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Pabrai Funds Annual Meeting Notes: Chicago


AJB96
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Terrific notes Alex!  It was a terrific weekend in Chicago.  I had a great time once again, especially meeting all the boardmembers before the AGM, including Alex. 

 

Mohnish was in fine form once again.  The Q&A was really good this year, as you can tell by Alex's transcript.  There were some very funny moments.  One in particular where Mohnish was answering a question on new ideas or industries and said "It always seems to be that the mistress looks better than the wife...because it looks new...but that is not true."  An older lady in front of me gave a stern look to her helpless husband who had not done anything.

 

I met Sir John Templeton's grand niece at the AGM, and we briefly discussed Prem and Fairfax.  There was some very good discussion by Mohnish on Japan as well.

 

During the weekend, our whole family visited a Steak'n Shake.  The food was good.  The chicken patty in their chicken burgers is now as good as the steakburger.  I still don't like the skinny fries, but they do have a fan base.  The shakes were terrific as are their specialty burgers!  The salads look pretty good.  The prices are still amazing at Steak'n Shake, and the place was really busy for the whole hour and a half we were there.  It is a fantastic franchise! 

 

If you are in Chicago, enjoy the deep dish pizza at Giordanos.  The Macy's in Chicago is bigger than the one in Manhattan, and is the second largest department store in the world after Harrods.  It was my Mom's birthday, so we took her and my aunt to "The Drake Hotel" for afternoon tea...well worth the money! 

 

Chicago is a beautiful city!  I always really enjoy my visit and will go back often.  Cheers!

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Since Sanjeev is too humble to ever mention it, I thought I would highlight one other comment made during the meeting. 

 

When Mohnish was asked about FFH he said that he wouldn't comment on it since it's an existing position (nothing new there), however he said that there was a guy in the audience that had FFH running through his veins and if there were any questions members of the audience should ask Sanjeev.  Very impressive and as we know true.

 

Great meeting and very enjoyable talking to the other members of this board before the meeting.

 

 

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First of all, thanks Alex!

 

Regarding Pabrai's comments on the Japanese Coca Cola bottlers, cola drinks have a relatively small market share in the very innovative Japanese market where tea and coffee drinks in vending machines take a large share.

 

Another very peculiar thing is how fragmented is the Coca Cola bottling system, something like 8-9 bottlers but neither of them is a star bottler so they have not been part of the global  consolidation. They do not seem like a target either with Hellenic and Femsa having their eyes in Emerging Markets where they do not have to deal with Wal Mart or these new age drinks.

 

I have been following Coca Cola West, but their sales and operating profits plummeted in the recession. It is priced at like 10x peak EBIT but with shrinking demographics.

 

Does anyone know what he may have found interesting?

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Alex, it would be a great favor if you could post Monish's latest checklist.  I thoroughly enjoyed and profitably used the early version of his checklist after someone posted it.  Monish doesn't consider it to be proprietary, I believe, and wants others to profit by using it or similar checklists.  Thanks in advance to you or anyone else who may be able to post the updated version.  :)

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twacowfca,

 

Mohnish mentions questions in his checklist every once in a while but he doesn't make the entire checklist public. In my notes you can get 2-3 questions that he has in his checklist. For example, two questions I got out of this year's meeting was: Did I miss the forest from the trees? or Did I look at the correct variables? The first question was from Mohnish's analysis of the Davis Fund's investment in AIG and the second was from Long Leaf's investment in GM.

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twacowfca,

 

Mohnish mentions questions in his checklist every once in a while but he doesn't make the entire checklist public. In my notes you can get 2-3 questions that he has in his checklist. For example, two questions I got out of this year's meeting was: Did I miss the forest from the trees? or Did I look at the correct variables? The first question was from Mohnish's analysis of the Davis Fund's investment in AIG and the second was from Long Leaf's investment in GM.

 

-Alex Bossert

 

 

Thank you, Alex.  May I venture to add another checklist item: having too many trees or being too complicated to understand and keep tabs on what a company is doing. I took a medium deep look at AIG a few years ago and then gave up after realizing that I didn't have a clue about many opaque parts.

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