The Berkshire Special 2018

"Prudence in owning outstanding companies is not necessarily about buying them cheap"

Giverny Capital’s Francois Rochon on sizing up management, and why investing is an imprecise art

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Published 3 years ago on May 28, 2018 17 minutes Read
Photographs by Rajesh Padmashali

A disciple of Ben Graham and Warren Buffett, Canadian value investor François Rochon founded Giverny Capital in 1993. An art connoisseur, Giverny is Rochon’s tribute to the hometown of his favourite artist Claude Monet. The influence of art is evident in Rochon’s investing approach; he looks for beauty in a balance sheet and identifies great managers like he scouts for contemporary artists. Just like artists are independent in their thoughts and actions, Rochon believes so should an investor. If the stock selection process is rational, investment returns will eventually follow, believes the art buff. Not surprising that an engineer by education, Rochon has turned out to be an exceptional investment manager with his portfolio yielding 15.7% CAGR since inception. In a free-wheeling chat, Rochon speaks about his hits and misses and elucidates on why investing is far from easy when errors of omission often prove more costly than errors of commission.