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The Most Important Thing
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An exceptional value investor shares an approach to investing usually reserved for professional insiders.

Table of Contents

Introduction The Most Important Thing Is... 1. Second-Level Thinking 2. Understanding Market Efficiency (and Its Limitations) 3. Value 4. The Relationship Between Price and Value 5. Understanding Risk 6. Recognizing Risk 7. Controlling Risk 8. Being Attentive to Cycles 9. Awareness of the Pendulum 10. Combating Negative Influences 11. Contrarianism 12. Finding Bargains 13. Patient Opportunism 14. Knowing What You Don't Know 15. Having a Sense for Where We Stand 16. Appreciating the Role of Luck 17. Investing Defensively 18. Avoiding Pitfalls 19. Adding Value 20. Pulling It All Together

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.

Reviews

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

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