The media loves Warren Buffet, and why not? Even on my blog I get more hits if I write about Warren Buffett. It is a well searched name and shows up on search all over the world.
Let us see whom all the media has called Warren Buffett, and why all of that is wrong. Completely wrong.
- Rakesh Jhunjhunwala: My classmate from CA (no not trying to coattail investing, just stating) is no doubt a good/ great investor but he is not WB. RJ does not take over companies, turn them around, sit on the board, restructure the company and then take it public again. I am sure if somebody else where to do it, RJ will fund, but that is not his main business. So RJ may be a great investor and perhaps better than WB, but he is not WB. RJ is a good investor, he invests in public listed companies (largely), waits for the share to do well, and then sells off. Maybe he holds it over 20 years, but he does not really participate in management.
- Vallabh Bhansali: Another brilliant investor who keeps track of all the companies in which he has invested. The man who spotted Infosys at the start, holds Supreme Industries since the 1980s or 1990s. Held Hero Honda right from the start. Coromandel International, Cholamandalam, Coromandel International, many mncs, etc. have been in his portfolio. Infosys he trusted and got rewards. Crest animation he entered and ran away. It was shit. If you coattail invested with him, you got seriously rich. Yes like Prashant Jain he did his sector rotations right, and of course his net worth has a lot more digits than what we have, but no he is no Buffett.
- Prashant Jain: he is a fund manager, dammit. He has a lot of restrictions on what he can buy, how much he can buy, how should be the composition, etc. His portfolio is subject to a lot of scrutiny, he reports to a board and on a day to day basis some “investor” who can redeem. There is no way how he can ‘take over’ a company, take it private, change the auditor, change the scrutiny methods, etcc. So PJ is good (I hold a Hdfc Mf) but he cannot be manager cum owner…
- Nimesh Shah: Brilliant investor, part of Enam, handles own money, is a merchant and investment banker, but no he is not a businessman. Just an investor cum fund manager.
So if it is not these 4 people, it is not Naren Sankaran,…who can really be compared to Warren Buffett?
Well it can only be big businessmen…who are businessmen cum fund managers. Well Azim Premji? Mukesh Ambani?
Well yes, these people can be compared to WB. When a Raghav Behl was in financial distress he went to MDA who took over his company. Yes one day he may list it. Or take it private. Or merge it with another media company. All possibilities exist. As a shareholder of Reliance you really do not have too much of a choice. Exactly. The only thing that you can do is sell the share.
Recently I saw one of India’s very popular funds make 2 stupid moves. Since I know the fund manager I think the act bordered on being criminal. I have no clue how to react. A lot of my friends have money in that fund manager’s funds. Yes I am doing a rethink.
The worry is if you are a unit holder or a shareholder, you can only walk. Whether it is a mutual fund, Reliance Industries or Berkshire Hathaway.
No, I shall not name the fund scheme. Famous fund. No I do not know the fund manager, I know his boss, the CIO. Does not help.
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