Howard Marks: What you pay for it

“It’s not what you buy that determines your results, it’s what you pay for it.” –Howard Marks (Mastering the Market Cycle).

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Howard Marks: Uncertainty

“I’m firmly convinced that markets will continue to rise and fall, and I think I know (a) why and (b) what makes these movements more or less imminent. But I’m sure I’ll never know when they’re going to turn up or down, how far they’ll go after they do, how fast they’ll move, when they’ll turn back toward the midpoint, or how far they’ll continue on the opposite side. So there’s a great deal to admit uncertainty about.” —Howard Marks.

Howard Marks: Thankful heart

“The philosopher Cicero said something beautiful. He said, ‘The thankful heart is not only the greatest of all the virtues, but it is the parent of all the other virtues.’ And I think what that means is that people who are lucky should thank their luck, acknowledge it and revel in it. I think it will also make them want to share the fruits of their luck with others.” –Howard Marks. 

Howard Marks: Endemic to all markets

“We don’t consider ourselves good macro-forecasters (or even people who believe in forecasting). So we certainly are in no position to say when the recession or market pullback will start, how bad it will be…or even that there definitely will be one. But we think we’re unlikely to be proved wrong if we say cyclicality is not at an end but rather is endemic to all markets, and that every up leg will be followed by a down leg.”

—Howard Marks. 

Howard Marks: Survive on the worst days

“Never forget about the man who was six-foot-tall, who drowned crossing the stream that was five feet deep on average. To be a successful investor, at minimum, you have to survive. Surviving on the good days is not the issue. You have to be able to survive on the bad days. The idea of surviving on average is not sufficient. You have to be able to survive on the worst days.” –Howard Marks.