lot of interests in common, and we’ve just kind of stayed in contact over email. Now, since that time, and so, recently, Hari went to a shareholders meeting for an individual by the name of Mohnish Pabrai. And Mohnish is a follower of value investing, particularly the same type of investing that Warren Buffett does. And so Hari went out to his shareholder’s meeting, and what we’re going to discuss in this episode is what Hari’s experience was like whenever he was at that shareholder’s meeting. So Hari, go ahead and tell us about yourself. And we’ll just start right there.

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Hari Ramachandra 2:31
Thank you, Preston. Thank you for having me on the show. It’s fun to be talking to you guys both today. As you said, like, you know, we met in Berkshire Hathaway shareholders meeting, in fact, while we were just heading back home. To answer your question, as you mentioned, I’ve been in the software industry for the past 15 years, and I worked at LinkedIn. But the way I got introduced to stock market was early in my career. I got some stock options, and I had no idea what to do. And I saw everybody around me trading. Software engineers are not great investors, by the way. They’re, they’re brilliant at books, but they’re not usually great investors. And most of the time, we’d, we’d tried to, or we at least kid ourselves that some skills are portable. So we think that we are good at coding something, we are good at investing as well. So I just followed the herd around me. I started trading. I did charting. I did options. I did, I did all things. And most of the time I lost money. Unfortunately, I didn’t have much money to lose then. But even when I made money, I didn’t know how I did because it felt like random luck most of the time.

Preston Pysh 3:52

Hari Ramachandra 3:53
I don’t have time with–when I was so frustrated about all, all the money I had lost. I got introduced to Warren Buffett by one of my friends. I picked up a couple of his books, and I got hooked. I read more. I read books that he recommended like the Intelligent Investor by Ben Graham. And, and that’s how I got introduced to the world of value investing.

Preston Pysh 4:20
Yeah. And you made a point there initially about, you know, software engineers, mathematical type people having trouble initially. And I can empathize with that because I know whenever I first started out, and I think Stig can probably agree with this, is that whenever you first started out, you’re very analytical, and you’re just going by the numbers. Once you kind of figure out how the math, and all that kind of works with investing, you’re by the numbers, and you’re not doing anything with like this quality-type-feel to it. And as you know, I know personally for myself is, is I continue to learn more. You really have an appreciation for–you just can’t plug numbers into some calculator, and get the answer of “I need to buy this stock.” There’s a lot more to it. And there’s a lot more quality with brands, and goodwill, and all that kind of stuff that I think a lot of people don’t really, I don’t know, give, give credit due to that kind of stuff.

Hari Ramachandra 5:16
You made a very good point. In fact, the problem with most of us engineers is that we love precision. But many times we confuse precision with accuracy. Yeah, so I think Buffett has famously said, or maybe it was John Maynard Keynes, that it’s important to be in the right direction even if you’re like a few meters off. But if you’re going north instead of south, then all bets are off.

Preston Pysh 5:43
Yeah, I totally agree with you. Okay, so…so that’s a little bit of introduction. I think you guys can all see that Hari’s a pretty hardcore value investor. He’s adopted a lot of the same things that Warren Buffett has adopted. So let’s go ahead, and talk about this Mohnish Pabrai, and, Stig, you know, I kind of stole your question there, but–

Stig Brodersen 6:05
Dont’ think about it.

Preston Pysh 6:07
All right, let’s get to the second question here, which is, Hari, who’s Mohnish Pabrai?

Hari Ramachandra 6:13
So Mohnish Pabrai is a value investor and a businessman. In fact, he started out his career in information technology. He worked for Tellabs in the early 80s before starting his own software consulting company called TransTech, which he later sold to equity fund. So, according to him, he started another venture after that, but where he lost most of his fortune, and that’s when he discovered Warren Buffett. And he says he got hooked to value investing. And he read all the books he could get hold of, which was either about Warren Buffett or value investing in the following years. And one less known fact about Mohnish Pabrai is that he in fact wrote a letter to Mr. Buffett offering to work for free without pay.

Preston Pysh 7:07
That sounds pretty familiar.

Hari Ramachandra 7:09
Yeah, and Buffett promptly responded but politely declined. Yeah, as Buffett says, you know, when he wants an opinion on his investing decisions, he looks at the mirror. He doesn’t want any investing help.

Preston Pysh 7:26
It’s funny. That’s what Ben Graham did to Buffett. He, he…he turned him down on the initial offers. My understanding is that Buffett offered to work for free, and Graham kind of turned him down. And then later on, he ended up working for him. But it’s kind of ironic that the similar story.

Hari Ramachandra 7:41
Yeah, definitely. And maybe Pabrai was not as persistent as Buffett because he then went ahead and started his own fund (*inaudible*).

Yeah, exactly.

Preston Pysh 7:50
Oh, okay. That’s interesting.

Stig Brodersen 7:52
Oh, yeah. But tell us, Hari, how did you get interested in Pabrai’s funds?

Hari Ramachandra 7:58
Sure. As I mentioned, Pabrai comes from the software industry. He’s a first generation immigrant from India. So there were a lot of things in common; enough to make me curious about him. So I started reading about him, and then looked through his investments, his investment style, and listen to a lot of his talks. And also, I was very interested in one of his philanthropic projects. He calls it the Dakshana Foundation, where he and his organization educate underprivileged kids in India, and help them get into the top schools in India and abroad. So a lot of these factors contributed to my curiosity about Mohnish and his philosophy of life and investing. So that’s how I started following him.

Preston Pysh 8:46
I, I love that. So in the show notes for this episode, we’ll make sure that there’s a link to that fund that you’re referring to there, Hari. So that was awesome. Yeah, that’s really cool. Okay, so I have a question. So I’m, I’m really big on books. And I’m really big on finding somebody that I really admire, and then reading whatever book they have, or finding a book that somebody else has written about them, just so I can kind of really understand that person’s thought patterns and kind of how they got to where they are. So I know that Pabrai has a couple books out there. I have personally not read them, and I’m, I was curious if you had read any of his books.

Hari Ramachandra 9:23
Sure. There are two books out there, which are, I guess on Amazon. One is the Mosaic. The other one is Dhandho Investing. Mosaic is out of print. I have not read it. However, I have read Dhandho Investing, which is a fascinating book. The book talks about the philosophy of investing, mainly Pabrai’s philosophy at investing. He also talks about how a little-known Indian community–they are called “The Pateos;” they’re probably less than 0.2% of the entire population of United States, who have immigrated here–but they control three-fourths of all the motel business in, in US. So he talks about how they operate. And through that story, he introduces investing. So it connects business and investing very well together in that book. And one of the key takeaways for me in that book was my perception has always been–especially being in the Silicon Valley–that if you’re an entrepreneur, you’re risk savvy or a risk taker. You’re like this Richard Branson, who is ready to jump off a cliff; like risk is in your blood. But Pabrai says, “A true entrepreneur shies away from risk.” In fact, he will do anything to reduce his risk, but he will embrace uncertainty. And in his own words, his tagline is, “Heads, I win. Tails, I don’t lose much.”

Preston Pysh 10:55

Hari Ramachandra 10:55
So that was fascinating.

Preston Pysh 10:57
That’s a–wow! I love the quote. That’s a good quote. Stig, you look like you had something you want to say.

Stig Brodersen 11:02
Oh, yeah. So, Hari, I think that you probably thought about this as well. Because I’ve been, I’ve been reading up on…on this Mohnish Pabrai. And to be honest, I really wasn’t that familiar with him before this interview. But it seems to me when I read some of the things that he has written and some of the answers that he is giving to, to people at the annual meeting that he’s holding; that he’s very much into Warren Buffett; very much into Benjamin Graham. So I’m a bit confused why someone would invest with Pabrai, instead of investing with Warren Buffett?

Hari Ramachandra 11:36
That’s a great question. In fact, one of the things that comes across when you listen to Pabrai, he is, he’s a self-proclaimed cloner. He is a ardent fan of Warren Buffett, and he, he says that everywhere. In fact, he says that he has no original ideas and he’s proud of it. One of the reasons you might want to consider investing with Pabrai is that his capital…

Preston Pysh 12:08
Cause he’s not 86?

Hari Ramachandra 12:10
Yes. That’s a good one! He’s not 86, but Buffett is still going strong. It’s ha–hard to beat Buffett even when he is 86.

Preston Pysh 12:20
I don’t know if that’s his right age. Is he really 86? I don’t remember.

Hari Ramachandra 12:23
I thought he is (*inaudible*) six years younger than Munger. So Munger is 90 plus, so he must be 83 or 84.

Preston Pysh 12:29
Okay, he’s old though.

Hari Ramachandra 12:33
So, as I said, you know, like I, I had read a book by Thomas Phelps. The book is 100 to 1 in the Stock Market, where he described the dangers of ego in business and investing. And he says, “Most miseries of investors are due to their unwillingness to accept ideas other than their own.”

Preston Pysh 12:55

Hari Ramachandra 12:55

Preston Pysh 12:56
There’s something to write down. I mean, I totally agree with that. I, you know, for, for a leader or for an investor, it doesn’t really matter who you are, what you’re doing. I mean, your ego will get in your way, and it’ll just crush everything. So I mean, I can’t agree with that anymore. It’s awesome.

Hari Ramachandra 13:12
Perfect. Yeah, I highly recommend that–the book, 100 to 1 in the Stock Market. I believe this was written in the 1960s, but it’s a great read. And it talks about a lot of stocks that you could have bought in the 60s that would have made kind of like, you know, if you had invested $10,000 in those companies, it would be a million in 15 years or 20 years.

Preston Pysh 13:37

Hari Ramachandra 13:38
So, so coming back to Stig’s question. One of the advantages Pabrai has over Buffett is the law of large numbers working against Berkshire Hathaway. I would think of Pabrai as Buffett in his early years, when he was working on his Buffett partnership. So his style is very similar to how Buffett used to invest, when he used to invest for his partnership, rather than investing for Berkshire Hathaway.

Preston Pysh 14:09
And so a lot of people might not realize this, but Berkshire Hathaway has actually gotten so big. And Buffett, you know, he says this that he’s actually starting to become handicap because he’s moving so much capital that the smaller to mid-cap type companies, whenever he puts money into those smaller organizations, he really doesn’t get that much of a growth spurt over the whole size of his company because it’s just such a small portion of his portfolio. So he’s like forced to invest in these big large cap businesses in order to get any type of, you know, 5% movement in his overall company. And so, what, you know, Hari’s kind of referring to here is with Pabrai, you’re, you’re able to invest in the same philosophy in the same exact way, but you’re doing it on a much smaller portfolio, which allows him to have larger movement on the, on the fund itself. So that’s one of the, the claims that Hari’s got here with, with his response. Okay, so here…I got another question for you. I read that the–to get into the fund, it required a significant amount of capital in order to initiate and step into the fund. I even read as high as $2.5 million in order to step into it. I’m just kind of curious, is that true? You know, is it really require that much funds to just kind of step into it? And is there any other nuances that you’d want to highlight?

Hari Ramachandra 15:30
Yes, it is true. In fact, most of his funds are close to new investors today. One of the reasons why Pabrai tries to keep the hurdle high is that he wants to attract a specific type of investor to his funds. And his favorite target is a successful entrepreneur or a businessman, who has made fortune in, in his own line of business. But he is not investing all his nest egg with Pabrai, which means he has staying power. And also he will, he would not panic in and out of this office fund. So Pabrai wants to limit the churn rate and also attract the right kind of investor to his funds.

Preston Pysh 16:19

Hari Ramachandra 16:19
And, in fact, interestingly, when I was in the annual meeting, I met a couple of investors, who were his early investors in his funds. And it was as low as $200-250,000, when Pabrai started back in 1999. So over the period of time, I believe he has increased the hurdle rate (*inaudible*)…



Preston Pysh 16:43
I mean, I, I totally understand why he would, he would do that, you know? I, I get asked a lot of the times by people, you know? Why don’t you start your own fund and this? And for me, I immediately reply back: “Well, I don’t want to be handicapped by people taking the money out of the fund at the wrong time or giving me the money at the exact wrong time with the, with the way that the market swings.” And so when you have a person like Pabrai, who’s doing this he’s, he’s forcing people that are an educated shareholder or educated investor into his fund, so that they don’t give him money at the wrong time or pull money out whenever he needs it most, so he can buy undervalued equities. It’s, it’s kind of a really interesting approach that he was able to do this with a fund because he kept that threshold at such a high dollar amount. Would you agree with that, Hari?

Hari Ramachandra 17:29
Yes, I do. And he also has a restriction of one year so that like if you invest in him, you cannot pull your funds out for the entire year. But at the end of the year, if you have any family emergency, or if you need the money, you can always pull it out.

Preston Pysh 17:47
Oh, that’s really interesting. A lot of people might not realize this, but with Berkshire Hathaway Buffett basically has the exact same model with his shares, which encompass a majority of his entire portfolio as far as the, the value. So is, you know, when you look at his A shares they’re over $200,000 a share just to buy one share. If you’re buying the Bs you can get them for right now I think they’re almost $140 a share. But that, that makes up such a small portion of his overall portfolio; those B shares, that it doesn’t really have any impact over the total valuation of the business. So it’s, it’s really interesting to see that both of them had the same exact model.

Hari Ramachandra 18:24
Yeah. In fact, when somebody asked, “How did you start your fund?” Pabrai answered that like, you know, he looked around, and he, he had already read about how Buffett had structured his partnership. And he saw that nobody was copying it for years. So he decided to just clone it exactly how Buffett had done it. So his fee structure is exactly what Buffett had for his partnership. That is no management fee, and one-fourth of the returns after 6% of annual returns. So that’s very interesting. And he says that, you know, he’s surprised that nobody cloned Buffett’s partnership for a, for a very long period.

Stig Brodersen 19:08
Oh, yeah. And that’s also really something that surprises me because Warren Buffett is very keen on teaching everybody about, about investing, and he, he’s not holding anything back. So, since Warren Buffett has been so keen on, you know, telling what he’s been doing, why do you think that so few people as Pabrai are actually doing the same thing as Warren Buffett, Hari?

Hari Ramachandra 19:32
That’s a great question, Stig. In fact, I believe Charlie Munger answered the best in one of the annual meetings, when somebody asked, “Why, why aren’t people following this method?” He said, “People would die before they follow this method.” That’s because it works against a lot of human nature. There is more psychology involved here than temper; than intelligence. As Buffett says that “If you’ve got a lot of IQ, throw, give it away to somebody else because you need more temperament than intelligence in investing.” To follow Buffett’s methodology, you need to have patience. Also, you need to defy instant gratification. You should understand the business. Investing should be, the process should be appealing to you rather than the end result. And also, it’s just the nature of investing business. I feel that a lot of fund manager even though they know what’s the right way to invest like the following the Buffet’s way, they’re not able to because their investors are not patient with them. Many funds like, you know, if they are not able to show results, quarter over quarter, or year over year, investors would pull their funds out of such points. And hence, to survive they have to follow the crowd. Show the results. If they go down along with the market, nobody complains. But if they delight (*inaudible*) the market, then people will pull out their funds. So in investing world, I believe it works both ways.

Preston Pysh 21:15
Yeah, I have a point real fast. So a lot of people don’t realize this, but Berkshire Hathaway, a lot of people think that Berkshire Hathaway is a fund. They don’t think that it’s an actual company, but it is a company. And one of the things that I think is really unique that Buffet’s done is he’s actually taken this, you know, people, the shareholders are giving you the money or they’re, they’re–if you’re in a fund, I should say, they’re giving you the money at the wrong time. They’re giving you all the money whenever the market’s climbing, and then whenever the market crashes, they’re wanting to take that money away from you, which totally handicaps that fund manager from being able to buy stocks and equities at a very cheap price, whenever the market had crashed. And so what Buffett did is he literally took that model and flipped it on its head, okay? And because it’s his own company, he actually has the opportunity to whenever people want to sell his company at a very cheap price, he then as the, as, as a shareholder can, or as the manager of the company can just buy back those shares at an extremely cheap price. And then, if the let’s say the market was overvaluing Berkshire extremely high, he could actually issue more shares in order to collect, you know, cash for the, for those shares. He hasn’t done that, but he could. And he’s basically taking advantage of that market psychology so much so that that’s how he modeled his, his company. And I, you know, I wouldn’t be surprised if Pabrai would somehow do that in the future if he felt like– I think he’s really kind of protected himself with the, the threshold that it costs to get into his fund. But, you know, it’s just really interesting how these gentlemen have basically protected themselves from the–those types of investors and those types of people that wouldn’t be investing in their fund or their company.

Hari Ramachandra 22:50
Yeah, Preston. In fact, you, you made an interesting point. Pabrai is actually cloning the Berkshire model as well. In fact, he announced Dhandho Holdings in his annual meeting this year.

Preston Pysh 23:02
There you go.

Hari Ramachandra 23:04
And his…this Dhandho Holding will be a holding company. The first acquisition is a insurance company called…

Preston Pysh 23:14
Oh, my gosh! He is cloning them. Yeah. A lot of people don’t know this, but Berkshire’s biggest engine is, is Geico, which is, you know, a huge insurance company. So that’s, that’s amazing!

Hari Ramachandra 23:23
Yeah. So the first acquisition is actually an insurance company. It’s called as Stonetrust Insurance, and they’re into worker comp (*inaudible*). So I can see that, you know, Mohnish is now going after the float. And, and also, I think his, his plan is to acquire more subsidiaries, wholly owned, but he said he will also not shy away from investing in public companies are creating a portfolio inside Dhandho Holdings. So he is, he is essentially creating a new Berkshire.

Preston Pysh 23:56
Wow! Hey, so when you were at the meeting, did you get to meet him? Did you get to interact with him at all?

Hari Ramachandra 24:01
That’s a good question. The meeting was in Soka University, and near Irvine. One of the interesting thing that I found was, it was a casual atmosphere. There were fewer than 200 people there. Most of them were either his investors in his funds, or bloggers, or people like me who follow him. And since it was a small crowd, Mohnish walked around before the meeting started; shook hands; introduced himself; spoke to most of us. And even after the meeting, he had hosted a dinner for all the people attending the meeting. And during the dinner, we could all get one-on-one time with Mohnish for a couple of minutes. We talked about investing; his philosophy about life; current matters. So it was a very friendly atmosphere. In fact, I have heard about Berkshire Hathaway’s annual meeting during the early 80s, where there were very few, probably, a couple dozen people attending those meetings. A kind of bird (*inaudible*). Maybe it is similar. And I, I, I feel like those people should be very privileged because they could have interacted with Buffett; asked him questions; and picked on his brain and a lot of topics. So yeah, it was fun, and yes, like, we could talk to Mohnish.

Stig Brodersen 25:23
Okay, Hari. Sounds like a great meeting and sounds something that I want to attend myself. What was the main takeaway that you got from this meeting with Mr. Pabrai?

Hari Ramachandra 25:33
So one of the main…main discussion points in the meeting was Dhandho Holdings. And my main takeaway was that if according to what Pabrai says, “If it goes according to the way he’s planning, Dhandho Holding can be a great entry point for many investors.” But I would also like to caution that we don’t know how he will operate Dhandho Holdings, and we don’t know whether he’ll be able to replicate Buffett’s performance with Berkshire. But nonetheless, I would be interested to look into his company. By the way, Dhandho Holdings is planning to go public in 2015.

Preston Pysh 26:15
I was just gonna ask you that question. Okay, so he’s gonna take the thing public in 2015. They’ll probably bring the, the initial offering price per share at probably like $100,000 price point, I’d imagine. Did he, did he mention any of that? Like what price point you’re bringing in at?

Hari Ramachandra 26:32
No, he didn’t go into the details. He did mention about the plans to go public.

Preston Pysh 26:38
I love this! This is awesome.

Hari Ramachandra 26:41
Yeah. So it will be an interesting, interesting kind of structure for sure. Right now, it’s, it’s structured as a special purpose investing vehicle, which means that he has certain time limit before the money is pulled back out of this, out of this holding if it has not invested. So he has few investor, who, who will pull in money for him. And he is looking into acquisitions. And one of his main acquisitions is the insurance company I just mentioned. If it goes through, then the holding will come into existence this year. And hopefully by next year, they’ll take it public.

Preston Pysh 27:22
Well, so everyone out there if you…if you’re worried about Buffett’s age, and you’re worried about Berkshire Hathaway, and where it’s going over the next 30 years, you might have something interesting here with Pabrai funds in his new holding company that he’s standing up. Stig, do you have one more question?

Stig Brodersen 27:38
Oh, yeah. So Hari, this is one question that we like to, to ask our guests. Because something that I have benefited tremendously from is just one single investment advice. But let’s first hear from you. What is the best investment advice you have ever received?

Hari Ramachandra 27:54
That’s a very good question, Stig. And it’s a, it’s a hard one to answer because there’s so many investment advice that you would have got, especially for me from Mr. Buffett and Mr. Charlie Munger. I read so many of their books, and also learned a lot. However, the one that made a big impact on my way of thinking was from Howard Marks, and it was from one of his memos on risk and returns to his investors. In that he says, “In life and investing, you can’t expect above average returns by doing what every everyone else is doing.” To me, this is simple and profound. And many times at least I, I had a hard time to really get this message. Buffett has been talking about it when he says, “Be fearful when others are greedy, and be greedy when others are fearful.” Essentially, they’re talking about being a contrarian investor. However, most of us try to follow the herd. At least I have been following the herd, whether its value investing or trading, you’ll find comfort in following the crowd. And the reason is that through evolutionary psychology, it has been understood that our ancestors were equipped with certain way of thinking, which kind of, you know, help them make quick decisions. And one of those is if all the animals are running in one direction, there must be some danger, so run along with them. So it’s very hard to sometimes overcome that, and it requires a lot of discipline.

Preston Pysh 29:37
I think the best way to overcome what you’re talking about is knowledge. So I think a lot of people when they’re investing, they follow this group, think, and they follow this, you know, herd mentality because at the heart of it and the essence of what’s actually happening, they really truly don’t understand what they have their money in and what it represents. And I think that the more that a person understands and, and immerses themselves in it and what is a stock? What, what does it represent? What’s behind on the balance sheet? What’s on the income statement? What does, what do those numbers mean? I think when a person starts educating themselves with that information and that knowledge, it is so much easier to think different than the crowd and to go in the opposite direction, because you truly inherently understand what the essence of what it is that you own.

Stig Brodersen 30:25
Oh, yeah, so I definitely agree with you. Knowledge is really the key here. And I think that pretty much also wraps up the whole thing that that Warren Buffett and Mr. Pabrai is talking about here. That’s really, that you really need to have knowledge to not do the same thing as the herd.

Preston Pysh 30:41
So Hari, if anyone from our audience would want to get a hold of you, or learn more about you, or what you write–I know that you have a blog–where could they find you at?

Hari Ramachandra 30:50
Yes, Preston. So I share my experiences and my learning in my blog, bitsbusiness.wordpress.com. It’s B-I-T-S business. And anybody can interact with me there. I have a user request form as well, which they can get up (*inaudible*), ask questions, then I would be glad to answer.

Preston Pysh 31:13
I know one of the things that I went to Hari’s blog for is he sometimes does a recap of discussions from some of the shareholders meeting. So if you want to see like some of the notes from the Berkshire meeting Hari post that on there. He, he posts a bunch of really kind of quite interesting articles, so I highly recommend that. It’s Bits Business in order to find Hari, and we’ll have a link to that on the show notes. So if there’s anything that you’re interested in, whether it was a book we’re talking about, or any of these websites, we’re going to all have that on the, on the show notes for the investorspodcast.com. Just go to Episode Four, and you can find all those show notes. So if you have any question for us, we want to hear your voice. Go to asktheinvestors.com. Right there, you can record your question. We’ll play it on the show. And if, for whatever reason your question does get played on the show, we’ll send you a free signed copy of our book, the Warren Buffett Accounting Book. Be sure to tune in next week. We have an episode and an interview with a former trader from the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. His name is Mr. Greg Pisani. And we’re really looking forward to having him. So I’d like to thank everyone for joining us today. And we’ll see you next week.

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Extro 34:15
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