Howard Marks' New Memo: Investing Without People ~ market folly

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Howard Marks' New Memo: Investing Without People

Oaktree Capital's Chairman Howard Marks has penned his latest memo.  It is entitled Investing Without People and talks about the evolution of the markets with the increasing presence of index/passive investing, quant strategies, and machine learning/AI.

Marks writes,

"When people invest more in certain stocks than others, the prices of those stocks rise in relative terms. And when everyone decides to refrain from performing the functions of analysis, price discovery and capital allocation, the appropriateness of market prices can go out the window (as a result of passive investing, just as it does in a mindless boom or bust). The bottom line is that the wisdom of investing passively depends, ironically, on some people investing actively. When active investing is dismissed totally and all active efforts cease, passive investing will become imprudent and opportunities for superior returns from active investing will reemerge. At least that’s the way I see it."

He then concedes that computers can do many things better than investors. But at the same time he notes that, "Computers can do an unmatched job dealing with the things that can be counted: things that are quantitative and objective. But many other things – qualitative, subjective things – count for a great deal, and I doubt computers can do what the very best investors do."

Marks' Upcoming New Book

Also, it was recently revealed that Marks has a new book coming out in a few months entitled Mastering The Market Cycle: Getting The Odds On Your Side.

Marks' Latest Memo

Embedded below is Howard Marks' new memo, Investing Without People

You can download a .pdf copy here.

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