Who is Howard Marks?
His name is likely unfamiliar to most in the retail industry, but Howard Marks’ perspective on economic conditions and financial markets should be of interest to anyone concerned about consumer confidence and spending.
Howard Marks serves as Co-Chairman of Oaktree Capital Management and is well known in financial circles for his insightful, conservative and successful views on investing. It is the type of perspective that has made Oaktree popular with large institutional investors. For example, Oakree’s client roster includes three fourths of the 100 largest U.S. pension plans, more than 400 global companies, 350 endowments and 38 of the 50 primary state retirement plans in the United States.
Several times a year, Marks pens lengthy memos to clients weighing in on market conditions, risk and the road ahead. The latest memo titled, “There they go again…again,” had financial pundits’ tongues wagging last week due to its cautionary tone. The “they” in this case refers to a current climate in which investors seem willing to take excessive risks. “Again,” refers to a similar climate he observed in 2005 with a memo titled “There they go again,” which in hindsight appears to foretell the financial crisis.
Marks concedes he is a born worrier who is often early to raise red flags, but then lays out a compelling argument why there is plenty of reason to worry. The document is a great read, whether you are a C-level executive responsible for the performance of a billion organization or an hourly worker with a modest 401K balance. To read the memo, click here.