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The Most Important Thing

Uncommon Sense for The Thoughtful Investor
Written by: Howard Marks
Narrated by: John FitzGibbon
Length: 7 hrs and 9 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (35 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Howard Marks, the chairman and cofounder of Oaktree Capital Management, is renowned for his insightful assessments of market opportunity and risk. After four decades spent ascending to the top of the investment management profession, he is today sought out by the world's leading value investors, and his client memos brim with insightful commentary and a time-tested, fundamental philosophy. Now for the first time, all listeners can benefit from Marks's wisdom, concentrated into a single volume that speaks to both the amateur and seasoned investor.

Informed by a lifetime of experience and study, The Most Important Thing explains the keys to successful investment and the pitfalls that can destroy capital or ruin a career. Using passages from his memos to illustrate his ideas, Marks teaches by example, detailing the development of an investment philosophy that fully acknowledges the complexities of investing and the perils of the financial world. Brilliantly applying insight to today's volatile markets, Marks offers a volume that is part memoir, part creed, with a number of broad takeaways. Marks expounds on such concepts as "second-level thinking", the price/value relationship, patient opportunism, and defensive investing. Frankly and honestly assessing his own decisions - and occasional missteps - he provides valuable lessons for critical thinking, risk assessment, and investment strategy.

Encouraging investors to be "contrarian", Marks wisely judges market cycles and achieves returns through aggressive yet measured action. Which element is the most essential? Successful investing requires thoughtful attention to many separate aspects, and each of Marks's subjects proves to be the most important thing.

©2012 Howard Marks (P)2012 Audible, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"This is that rarity, a useful book." (Warren Buffett)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Ofcourse, it is the best book by a good narrator.

very good and useful book narrated beautifully. Awesome book by Mr Howard Mark. but audible makes it the most awesome. Thank you AUDIBLE

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A Summary of Value Investing from a Successful Practitioner

The book is a gem collection of all the important behavioural aspects of Value Investing. Further, the lucid style makes the book a must for every serious investor - value or otherwise. Reference from Buffett, Taleb and Charley Ellis adds insights from thinkers who are themselves well aware of human psychology that gets played out in the market.

Narration - the narrator's voice is not the best for long listens. It strains to keep hearing after some time. But at 1.25x speed, the listen was a breeze though.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Common sense is very uncommon.

Loved the way this book explains the intricacies of the stock market ups & downs. It explains the importance of thoughtful investment with common sense philosophy of buying at a low price and keeping patience long enough to hold the shares to let it find its value. The author explains the concept of risk & return beautifully with focus mainly on risk control. Without any technical explanations or complex jargons, the author has simplified the basic philosophy of stock market investments to its core. Overall, a great book!

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Good periodic refresher

Wonderful to hear the famed Howard Marks. Valuable for seasoned investors to hear this periodically to be reminded of the mistakes we do every once in a while. Great for those just starting to learn from Howard's experience.

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thought provoking

great listen. very nice insights into market behaviour and psychology. must know features to plan your financial freedom

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  • Steven
  • 09-03-13

making good decisions - terriffic

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

would recommend this book as highly as any i have read in the last 10 years... and i read a lot of books on investing and decision-making. this book is incredibly focused and to the point. great for beginners and for professionals. Howard puts many years of wisdom into words easily. must read - or better yet, must listen to

What about John FitzGibbon’s performance did you like?

gerat narration. better than reading it

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

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  • Johnny
  • 08-06-15

Five Star Book, two Star Audiobook

Would you consider the audio edition of The Most Important Thing to be better than the print version?

No, not at all. The narrater is a great speaker. But he sounds like Kramer on the Seinfeld commercial where he was imitating the MoviePhone guy. It's not entirely his fault. I've watched hours of interviews with Howard Mark's and he tells his stories so great, with a great Queens accent. This is one of the greatest investing books ever written, but the way it's read widdle's it down to absolute boredom.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Most Important Thing?

Mark's adages...which are funner and more memorable to hear from Mark's himself.

Any additional comments?

The print version of this is amazing. All of his video interviews are absolutely entertaining and insightful. I may keep this just because it's a great book and the information is valuable to me.

14 of 18 people found this review helpful

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  • Bill Pennock
  • 04-03-15

Good not great. Worth the listen

The book is a little repetitive, as many books are. It is drawn from Howard marks fund letters over the years. It gives excellent insight into the generalities of investing, which anyone who is risking their money should know. It gives little to nothing in terms of how to perform the tasks.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • William
  • 11-04-13

Lessons from a Master Investor

What made the experience of listening to The Most Important Thing the most enjoyable?

Aside from the fact that I fundamentally agree with Howard Marks approach to investment, the explanations used were very easy to follow... it is written in a way that a novice can understand, with insights that an experienced investor would find very useful. I have found few that can do this as well as Mr. Marks has been able to (others would include Warren Buffett, Peter Lynch, and Joel Greenblatt are some others).

Any additional comments?

I would highly recommend this book to novice and experienced investor alike... One of the keys to success in most fields has been to "stand on the shoulders of giants". Howard Marks is a Master Investor with a keen ability to communicate... this book compiles and discusses his memos in a way that will assist you to "stand on the shoulders of this giant"

5 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • Vito Ferrara
  • 11-03-13

Annoying Narration

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

Despite the annoying narration this book is worth listening to because the author constantly reinforces the main theme: Don't lose money! No specific strategies here. Rather this money manager offers his investment philosophy that governs his day to day decisions. His track record speaks for itself.

How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

Have a different narrator.

What three words best describe John FitzGibbon’s voice?

Annoying, annoying and annoying.

What did you take away from The Most Important Thing that you can apply to your work?

More important than how to make money is knowing how not to lose it.

8 of 12 people found this review helpful

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  • Utilisateur anonyme
  • 29-06-18

Loved it!

Would be nice if there are different voices to choose from. The voice on this book sometimes became monotonous and I would have preferred a woman's voice.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 04-09-19

One of the simplest books to relate

loved this dose of wisdom from Howard Marks. Planning to read all memos from him in detail.

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  • Cliente Amazon
  • 20-08-19

The best book about investing I have read

Howard Marks has a very sound investing philosophy he explains very well and in a comprehensive manner throughout the book

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  • William Powers
  • 08-06-19

excellent philosophy

very interesting and well thought out, I could have listened to it a lot more.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 04-06-19

The most important thing..

.. Is to acknowledge the timely wisdom of Howard Marks and his school of thought as a whole. You would do yourself a great service, whether an investor or not, to give this book its just dues.

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  • Suraj Pokhriyal
  • 20-05-17

Definitely a good audio book for investors

If someone is into investment should definitely buy this audio books
It covers all difficulty investor faces during their investment period. And describe how luck, right timing & aggressive in market can decide fate of investors.
It also discusses psychology of trends (with analogy of pendulum) awesome audiobook for investors.

Note:I listen this audiobook at 0.85× since 1x was too fast for me.
You can miss the context if you lose attention even for seconds while listening.

Overall great book.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Mr K D Edgar
  • 12-06-19

An esential tool in any investors strategy

Essential reading for any investor beginner or experienced. Very well narrated on a complex subject, with thought provoking methods

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  • MB
  • 31-03-19

Well structured and insightful

I rarely give a 5 star rating but this book truly deserves it. Loads of wisdom and thoughts provoking insights in it. Also easy to follow as an audio book and well narrated. One of the few to be re-listened at some point in the future.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 16-02-19

Priceless knowledge. No tiene precio.

A must have in your audiobook library.
Indispensable en cualquier colección de audiolibros que se precie.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Joseph Vose
  • 16-01-19

Insightful

Offers a great understanding to invemnet philosophy, the audio is clear and maintains interest throughout. Reckomended to anyone with an interest In investment

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  • Mr Ewart
  • 06-12-18

Had my attention throughout

Will listen to this one again. It is very matter of fact, and highly rated.

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  • LC
  • 09-08-18

Clear and useful

Clear and useful advice that gives and underlying approach to successful investing. Worth listening to regularly as a reminder.

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  • mo
  • 06-12-17

Great content very well read must buy

Easy to listen to with great insights, would recommend to any would be investor. Enjoy

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  • John P
  • 03-08-17

First Class Investing Philosophy

In many ways this is a philosophy book. Howard Marks is a deep thinker and eloquent writer. If you like Charlie Munger and Nicholas Taleb you will get a lot from Howard Marks. Take a look at his memos on the Oaktree site to get a flavour.

Oh, and the narrator is first class.

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  • Christian Hansson
  • 13-01-17

Educating and easy to follow

The book is very good at explaining the authors investment philosophy. It also gives an insight to how other investors might reason and act. It also gives a sensible perspective on the financial markets. The author manages to convey as to why he prefers a certain investment approach and gives an updated for this day and age version of Benjamin Grahams classic "The intelligent Investor".
My favourite thus far in finance litterateur.