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The Most Important ThingUncommon Sense for the Thoughtful Investor$
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Howard Marks

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780231153683

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231153683.001.0001

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The Most Important Thing Is … Patient Opportunism

The Most Important Thing Is … Patient Opportunism

Chapter:
(p.107) 13 The Most Important Thing Is … Patient Opportunism
Source:
The Most Important Thing
Author(s):

Howard Marks

Publisher:
Columbia University Press
DOI:10.7312/columbia/9780231153683.003.0013

This chapter considers another important need for successful investing: patient opportunism. The boom-bust cycle associated with the global financial crisis gave investors the chance to sell at highly elevated levels in the period 2005 through early 2007 and then to buy at panic prices in late 2007 and 2008. Cycle-fighting contrarians had a golden opportunity to distinguish themselves. But there aren't always great things to do, and sometimes investors maximize their contribution by being discerning and relatively inactive. Patient opportunism—waiting for bargains—is often the best strategy. The investor will do better if they wait for investments to come to them rather than go chasing after them. They tend to get better buys if they select from the list of things sellers are motivated to sell rather than start with a fixed notion as to what they want to own. An opportunist buys things because they are offered at bargain prices. Patient opportunism, buttressed by a contrarian attitude and a strong balance sheet, can yield amazing profits during meltdowns.

Keywords:   patient opportunism, investors, bargains, investment

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