Ten years ago, veteran investor and writer Howard Marks sent a contrarian -- and prescient -- memo to clients of his firm, Oaktree Capital Management, assessing the state of the hedge fund industry. Last week, Barron's checked in with Marks to get his thoughts on the industry today.
Though aimed at clients, Marks' missives are widely read on Wall Street and beyond. Marks, 68, earned his stripes as a manager focused on credit, high-yield, and distressed debt, in particular. Marks co-founded Oaktree in 1995 after spending 10 years at TCW. Oaktree oversees $91 billion in assets, specializing in alternative strategies and, again, emphasizing credit. A prolific memo writer, Marks pulled a lot of his thoughts together into a 2011 book titled The Most Important Thing: Uncommon Sense for the Thoughtful Investor.
"Hedge Funds: A Case for Caution," dated October 2004, came at a heady time for hedge funds, which were launching at a rapid pace and gathering billions of dollars from investors eager to join the alternative investing trend.
Related book: The Most Important Thing