The Most Important Thing: Uncommon Sense for the Thoughtful Investor

Hardcover | May 1, 2011

byHoward Marks

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"This is that rarity, a useful book."--Warren Buffett

Howard Marks, the chairman and cofounder of Oaktree Capital Management, is renowned for his insightful assessments of market opportunity and risk. After four decades spent ascending to the top of the investment management profession, he is today sought out by the world's leading value investors, and his client memos brim with insightful commentary and a time-tested, fundamental philosophy. Now for the first time, all readers can benefit from Marks's wisdom, concentrated into a single volume that speaks to both the amateur and seasoned investor.

Informed by a lifetime of experience and study, The Most Important Thing explains the keys to successful investment and the pitfalls that can destroy capital or ruin a career. Utilizing passages from his memos to illustrate his ideas, Marks teaches by example, detailing the development of an investment philosophy that fully acknowledges the complexities of investing and the perils of the financial world. Brilliantly applying insight to today's volatile markets, Marks offers a volume that is part memoir, part creed, with a number of broad takeaways.

Marks expounds on such concepts as "second-level thinking," the price/value relationship, patient opportunism, and defensive investing. Frankly and honestly assessing his own decisions--and occasional missteps--he provides valuable lessons for critical thinking, risk assessment, and investment strategy. Encouraging investors to be "contrarian," Marks wisely judges market cycles and achieves returns through aggressive yet measured action. Which element is the most essential? Successful investing requires thoughtful attention to many separate aspects, and each of Marks's subjects proves to be the most important thing.

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From the Publisher

"This is that rarity, a useful book."--Warren BuffettHoward Marks, the chairman and cofounder of Oaktree Capital Management, is renowned for his insightful assessments of market opportunity and risk. After four decades spent ascending to the top of the investment management profession, he is today sought out by the world's leading val...

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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Format:HardcoverDimensions:200 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.98 inPublished:May 1, 2011Publisher:Columbia University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0231153686

ISBN - 13:9780231153683

Customer Reviews of The Most Important Thing: Uncommon Sense for the Thoughtful Investor

Reviews

Rated 4 out of 5 by from unique perspective I was reading an article last month on a business web site and it made a mention of Howard Marks. In the article, it stated that when Warren Buffett received a memo from Howard Marks that it was the first thing that he reads and he usually learns something new. I couldn’t pass by this high praise from Mr Buffett without some further exploration. link to full article: http://www.realdealstocks.com/book-review-the-most-important-thing-illuminated-by-howard-marks/
Date published: 2013-02-04

Extra Content

Table of Contents

IntroductionThe Most Important Thing Is... 1. Second-Level Thinking2. Understanding Market Efficiency (and Its Limitations)3. Value4. The Relationship Between Price and Value5. Understanding Risk6. Recognizing Risk 7. Controlling Risk8. Being Attentive to Cycles 9. Awareness of the Pendulum 10. Combating Negative Influences 11. Contrarianism12. Finding Bargains13. Patient Opportunism 14. Knowing What You Don't Know15. Having a Sense for Where We Stand16. Appreciating the Role of Luck17. Investing Defensively18. Avoiding Pitfalls19. Adding Value20. Pulling It All Together

Editorial Reviews

[A] must-read book.