Howard Marks

Stocks Are On The Wrong Side Of A Rate Hike

The problem with being a contrarian is the determination of where in a market cycle the “herd mentality” is operating. The collective wisdom of market participants is generally “right” during the middle of a market advance but “wrong” at market peaks and troughs. There are plenty of warning signals that suggest that investors should be getting more cautious with portfolio allocations. However, the “herd” is still supporting asset prices at current levels based primarily on the “fear” of missing out on further advances.

US Futures Pressured By European Weakness; Oil Flat, Dollar Rises

For the fourth day in a row, US traders arrive at their desks with US equity futures largely rangebound if with a modestly heavy bias, pressured by some recent weakness in European stocks, where DB continues to post modest gains following yesterday's report that Germany is pursuing "discrete talks" over the fate of the German lender. Oil has regained earlier losses following comments by Algeria's oil minister who said that OPEC could cut 1% more than agreed upon while sterling continues to slide on growing concerns of a "hard Brexit."

Bob Farrell's (Illustrated) 10-Investment Rules

Regardless of how many times we discuss these issues, quote successful investors, or warn of the dangers – the response from both individuals and investment professionals is always the same... “I am a long term, fundamental value, investor.  So these rules don’t really apply to me.” No, you’re not. Yes, they do. Individuals are long term investors only as long as the markets are rising.

World's Top Investors "Ring Alarm" At All Time Market Highs

The big rally in stocks and bonds has some of the world’s top money managers putting up warning signs. Laurence Fink and Howard Marks joined the likes of Bill Gross and Jeffrey Gundlach cautioning that buyers may be getting ahead of themselves... by about 25%.

The New "Hope"

What you think about the market doesn’t matter. What everyone thinks about the market (the consensus) doesn’t matter. What matters is what everyone thinks that everyone thinks about the market, and the way you get ahead of this game is to track the “Missionary statements” of politicians, pundits, and bankers made through the four media microphones where the Common Knowledge of markets is created: The Wall Street Journal, The Financial Times, Bloomberg, and CNBC. Today the investment hope that has crystalized into an investment theme is the notion that soon, just around the corner now, perhaps as a result of the next mystery-shrouded meeting of the world’s central bankers, perhaps as a result of the U.S. election this November, we will enjoy a coordinated global infrastructure spending boom.

Hedge Fund Billionaire Slams Democracy, Says The "Tyranny Of The Majority Is An Unhealthy Development"

In his latest letter to investors, OakTree Capital's Howard Marks goes political (slamming Trump's tariffs and Bernie's minimum wage machinations), shedding some blinding light on the economic reality of America, the dismal failure (and increasing impotence) of central bankers, and the ongoing "tryanny of the majority" warning that if everyone wants to tax-the-rich, soon there will be no rich to tax. As he concludes, short-term fixes simply cannot create wealth out of thin air (see Venezuela), as Churchill once said "for a nation to try to tax [or stimulate or devalue] itself into prosperity is like a man standing in a bucket and trying to lift himself up by the handle."

Is Trump's "Recession Warning" Really All Wrong?

There is currently no evidence of a recession now, or even in the few months ahead. There never is. While Trump’s call of a “massive recession” may seem far-fetched based on today’s economic data points, no one was calling for a recession in early 2000 or 2007 either. By the time the data is adjusted, and the eventual recession is revealed, it won’t matter as the damage will have already been done.

"Manic Depressive" Market Needs "Wholesale Panic" Before It Bottoms

"The market is manic depressive and it swings from seeing only the positives to seeing only the negatives," notes the world’s biggest distressed-debt investor, Howard Marks, but for now, as Bloomberg reports, the extremes (in risk pricing and sentiment) that usually signal opportunity (or capitulation) are not present. As Guggenheim's Scott Minerd warns, "wholesale panic" is what's needed before the market turns, and as RBS notes, "1,800 might come pretty quick."

Howard Marks Warns "Investor Behavior Has Entered A Zone Of Imprudence"

"Security prices are not low. I wouldn’t say high, but full. So people are thinking cautiously but they’re acting bullish and they’re behaving in a pro-risk fashion. While investor behavior hasn’t sunk to the depths seen just before the crisis, in many ways I feel it has entered the zone of imprudence... The market is not an accommodating machine. It will not go where you want it to go just because you need it to go there."

Your Brain Is Killing Your Returns

In the end, we are just human. Despite the best of our intentions, it is nearly impossible for an individual to be devoid of the emotional biases that inevitably lead to poor investment decision making over time. This is why all great investors have strict investment disciplines that they follow to reduce the impact of human emotions. Take a step back from the media and Wall Street commentary for a moment and make an honest assessment of the financial markets today. Does the current extension of the financial markets appear to be rational? Are individuals current assessing the "possibilities" or the "probabilities" in the markets?