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The Most Important Thing

Uncommon Sense for The Thoughtful Investor
Narrated by: John FitzGibbon
Length: 7 hrs and 9 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (103 ratings)

Non-member price: $26.29

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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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  • Steven
  • 09-03-2013

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
  • 08-06-2015

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
  • 04-03-2015

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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  • Andy P
  • 20-03-2018

Repetitive things worth repeating

Marks had a lot of solid insight - nothing mind-blowing - but what he chooses to focus on as essential make a lot of sense and will highly impact how I invest. Other listeners complained of the repetitiveness, but unless I'm just a slow thinker, I needed that time and rephrasing to help me incorporate that into my mental model of investing. I would read it again in a couple years to make sure I stick to these fundamentals.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • J
  • 04-01-2017

As advertised

The author states in the introduction that this work should provoke thoughts that the reader has not encountered before. This was very true for me. I've read many books on investing in the ideas expressed in this one I have not encountered before. Strongly recommend reading this work.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • William
  • 11-04-2013

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
  • 11-03-2013

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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  • Anonymous User
  • 29-06-2018

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
  • 04-09-2019

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
  • 20-08-2019

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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  • Suraj Pokhriyal
  • 20-05-2017

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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  • MB
  • 31-03-2019

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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Abdulla
  • 23-11-2019

Thought Provoking

Poses more questions than gives answers. You need to listen to it at least once every six months.

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  • Hasnat Safder
  • 26-10-2019

The most important thing is this book

Nobody really knows what tomorrow will bring, so rather than predicting this books tells you to watch your tomorrow and be prepared. Excellent analysis and examples used throughout the book.
Wonderfully narrated too John FitzGibbon.

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  • Mr K D Edgar
  • 12-06-2019

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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  • Anonymous User
  • 16-02-2019

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
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  • Joseph Vose
  • 16-01-2019

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
  • 06-12-2018

Had my attention throughout

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

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  • LC
  • 09-08-2018

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
  • 06-12-2017

Great content very well read must buy

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