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Howard Marks - Outlook for Equities


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There's little I hate more than investment generalizations.

 

It has immediately become one of my favourite quotes from Mr. Howard Marks.  :)

 

giofranchi

 

“As time goes on I get more and more convinced that the right method in investment is to put fairly large sums into enterprises which one thinks one knows something about and in the management of which one thoroughly believes. It is a mistake to think that one limits one’s risk by spreading too much between enterprises about which one knows little and has no reason for special confidence.” - John Maynard Keynes

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There's little I hate more than investment generalizations.

 

It has immediately become one of my favourite quotes from Mr. Howard Marks.  :)

 

giofranchi

 

“As time goes on I get more and more convinced that the right method in investment is to put fairly large sums into enterprises which one thinks one knows something about and in the management of which one thoroughly believes. It is a mistake to think that one limits one’s risk by spreading too much between enterprises about which one knows little and has no reason for special confidence.” - John Maynard Keynes

 

Gio, how does your views compare to what Marks just said in this memo?  It seems like he is much less pessimistic than you?

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Gio, how does your views compare to what Marks just said in this memo?  It seems like he is much less pessimistic than you?

 

I am not really pessimistic… I like to think of my view on the markets as cautious… And that I don’t think it is the right time to reach for yield… or to grow by leaps and bounds. That time will come, but I don’t think it is now. By nature I find much easier to grow 6.5% for 8 years, and then to grow 50% in year 9 and 10. Rather than to grow steadily by 14% each year. And right now I think it is the moment to accept a 6.5% return on my firm’s equity. I don’t think that means I am pessimistic… To get to that 6.5%, in fact, I am still heavily invested in the market!

If you ask me: do I agree more with Mr. Watsa or Mr. Marks? … well, that’s really tough! Just let me answer this way: 10% of my firm’s capital is in OAK, 30% is in FFH. :)

 

giofranchi

 

“As time goes on I get more and more convinced that the right method in investment is to put fairly large sums into enterprises which one thinks one knows something about and in the management of which one thoroughly believes. It is a mistake to think that one limits one’s risk by spreading too much between enterprises about which one knows little and has no reason for special confidence.” - John Maynard Keynes

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Gio I agree with your post above regarding what to expect in terms of gains...I'd rather take 6% for years when I have no flashes of brilliance (and believe me, there are many) and then take a 50% gain in 1-2 years when I do have a good idea.

 

I also like this quote from Mr. Marks, because it really boils down common stock investing:

Generally speaking, I view an asset as having a certain quantum of return potential over its lifetime. The foundation for its returns comes from its ability to produce cash flow. To that base number we should add further return potential if the asset is undervalued and thus can be expected to appreciate to fair value, and we should reduce our view of its return potential it it is overvalued and thus can be expected to decline to fair value.

 

And I'm only through five pages!

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