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The Most Important Thing: Uncommon Sense for the Thoughtful Investor Hardcover – Illustrated, May 1 2011

4.6 out of 5 stars 2,011 ratings

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Product description

Review

Everyone knows about the anticipation leading up to Warren Buffett's annual shareholder letters. But for a certain Wall Street set, there are equally high expectations for the writings of Howard Marks.

(Peter Lattman Wall Street Journal)^

Regular recipients of Howard Marks's investment memos eagerly await their arrival for the essential truths and unique insights they contain. Now the wisdom and experience of this great investor are available to all. The Most Important Thing, Marks's insightful investment philosophy and time-tested approach, is a must read for every investor.

(Seth A. Klarman, president, The Baupost Group)^

When I see memos from Howard Marks in my mail, they're the first thing I open and read. I always learn something, and that goes double for his book.

(Warren Buffett, Chairman and CEO, Berkshire Hathaway)^

Few books on investing match the high standards set by Howard Marks in The Most Important Thing. It is wise, witty, and laced with historical perspective. If you seek to avoid the pitfalls of investing, you must read this book!

(John C. Bogle, Founder and former CEO, The Vanguard Group)^

If you take an exceptional talent and have them obsess about value investing for several decades, including deep thinking about its very essence with written analysis along the way, you may come up with a book as useful to value investors as this one—but don't count on it.

(Jeremy Grantham, cofounder and chief investment strategist, Grantham Mayo Van Otterloo)^

The Most Important Thing is destined to become an investment classic-it should easily earn its place on every thinking investor's bookshelf. Howard Marks has distilled years of investment wisdom into a short book that is lucid, entertaining, and ultimately profound.

(Joel Greenblatt, Columbia Business School, founder and managing partner of Gotham Capital)^

A clear and expert resource for all investors.

(Kirkus Reviews)^

Veteran value-investing manager Howard Marks draws on pithy memos he wrote to clients over the years to dispense insightful advice on everything from risk taking to the role of luck.

(Money Magazine)^

There is, quite simply, an incredible amount of wisdom between the covers of his book and an investor is doing them a disservice if they don't read, and re-read, this book.

(FocusInvestor.com)^

The book is written in a way that both seasoned investors and novices should appreciate.

(Brenda Jubin Seeking Alpha)^

If Benjamin Graham's and David Dodd's Securities Analysis was the essential, must have investment book of the end of the 20th century, then Howard Marks's The Most Important Thing is a serious contender for parallel status in the 21st century.

(Stephen E. Roulac New York Journal of Books)^

...many valuable insights into the psychological roots of investors' habitual errors.

(Martin Fridson Barron's)^

All investors should read it.

(Alex Dumortier The Motley Fool)^

"The Most Important Thing"... offers readers an overview of how to think when considering an investment opportunity, which is quite valuable indeed, considering studies have shown most people tend to make impulsive, indiscriminate investment decisions.

(Syracuse Post-Standard)^

[A] must-read book.

(David J. Waldron Seeking Alpha)

About the Author

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.

Love in the air, coffee in their cup

Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Columbia Business School Publishing; Illustrated edition (May 1 2011)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 200 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0231153686
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0231153683
  • Item weight ‏ : ‎ 431 g
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 15.88 x 2.54 x 23.5 cm
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.6 out of 5 stars 2,011 ratings

About the author

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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.

Customer reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5
2,011 global ratings

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Top reviews from other countries

Djilly L.
3.0 out of 5 stars Didn't grow my wealth yet
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on March 29, 2019
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Djilly L.
3.0 out of 5 stars Didn't grow my wealth yet
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on March 29, 2019
This book is not so much about fancy academic financial calculations. Nor does it provide a single trick that guarantees astronomical profits. However it does go back to the basics and stresses several key principles for survival in financial markets. As such, there is not a single important thing in investing, to which I do agree. I was less pleased with the endless references to Wharton, and the books from Taleb and Warren Buffet that most people with interest in the subject will have read.

The book addresses topics like market psychology (go against the crowd at extreme ends of investor psychology), the asymmetrical relationship between gains vs losses (you need a 100% gain to recover from a 50% loss), estimates, economical cycles, behaviour, risk management. And the differences between loser's game and winner's game, or the difference between offense and defence.

The book is more a collection of market comments and thoughts from his frequent letters and a memoir of his career. Each chapter is fairly brief and informative, although my thoughts drifted away with a certain frequency in the first half of the book. All in all it is a decent recap but not overly revealing. If you fail to realise you need to take risk, be contrarian and that you need come up with unique ideas to generate excess performance as an investor you would have been ramping up losses or been out of business soon.

As an style-agnostic active equity fund manager of a fairly sizeable pool of AuM I didn’t always agree with the author’s arguments as a value investor. But it was helpful to see some basic principles phrased. And I developed more sympathy towards the end of the book, but more so because it's there that the author alludes more to core principles that I and my team have stuck to for the past few decades. But there wasn't anything new or that we haven't brought in practice. As such it's more an instruction for new or retail investors about how successful asset mangers think, act and operate. But then you wonder what they would do with the concept of ‘alpha’ or where they would get their unique insight or ‘second level of understanding’ to make proper investment decisions.. Also all these concepts are helpful and meaningful but don't expect to learn 'how' to invest i.e. there is nothing about the what the author calls the 'micro approach' the selection and actual analysis of assets and investments, while he repeatedly tresses that such fundamental research and analysis is key to successful investment returns.
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14 people found this helpful
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Gaurav Sharma
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful book for those interested in learning about investing
Reviewed in India 🇮🇳 on December 30, 2018
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50 people found this helpful
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Mark
5.0 out of 5 stars A brilliant book but not for your first investment book
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on November 17, 2012
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39 people found this helpful
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G Singh
5.0 out of 5 stars The Most Important Thing is Read This Book
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on December 25, 2020
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3 people found this helpful
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D. L. Anderton
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on January 7, 2012
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11 people found this helpful
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