Howard Marks on the US Dollar, Three Ways to Add Defense, and Good Questions (#431)

“Move forward but with caution.” — Howard Marks

Howard Marks (@HowardMarksBook) is co-chairman and co-founder of Oaktree Capital Management, a leading investment firm with more than $125 billion in assets under management. He is the author of the books Mastering the Market Cycle: Getting the Odds on Your Side and The Most Important Thing: Uncommon Sense for the Thoughtful Investor, both critically acclaimed bestsellers.

Warren Buffett has written of Howard Marks: “When I see memos from Howard Marks in my mail, they’re the first thing I open and read. I always learn something.” Marks holds a BSEc degree from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania with a major in finance and an MBA in accounting and marketing from the University of Chicago.

Please enjoy!

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This podcast is brought to you by LinkedIn Jobs and 5-Bullet Friday.” More on both below. 

#431: Howard Marks on the US Dollar, Three Ways to Add Defense, and Good Questions


This episode is brought to you by LinkedIn Jobs. Whether you are looking to hire now for a critical role or thinking about needs that you may have in the future, LinkedIn Jobs can help. LinkedIn is an active community with more than 675 million members worldwide. LinkedIn screens candidates for the hard and soft skills you’re looking for and puts your job in front of candidates looking for job opportunities that match what you have to offer.

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What was your favorite quote or lesson from this episode? Please let me know in the comments.


Want to hear Howard’s first time on the show? — Check out our 2018 conversation, in which we discuss risk tolerance, patience, cryptocurrency, mental models for investing, superior judgment, getting along with a business partner, and much more.

#338: Howard Marks — How to Invest with Clear Thinking



Connect with Howard Marks:

Website | Oaktree Capital Management | Twitter | LinkedIn | Facebook


Note from the editor: Timestamps will be added shortly. 

  • Howard opens with the story of arriving at First National Citibank in May of 1968 and how it contrasted with what he then did in 1978.
  • If Howard were to look at our current circumstances as a game and perhaps compare it to 2008, what are the games we’re looking at now?
  • How is Howard navigating the unprecedented uncertainties of 2020?
  • What does Howard think the unintended consequences of instating stimulus packages designed to offset COVID-19-related economic disruption might be, and is this solution better or worse than others we might have tried instead?
  • How does the Fed’s stimulus strategy affect Howard’s playbook regarding crowded versus uncrowded opportunities? How does he implement defense?
  • Does Howard believe the Fed is truly operating, as Chair Jay Powell says, with “infinite” ammunition? What does he see as the possible outcomes and probabilities if this kind of spending continues for a long period of time?
  • If the American economy is on life support, by what metrics could we determine that the patient is ready to be taken off of life support?
  • What types of questions are the wise asking these days? Are any particular types of thinking or questions present in those people Howard admires as good thinkers right now?
  • What are some of the higher-signal sources of information that Howard’s paying attention to these days?
  • What does Howard think people perhaps aren’t thinking about as much as they should?