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Howard Marks: How Quickly They Forget

May 27, 2011 | About:

Oaktree Capital chairman Howard Marks released his latest Memo, "How Quickly They Forget". He wrote: In January 2004 I received a letter from Warren Buffett (how’s that for name dropping?) in which he wrote, “I’ve commented about junk bonds that last year’s weeds have become this year’s flowers. I liked them better when they were weeds.” Warren’s phrasings are always the clearest, catchiest and most on-target, and I thought this Buffettism captured the thought particularly well.

Thus for Oaktree’s 2004 investor conference we used the phrase “Yesterday’s Weeds . . . Today’s Flowers” as the title of a slide depicting the snapback of high yield bonds. It showed the 45% average yield at which a sample of ten bonds could have been bought during the Enron-plus-telecom meltdown of 2002 and the 6% average yield at which they could have been sold in 2003; on average, the yields had fallen by 87% in just thirteen months. The idea went full-circle in 2005, when Warren used our slide at the Berkshire Hathaway annual meeting to illustrate how rapidly things can change in the world of investing.

Read the complete memo.

About the author:

Charlie Tian, Ph.D. - Founder of GuruFocus. You can now order his book Invest Like a Guru on Amazon.

Rating: 4.0/5 (15 votes)


Alex Morris
Alex Morris - 6 years ago    Report SPAM
Howard Marks' memos are an invaluable resource; like Buffett's letters, they are littered with logical conclusions and insight from decades of successful investing.
Parthbhatt - 6 years ago    Report SPAM
Simply outstanding. Buffett once said that "bad vocabulary is the enemy of good thinking". It would be tough to find more clear thinkers like Howard Marks. He is really good at defining the objective and then sticking to it. Can someone tell me how can I print a copy of this memo?
Sivaram - 6 years ago    Report SPAM

Can someone tell me how can I print a copy of this memo?


This is a pdf so you can print directly. Right-click and select print... or move cursor near bottom and click on save or print icon.

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