Howard Marks, Chairman of Oaktree Capital Management, is scheduled to speak at the Value Investing Congress West investment conference which will take place in Pasadena, California on May 3 and 4. We highly recommend listening to what Mr. Marks will have to say at the conference based on attending his presentation at Columbia University on February 4. As we described in an article after the Columbia conference, the presentation was full of valuable insights for investors, particularly as it related to how one should think about probability and risk.
In his forthcoming book, The Most Important Thing, scheduled for release in May, Mr. Marks expands on the themes he covered in the Columbia presentation and goes into much depth on the concept of “second-level thinking”. At the risk of oversimplifying the concept, second-level thinking essentially boils down to the ability to think in probabilistic terms about the set of outcomes that could occur rather than to make investment decisions based only on the investor’s notion of what the most likely outcome might be. Avoiding “single scenario investing” would have spared many investors much of the pain that was experienced during the financial crisis.
Based on an electronic review copy of the book obtained by The Rational Walk, we highly recommend that all investors obtain a copy in May and also consider attending the Value Investing Congress in Pasadena. Investors who are looking for a formulaic “cookbook” for how to achieve superior investment returns will not find what they are looking for in the book, but those who are seeking to improve their general thought process and approach will find much value.
Readers of The Rational Walk are eligible for a $300 discount for the Value Investing Congress in Pasadena on May 3 and 4. To qualify for the discount, please use the following link and be sure to specify Discount Code W11RW10 upon check out. The discount expires on April 14, 2011 at which time the price to register will increase. Disclosure: The Rational Walk receives a referral fee for registrations generated through the link.