The Pabrai funds invested in a basket of Japanese net-nets starting October 2010. Pabrai has exited all the positions with a realized gain of 2.2% including dividends, or 1.4% annualized. To me, this is surprising as the Japanese market has advanced significantly since October 2010. In search of explanation, Mornish referred to a few quotes from Ben Graham from the 1940 edition of "Security Analysis." Here is one:
"It may be pointed out, however, that investment in such bargain issues needs to be carried on with some regard to general market conditions at the time. Strangely enough, this is a type of operation that fares best, relatively speaking, when price levels are neither extremely high nor extremely low."
Pabrai expanded on this by stating that when the market bottoms it's much better to buy quality companies that have fallen precipitously with the market than focus on net-nets. When the market flies, net-nets are also ignored because investors shift their focus to both quality companies and story stocks.
Examples include Hibiya Engineering (TSE:1982) and Ryoyo Electro (TSE:8068). Both were trading below NCAV at the time of his investment, generating profits as well as positive and consistent cash flows. Managements of both companies were also repurchasing shares. Hibiya ended up just a little bit profitable, and Ryoyo turned out be a 15% loss.