Howard Marks of Oaktree Capital began writing his Chairman’s Memos as part of his “thought process” in 1990. He describes the first decade of printing them — literally on paper, inserting them into stamped envelopes and physically mailing them off into the world — and receiving zero response. “We didn’t even know if anyone got them.” His January 2000 letter “Bubble.com” — was dead right and perfectly timed. When it became a Barron’s cover story, it was his first inkling that people were actually reading these.
The next hint people were reading these came when Berkshire Hathaway’s Warren Buffett urged Marks to write a book based on his memos, and offered to write a blurb for it. That book became Marks first effort as an author, the well regarded “The Most Important Thing.”
Marks discusses this and other topics in our special Live edition of Masters in Business, broadcast live on Bloomberg Television and Radio from the Bloomberg NY headquarters on February 25, 2019. Video can be found here.
Oaktree manages over $120 billion dollars in distressed debt. His new book is “Mastering the Market Cycle: Getting the Odds on Your Side.” Our prior conversations with Marks are here: 2015, 2017, and 2018.
His favorite books are here; a transcript of our conversation will be posted shortly.
You can stream/download the full conversation, including the podcast extras on iTunes, Bloomberg, Overcast, and Stitcher. Our earlier podcasts can all be found at iTunes, Stitcher, Overcast, and Bloomberg.
Next week, we speak with John Chisholm, Co-Chief Executive Officer and co-Chief Investment Officer of Acadian Asset Management, a quantitative global equity manager running $86.5 billion dollars in assets.