The Most Important Thing

Full Name
The Most Important Thing: Uncommon Sense for the Thoughtful Investor

Part memoir, part creed, renowned financial celebrity Howard Marks offers a volume that is a compilation of a lifetime of experience and study. The Most Important Thing highlights the keys to successful investment and the perils that often ruin capital or ravage a career. Using excerpts from his memos to illustrate his ideas, Marks details the concepts of patient opportunism, defensive investing, price/value relationship, and “second-level thinking.”

"Everyone knows about the anticipation leading up to Warren Buffett's annual shareholder letters. But for a certain Wall Street set, there are equally high expectations for the writings of Howard Marks."

Peter Lattman, Wall Street Journal

"Regular recipients of Howard Marks's investment memos eagerly await their arrival for the essential truths and unique insights they contain. Now the wisdom and experience of this great investor are available to all. The Most Important Thing, Marks's insightful investment philosophy and time-tested approach, is a must read for every investor."

Seth A. Klarman, President, The Baupost Group

"When I see memos from Howard Marks in my mail, they're the first thing I open and read. I always learn something, and that goes double for his book."

— Warren Buffett, Chairman and CEO, Berkshire Hathaway

"Few books on investing match the high standards set by Howard Marks in The Most Important Thing. It is wise, witty, and laced with historical perspective. If you seek to avoid the pitfalls of investing, you must read this book!"

— John C. Bogle, Founder and former CEO, The Vanguard Group

"If you take an exceptional talent and have them obsess about value investing for several decades, including deep thinking about its very essence with written analysis along the way, you may come up with a book as useful to value investors as this one—but don't count on it."

Jeremy Grantham, Co-founder and chief investment strategist, Grantham Mayo Van Otterloo

"The Most Important Thing is destined to become an investment classic-it should easily earn its place on every thinking investor's bookshelf. Howard Marks has distilled years of investment wisdom into a short book that is lucid, entertaining, and ultimately profound."

Joel Greenblatt, Columbia Business School, founder and managing partner of Gotham Capital

"A clear and expert resource for all investors."

Kirkus Reviews

"Veteran value-investing manager Howard Marks draws on pithy memos he wrote to clients over the years to dispense insightful advice on everything from risk taking to the role of luck."

Money Magazine

"There is, quite simply, an incredible amount of wisdom between the covers of his book and an investor is doing them a disservice if they don't read, and re-read, this book."

"The book is written in a way that both seasoned investors and novices should appreciate."

Brenda Jubin, Seeking Alpha