Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Howard Marks quotes

From The Most Important Thing (and his April 2007 letter, "Everyone Knows"):
...most investors think quality, as opposed to price, is the determinant of whether something’s risky. But high quality assets can be risky, and low quality assets can be safe. It’s just a matter of the price paid for them. . . . Elevated popular opinion, then, isn’t just the source of low return potential, but also of high risk.

In that memo, Marks also wrote:
The bottom line is that what “everyone knows” isn’t at all helpful in investing. What everyone knows is bound to already be reflected in the price, meaning a buyer is paying for whatever it is that everyone thinks they know. Thus, if the consensus view is right, it’s likely to produce an average return. And if the consensus turns out to be too rosy, everyone’s likely to suffer together. That’s why I remind people that merely being right doesn’t lead to superior investment results. If you’re right and the consensus is right, your return won’t be anything to write home about. To be superior, you have to be more right than the average investor.