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The Most Important Thing

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Details of The Most Important Thing Book

The Most Important Thing: Uncommon Sense for the Thoughtful Investor PDF is a highly acclaimed book written by Howard S. Marks, an American investor and co-founder of Oaktree Capital Management. The book was first published by Columbia Business School Publishing in 2011 and has since been reprinted several times.

BookThe Most Important Thing
AuthorHoward S. Marks
Original languageEnglish
Originally publishedMay 2011
CategoryBusiness & Economics
Total Pages194
FormatPDF, ePub


The book has received widespread critical acclaim and is widely considered to be one of the best books on investing ever written. The Financial Times described it as “a rarity” and “required reading for anyone who takes the market seriously”, while Warren Buffett has said that Howard Marks’s insights are “always worth reading”.

The Most Important Thing covers a wide range of themes related to investing, including risk management, contrarianism, and the psychology of investing. The book is divided into twenty chapters, each of which focuses on a specific aspect of investing. Marks uses anecdotes and personal experiences to illustrate his points, making the book highly accessible and engaging. The Most Important Thing is available in multiple formats, including hardcover, paperback, audiobook, and e-book.

The Most Important Thing Summary

The book starts by discussing the importance of thinking for oneself and avoiding herd mentality when it comes to investing. Marks argues that successful investing requires a contrarian approach, the ability to think independently, and a willingness to take calculated risks.

The book then goes on to cover a range of themes related to investing, including risk management, contrarianism, and the psychology of investing. Marks uses anecdotes and personal experiences to illustrate his points, making the book highly accessible and engaging.

Throughout the book, Marks emphasizes the importance of understanding market cycles and being able to identify when markets are overvalued or undervalued. He provides practical advice on how to evaluate investments and avoid common investing mistakes.

The book concludes by discussing the importance of humility and recognizing the limits of one’s own knowledge. Marks argues that successful investors must be willing to admit when they are wrong and learn from their mistakes.

Who Should Read This Book?

“The Most Important Thing: Uncommon Sense for the Thoughtful Investor” by Howard S. Marks is a book that can be valuable to a wide range of readers, particularly those interested in investing and financial markets. Here are some specific groups of individuals who may benefit from reading this book:

  • Investors: The book offers insights and wisdom from an experienced investor, making it relevant for anyone involved in investing or considering investing in financial markets. Marks’ perspectives on risk management, market cycles, and contrarian thinking can be particularly beneficial for those looking to improve their investment strategies.
  • Financial Professionals: Financial analysts, portfolio managers, and professionals in the investment industry can gain valuable insights from the book. Marks’ expertise and practical advice can help professionals enhance their understanding of investment principles and make informed decisions in their work.
  • Business Students and Aspiring Investors: Students pursuing degrees in finance, business, or economics can benefit from the foundational knowledge and insights provided in the book. It can serve as a valuable resource for those learning about investment principles and seeking to develop their investment acumen.
  • Individuals Seeking to Improve Financial Decision-Making: Even individuals who are not directly involved in investing or the financial industry can find value in the book. Marks’ emphasis on critical thinking, risk assessment, and understanding market behavior can help individuals make better financial decisions and navigate the complexities of personal finance.

Multiple Languages Editions of The Most Important Thing Book

The Most Important Thing by Howard S. Marks is available in several languages, including English, Spanish, Chinese, and Korean. However, the availability of different language editions may vary depending on the country and publisher.

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Who is Howard S. Marks?

Howard S. Marks is an American investor and author who is widely recognized for his insights on investing and risk management. Born in New York City in 1946, Marks received his undergraduate degree from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and his MBA from the University of Chicago.

The Most Important Thing

In 1985, Marks co-founded Oaktree Capital Management, a global investment management firm that specializes in alternative investments such as distressed debt, high-yield bonds, and real estate. As Chairman of Oaktree, Marks has been responsible for setting the firm’s investment philosophy and overseeing its investment activities.

Marks is also a prolific writer and has authored several books on investing, including The Most Important Thing, which has been widely recognized as a classic in the field. In addition, he is a regular contributor to financial publications such as the Financial Times and Barron’s.

Marks has received numerous awards and honors for his contributions to the field of investing. In 2015, he was inducted into the Fixed Income Analysts Society Hall of Fame, and in 2020, he received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Financial Times.

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