Howard Marks: "Common Sense Is Not Common"
As usual, Oaktree's Howard Marks cuts to the chase in his latest memo. Much as we just discussed the seeming complacency and drop in risk perception that currently exists, Marks scoffs at the 'It's Different This Time'-argument noting "there’s sure to be another cycle, another bubble and another crisis. There’ll be another time when people overpay for exciting investment ideas because their future appears limitless, and then a time of disillusionment and price collapse. There’ll be another period when leverage is embraced to excess, and then, consequently, a period when it gets people killed. And there’ll certainly be another time when people can only imagine the possibility of gain, and then one when – after huge sums have been lost – they can think only of further declines." Touching on the extremes of dysphoria and complacency that summarize the herd of global investors, he nails the reality of the crowd: "common sense isn’t common. The crowd is invariably wrong at the extremes. In the investing world, everything that’s intuitively obvious is questionable and everything that’s important is counter-intuitive."