Howard Marks on the Market Cycle

In a recent interview with LinkedIn, billionaire investor and Oaktree co-founder Howard Marks shares insights on the current market cycle and where to find investment opportunities.

Here are some highlights:

  • According to Marks, everything active investors do represents either (1) asset selection; or (2) cycle positioning. With respect to the latter, he says, an investor “can’t do it based on predicting, but rather based on understanding where we are in the cycle.”
  • Marks says we are “in the eighth inning” of the market cycle, but adds, “the problem is I’ve been saying that for several years. But the markets are different than baseball because we don’t know how many innings there are.” Still, he says, defensive strategies are in order.
  • “There are no bargains” in the market, says Marks, adding that while Oaktree has stayed invested, it has also “tried to maintain an unusually high level of caution” by finding the “least overvalued” assets in private credit, real estate (outside big cities) and in emerging markets.
  • With regard to his firm’s expansion into Asia in recent years, Marks explained, “I think Asia is a big part of the future.”