Today’s environment makes it nearly impossible to make money, particularly for “bargain hunters” that saw last year’s selloff come and go, says Oaktree co-founder Howard Marks. This according to a recent article in Yahoo Finance.
In a recent MacroMinds virtual event, Marks said, “In the short term, I worry about not having great things to buy,” adding that safer plays are not that appealing. “The answer,” he says, “is that there is no, and can be no safe, dependable way to make a high return in a low-return world.”
The article notes that the global equity rebound has resulted in a dramatic decrease in distressed debt and “propped up companies that were ailing even before the pandemic hit, depriving value-oriented investors like Oaktree of new targets.”
Marks said that he and his firm were “licking our chops” as they prepared to enter 2020 with a “cautious portfolio” and started buying in March before the market collapsed. By the time the firm raised new capital for a distressed debt fund last July, he said, the opportunities had already passed. The article notes that Oaktree is one of the largest distressed debt investors, with more than $36 billion invested in credit from troubled companies.