The Most Important Thing: Uncommon Sense for the Thoughtful Investor

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Columbia University Press, Apr 19, 2011 - Business & Economics - 192 pages
3 Reviews
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.
 

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User Review  - browner56 - LibraryThing

If you were to ask most people to name their top ten favorite novelists, movie stars, or musical performers, there may not be a lot of agreement across the lists they’d create, but no one would have ... Read full review

In need of an editor.

User Review  - djgmd - Overstock.com

This 180 page book could easily be edited down to a 20 page article without loss of value. One must be suspicious of the value of the investment advice given by such a ripoff artist. Read full review

Contents

THE MOST IMPORTANT THING
1
Understanding Market Efficiency and Its Limitations
7
Value
16
Understanding Risk
31
Recognizing Risk
46
Controlling Risk
57
Being Attentive to Cycles
67
Awareness of the Pendulum
73
Patient Opportunism
107
Knowing What You Dont Know
116
Having a Sense for Where We Stand
124
16
133
Investing Defensively
141
Avoiding Pitfalls
153
Adding Value
166
8
170

Combating Negative Influences
80
Contrarianism
91
Finding Bargains
100
Pulling It All Together
173
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About the author (2011)

Howard Marks is chairman and cofounder of Oaktree Capital Management, a Los Angeles-based investment firm with $80 billion 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.

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