The Most Important Thing by Howard Marks
Uncommon Sense for the Thoughtful Investor (Columbia Business School Publishing)

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Synopsis

Chairman and cofounder of Oaktree Capital Management, Howard Marks has been linked to Warren Buffett for his lucid assessments of market opportunities and risks. His memos to clients have long been consulted by the world's leading value investors. Now he brings his insightful commentary and investment philosophy to everyone.

Informed by a lifetime of experience and study, Marks helps readers understand the keys to investment success and how to avoid the pitfalls that can destroy capital or ruin a career. Utilizing passages from his memos to illustrate his ideas, he teaches by example. Part memoir, part creed, the book shows the development of an investment philosophy that fully acknowledges the complexities of investing and the perils of the financial world. Marks's insight applies brilliantly to today's markets, supplying many broad takeaways for both the amateur and seasoned investor.

Marks expounds on such concepts as "second-level thinking," the price/value relationship, patient opportunism, and defensive investing. His frank and honest assessment of his own decisions—and occasional missteps—provides valuable lessons on critical thinking, risk assessment, and investment strategy. Marks encourages investors to be "contrarian," to judge market cycles wisely, and to achieve returns through aggressive yet measured action. Which is the most essential element? Successful investing requires thoughtful attention to many separate aspects. Each of the subjects Marks covers is the most important thing.
 

About Howard Marks

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Howard Marks is chairman and cofounder of Oaktree Capital Management, a Los Angeles-based investment firm with seventy-five billion dollars under management. He holds a Bachelor's Degree in finance from the Wharton School and an MBA in accounting and marketing from the University of Chicago. He is the author of The Most Important Thing: Uncommon Sense for the Thoughtful Investor.Bruce C. Greenwald holds the Robert Heilbrunn Professorship of Finance and Asset Management at Columbia Business School and is the academic director of the Heilbrunn Center for Graham & Dodd Investing. He is the coauthor of The Curse of the Mogul: What's Wrong with the World's Leading Media Companies.
 
Published April 19, 2011 by Columbia University Press. 196 pages
Genres: Business & Economics. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Most Important Thing

Kirkus Reviews

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The world of market investing is often complex and uncertain, but Marks presents his knowledge and experience in an understandable style.

Apr 18 2011 | Read Full Review of The Most Important Thing: Unc...

New York Journal of Books

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“The model that Mr. Marks presents for market assessment alone is worth the price of the book.”In an instructive scene in Max Dugan Returns—the 1983 movie about a long absent man (played by Jason Robards) visiting his daughter (played by Marcia Mason) and grandson (played by Mathew Broderick) bef...

May 01 2011 | Read Full Review of The Most Important Thing: Unc...

Seeking Alpha

Great book, but can a great book be made better?

Apr 13 2012 | Read Full Review of The Most Important Thing: Unc...

Seeking Alpha

Investing scared, requiring good value and a substantial margin for error, and being conscious of what you don’t know and can’t control are hallmarks of the best investors I know.” (p.

May 02 2011 | Read Full Review of The Most Important Thing: Unc...

Seeking Alpha

Early on, Mr. Marks distinguishes value investing from other investment styles, and cites the infamous Nifty Fifty of the late 60s and early 70s as a stark example of the perils of growth investing and misplaced risk taking.

May 10 2011 | Read Full Review of The Most Important Thing: Unc...

Seeking Alpha

Paying attention to economic cycles may be important, but judging by how much Marks talks about risk and how much price paid factors into that, it's clear Marks considers risk/price consideration more important than cycles -- even if the book's title says otherwise.

Jun 01 2011 | Read Full Review of The Most Important Thing: Unc...

Seeking Alpha

44) - Howard Marks "Fear of looking wrong" - If the goal of value investing is to buy below intrinsic value, then the value investor is going to need some serious contrarian conviction to hold on to the stock until the market comes to agree with you and prices the stock closer to intrinsic value.

Sep 03 2012 | Read Full Review of The Most Important Thing: Unc...

The Finance Professional's Post

The Finance Professionals' Post educates readers in the finance and banking sectors on the forces that shape their business.

Aug 11 2011 | Read Full Review of The Most Important Thing: Unc...

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