The Memo by Howard Marks
The Memo by Howard Marks
About The Memo by Howard Marks
On October 12, 1990, Oaktree Co-Chairman Howard Marks published his first memo to clients. In the decades since, he has periodically released memos reflecting his viewpoint on the investment landscape, as well as more general business insights. On this podcast we'll hear the latest memos by Howard, released in tandem with or shortly after their publication.
Howard Marks (Co-Chairman) and Armen Panossian (Head of Performing Credit) discuss topics related to Howard’s latest memo, Further Thoughts on Sea Change, and Oaktree’s recently published Performing Credit Quarterly 3Q2023 in this crossover episode of The Insight: Conversations and Behind the Memo. They consider the implications of the potential sea change reshaping the investment environment, the tail risks building in today’s markets, and what it means to be in a full return world.
In his latest memo, Howard Marks provides a follow-up to Sea Change (https://www.oaktreecapital.com/insights/memo/sea-change), his thought-provoking memo published in December 2022. He argues that the trends he highlighted in the original memo collectively represent a sweeping alteration of the investment environment that calls for significant capital reallocation. Further Thoughts on Sea Change was originally sent exclusively to Oaktree clients on May 30, 2023. All market data cited in this memo is as of May 30, 2023. The memo is read by LJ Ganser. You can read the memo here (https://www.oaktreecapital.com/docs/default-source/memos/further-thoughts-on-sea-change3dda4540-569f-4415-9a5b-004fbabf06d4.pdf?sfvrsn=c3cc5166_3).
How have credit investors been successfully navigating the volatile interest rate environment? Which sectors currently look attractive to opportunistic credit investors? What are some of the major misconceptions about today’s commercial real estate market? In this episode of The Insight: Conversations, Wayne Dahl (Assistant Portfolio Manager, Global Credit), Robert O’Leary (Portfolio Manager, Global Opportunities), and Mark Jacobs (Co-Portfolio Manager, Real Estate Income) discuss topics from the September edition of The Roundup: Top Takeaways from Oaktree’s Quarterly Letters (https://www.oaktreecapital.com/insights/insight-commentary/market-commentary/the-roundup-top-takeaways-from-oaktrees-quarterly-letters-september-2023-edition) and explain what it means to be in a credit picker’s market.
In the latest episode of Behind the Memo, Howard discusses his recent memo: Fewer Losers, or More Winners? He details the inspiration for the memo and explains why investors – like tennis players – need to consider their skill level, aspirations, and risk tolerance when asking themselves a fundamental question: Should I go for more winners, or try to avoid the losers? You can listen to Fewer Losers, or More Winners? in the prior episode or read it here (https://www.oaktreecapital.com/insights/memo/fewer-losers-or-more-winners).
In his latest memo, Howard Marks discusses the essential choice in both investing and sports: should you go for more winners or try to eliminate losers? That is, should you emphasize aggressiveness or defensiveness? This is a key decision that every investor has to make thoughtfully, and the answer can be different for each person. The memo is read by LJ Ganser. You can read the memo here (https://www.oaktreecapital.com/insights/memo/fewer-losers-or-more-winners).
Learn about the current state of European credit and the dramatic changes seen over the last year in this thought-provoking discussion with Armen Panossian (Head of Performing Credit), Madelaine Jones (Portfolio Manager, European Senior Loans and European High Yield Bonds), and Nael Khatoun (Head of European Private Debt). They consider the challenges created by the end of the easy money era, risks posed by geopolitics and artificial intelligence, and the quality advantage that exists in European markets.
Armen Panossian (Head of Performing Credit), Danielle Poli (Assistant Portfolio Manager, Global Credit), and Megan Messina (Head of CLO Capital Markets) discuss topics from the 2Q2023 Performing Credit Quarterly. They consider the current tug-of war between fiscal and monetary policy, opportunities in credit, and what many investors are getting wrong about today’s CLO market.
In his latest memo, Howard Marks discusses five market calls he’s made during his career. He argues that investors seeking to take the temperature of the market should focus on understanding prevailing market psychology and the nature of cycles. Just as importantly, they should learn to control their own emotions and have the humility to know when not to make a call. The memo is read by LJ Ganser. You can read the memo here (https://www.oaktreecapital.com/docs/default-source/memos/taking-the-temperature.pdf?sfvrsn=93bb5366_6).
David Rosenberg, co-portfolio manager of Oaktree’s U.S. and Global High Yield strategies, and Howard Marks discuss topics from the June 2023 edition of The Roundup. They consider the evolution of the high yield bond market, investor optimism and why this time might actually be different in financial markets.
In the first episode of Oaktree’s new podcast, Armen Panossian (Head of Performing Credit) and Howard Marks (Co-Chairman) discuss key takeaways from the 1Q2023 Performing Credit Quarterly, including the potential ramifications of the recent banking turmoil, opportunities in private credit and a possible rise in distress. As part of the discussion, they explore Howard’s memo Lessons from Silicon Valley Bank.
In his latest memo, Howard Marks discusses the significance of the Silicon Valley Bank collapse. He argues that it likely doesn’t portend a wave of banking failures but may amplify preexisting wariness among investors and lenders, leading to further credit tightening and additional pain across a range of industries and sectors. The memo is read by LJ Ganser. You can read the memo here (https://www.oaktreecapital.com/insights/memo/lessons-from-silicon-valley-bank).
Howard looks back on several memos he’s written near major turning points in the market over the last few decades, from the bursting of the dot-com bubble to the pandemic-driven crisis in early 2020. He considers what an investor should – and shouldn’t – focus on when making a market call.
Howard is joined by Bruce Flatt, CEO of Brookfield, for a discussion of Ditto, which was originally published on January 7, 2013. They examine the distinction between price and value and consider how investors might gain a competitive advantage today. This episode was recorded in November 2022. The memo is read by LJ Ganser.
In the latest episode of Behind the Memo, Howard discusses his most recent memo, Sea Change. He explains why the shift we may currently be experiencing could force investors to rethink the meaning of "normal." You can listen to Sea Change in the prior episode or read it here (https://www.oaktreecapital.com/insights/memo/sea-change).
In his latest memo, Howard Marks writes that the investment world may be experiencing the third major sea change over the last 50 years. Events in recent years – especially the spike in inflation and the Federal Reserve’s response – appear to have caused a reversal of the market conditions that prevailed during the post-GFC (Global Financial Crisis) period and for much of the last four decades. Howard discusses what this potentially new era could mean for lenders, especially bargain hunters. The memo is read by LJ Ganser. You can read the memo here (https://www.oaktreecapital.com/insights/memo/sea-change).
In the latest episode of Behind the Memo, Howard discusses his most recent memo, What Really Matters?, and looks back on a year of memo-writing. He considers the themes that have dominated his thinking in 2022 and highlights his key messages for investors, including one they may not want to hear. You can listen to What Really Matters? in the prior episode or read it here (https://www.oaktreecapital.com/insights/memo/what-really-matters).
In his latest memo, Howard Marks weaves together some of the themes he’s explored in 2022 to explain what he believes really matters in investing and what doesn’t. He discusses the disadvantages of short-term thinking, the difference between volatility and risk, and the one word he believes defines the essence of investment excellence. The memo is read by LJ Ganser. You can read the memo here ( ).
Howard reflects on memos related to the Global Financial Crisis with Bob O’Leary, Co-Portfolio Manager of Oaktree’s Global Opportunities strategy. They share their most striking memories from the years leading up to and during the crisis. They also discuss today’s market environment and consider whether investors have forgotten many of the lessons they should have learned during this tumultuous period.
In the latest episode of Behind the Memo, Howard discusses key themes from his recent memo, The Illusion of Knowledge. He explains why creating helpful macro forecasts is so challenging and why “thinking about macro” and forecasting aren’t the same thing. You can listen to The Illusion of Knowledge in the prior episode or read it here (https://www.oaktreecapital.com/insights/memo/the-illusion-of-knowledge).