Francis Chou is a Canadian value investor and principal of Chou Associates Management Inc. In 1981, together with six fellow telephone repairmen, Francis Chou started an investment club with $51,000. He left Bell Canada in 1984 and became a retail analyst at GW Asset Management. He turned the investment club into Chou Associates Fund in 1986.
Chou Funds is a collection of five mutual funds where Chou Associates Mangement acts as the investment manager:
- Chou Associates Fund
- Chou RRSP Fund
- Chou Bond Fund
- Chou Europe Fund
- Chou Asia Fund
The funds are offered in both CAD and USD and are available in front load (Series A) or no load fee-based (Series F) formats, with $5,000 initial minimum investment and $500 subsequent investment.
The investment process followed in selecting equity investments for the Funds is a value-oriented approach to investing. This involves a detailed analysis of the strengths of individual companies, with much less emphasis on short-term market factors. Far greater importance is placed upon an assessment of a company’s balance sheet, cash flow characteristics, profitability, industry position, special strengths, future growth potential and management ability.
The level of investments in the company’s securities is generally commensurate with the current price of the company’s securities in relation to its intrinsic value as determined by the above factors. That approach is designed to provide an extra margin of safety, which in turn serves to reduce overall portfolio risk.