Samir Arora, whiz-kid fund manager with the Billion-dollar Helios Capital Fund, has two unique personality traits.
The first is that he is permanently bullish about Indian stocks. In fact, Samir gets mighty irritated at the fact that people are not investing all of their funds into stocks. This is best exemplified by the classic, sarcastic and tongue-in-cheek article that Samir Arora wrote in Outlook Business during the depths of the stock market crises in 2012. In that, Samir mocked retail investors for buying Enfield motorcycles, gorging on Jubilant Foodworks’ pizzas and watching movies in PVR Cinemas instead of buying stocks of the respective companies.
If we would have listened to Samir Arora’s wisdom at that time and bought stocks of the companies referred to by him, we would today be basking in untold riches!
Samir Arora’s second unique personality trait is that he is very blunt in his talk. He does not hesitate to speak his mind and let loose a barrage of criticism, no matter what the status or stature of the victim is.
Eminent film maker Ram Gopal Verma learnt this the hard way a few months ago when he became the victim of an acerbic tweet from Samir Arora for making a silly comment about cricket.
Whiz-kid Mohnish Pabrai is the latest to fall foul of Samir Arora’s vigilantism.
In his latest interview to valuewalk, Mohnish Pabrai was asked why he had not invested in Indian companies so far. Mohnish said “I had stayed away from India as most of the companies tend to be family owned and lots of them have governance issues and hence we didn’t prefer to invest in family controlled businesses”.
This comment got Samir Arora’s goat and he was quick to slam Mohnish:
Had stayd away fm India as most cos tend to b fmly owned & lots of them hv governance issues Pabrai's pathetic excuse 4 not investing in IND
— Samir Arora (@Iamsamirarora) July 3, 2015
(Had stayd away fm India as most cos tend to b fmly owned & lots of them hv governance issues Pabrai’s pathetic excuse 4 not investing in IND)
Samir Arora continued ranting that Mohnish is “giving wrong reasons to run down” and “Why is bottom up investor giving such random excuses”. He added that Mohnish ought to have admitted that he “made a mistake” and not give “random excuses”.
Samir Arora was pacified only when someone reminded him that it is a good thing that heavy-duty investors like Mohnish Pabrai come in late and buy stocks when they are already 10x up. “i forgot that- yes i like that thought” Samir conceded.
To Mohnish Pabrai’s credit, it must be said that he appears to have realized his folly. He is trying to make up for it by going on a buying rampage and scooping up huge truckloads of quality stocks like South Indian Bank, J&K Bank, GIC Housing Finance and Rain Industries. Fortunately, some stocks like Rain Industries have also given Mohnish Pabrai handsome gains in the short period that he has invested in them.
This will undoubtedly have boosted Mohnish’s confidence level about Indian stocks and we can expect him to go into another buying binge soon.
At that stage, we hope to see a tweet from Samir Arora complimenting Mohnish Pabrai for his sensible action.