On Tuesday morning Wealth Advisor Zach Davidson and Investment Analyst Adam Szypula of our Toronto office were invited to an exclusive presentation with Howard Marks and Bruce Flatt as keynote speakers. Bruce is the CEO of Brookfield Asset Management while Howard is a legendary investor who always has some incredibly interesting thoughts on investor psychology. This event was part of a delayed celebration as Brookfield finalized it's purchase of Oaktree (the firm Howard founded) back in 2019
Having spent his career in distressed debt, he has a very unique perspective on investing. Distressed debt is the business of loaning to companies that can’t necessarily go to the bank for financing. To be successful in the space investors need a fascinating mix of cautiousness and aggressiveness depending on the current credit environment. In good times for the economy, lenders get aggressive on deals and compete with each other to see who can do a deal with the lowest level of compensation for risk. “The worst loans are made in the best times” is a quote from his book and to be as successful as Howard has been, you need to be a truly independent thinker.
Howard has been writing investment memos since the early 1990s and "What Really Matters" is all about what does (and perhaps more importantly what doesn't) matter in investing. He claimed this memo was his best yet! We wanted to share it as an interesting read over the holidays. At 15 pages, it’s not a short read but feel free to find a section you like and start there.
If you enjoy the memo, his book “The Most Important Thing” is both a funny concept and a terrific read. Each of the book’s 21 unique chapters begin with “The most important thing in investing is…”. This made for a great way to highlight the multi-faceted nature of successful investing.