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Die-hard value investor and avid follower of Warren Buffet and Benjamin Graham, Prem Watsa moved to Canada from India with just $600 in his pocket and built a fortune worth over $ 40 Bn in Fairfax – an insurance and investment management behemoth he created on the lines of Buffett’s Berkshire Hathway. Until 2010, Fairfax delivered a 15 year average return of 18.3% p.a against 0.4% p.a. for the US S&P 500. Little wonder that he is popularly known as Canada’s Warren Buffett.

The world's most anticipated fund launch of 2018
By 2005, Steven Cohen was widely acclaimed as the world’s “hedge fund king”. His firm – SAC Capital Advisors – was delivering astounding returns to clients – 30% CAGR over 18 years by 2008. He was the best paid hedge fund manager, topping annual compensation of over US$ 1 Billion a decade ago (Rs.6500 crs p.a.). And then came the fall

If the direction is right, all you need to do is keep walking
Some attribute this priceless piece of wisdom to Gautam Buddha, others believe it was not him who said this. Regardless of which visionary actually said this, Prashant Jain draws on these words of wisdom to show us the path to investing successfully at a time when investors find themselves at a crossroads of having to choose between short term concerns vs long term conviction to guide their investment actions.

He returned 10,000 crs to investors on bubble concerns
He’s blunt, he’s forthright, he calls a spade a spade. Earlier this year, when he saw the bubble building up in Australian real estate (Australia and Canada are widely seen as bubble zone property markets) and the rapidly escalating Chinese debt situation (70% of Australian exports are to China), he became convinced that Australian equity markets are in for a hard landing. Rather than talking to investors about the “long term view”, he bluntly told them that he sees a bubble which he is not comfortable with, and therefore decided to sell out all his holdings and return the money to his investors.

The world's toughest vulture capitalist
He makes money in a way few would ever dare to: he buys sovereign debt of countries in distress and then goes after them, often suing them successfully to honour their commitments, making a neat pile of money in the process. He took on the President of Argentina, he battled with Governments in Peru and Congo to name just a few of his successful “vulture capitalist” exploits. He manages over $ 33 Bn in assets and made waves in the hyper-competitive hedge fund world in May 2017, by raising over $ 5 Bn in just 24 hours in a new tranche of money he took in for his next vulture fund.

Investors pay for performance - here is evidence
Globally, the asset management business is seeing shrinking margins as low-cost passive investing gains momentum at the expense of higher cost active strategies. The hedge fund world is an exception though, on the back of their superior track record. And within the hedge fund world, Stephen Mandel stands out with a unique fee structure which he says is a win-win for his clients and his managers, though detractors say his clients end up paying more.

The Silent Assassin
20% CAGR return over 37 long years – 50% higher than the benchmark. A fund manager who actively seeks out research to disprove his investment thesis, rather than support it. A money manager who believes equally in fundamental as well as technical analysis. Contrarian value investor who earned the nickname “The Silent Assassin” for his silent yet effective shareholder activism. Meet the UK’s foremost fund manager: Anthony Bolton.

36% CAGR over 20 years
The king of spotting and investing in rags that turn to riches. Value investor with a contrarian twist who swoops down on troubled assets when the world shuns them. Always a first mover, leader of the herd. Among the wealthiest hedge fund managers in the world – in 2016 alone, he personally earned over US$ 1.2 billion (that’s over Rs. 7,800 crores). Between 1993 and 2013, he delivered a whopping 36% CAGR over a two decade long period. That’s David Tepper for you: one of the wisest investors in the world today.

A must read to prepare you for the next market downturn
30 billion dollars under management in one of the most respected hedge funds in the world. 20% CAGR over a three decade long period. Ace value investor. But most importantly, always a keen learner – that’s Seth Klarman for you. His book “Margin of Safety” is akin to the Bible for value investors. More importantly for all of us are the insightful lessons and “false lessons” that he penned from his learnings from the 2008 crash. Read them and prepare wisely for the next market downturn, whenever it comes.

The low risk high return genius
High risk-high return is rubbish – because the prospects of high returns automatically means lower probability of risk. You got to either believe that an asset at a price represents high risk or high return prospects – not both. Investing, according to Howard Marks, is about identifying and investing in assets where the downside risk appears low and upside appears considerable – ie, low risk – high returns. The man who is famous the world over for his “OakTree memos” raised the highest amount anyone has for distressed assets funds in 2008 and delivered outstanding results for his clients – a great example of low risk – high return investing.

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