Howard Marks: Angels and Devils

New all-time highs for the S&P 500 today combined with major trepidation over whether the good times can continue.

A fitting quote from a new Howard Marks interview to end the week on, courtesy of Tyler:

If I ask you what’s the risk in investing, you would answer the risk of losing money. But there actually are two risks in investing: One is to lose money and the other is to miss opportunity. You can eliminate either one, but you can’t eliminate both at the same time. So the question is how you’re going to position yourself versus these two risks: straight down the middle, more aggressive or more defensive. I think of it like a comedy movie where a guy is considering some activity. On his right shoulder is sitting an angel in a white robe. He says: «No, don’t do it! It’s not prudent, it’s not a good idea, it’s not proper and you’ll get in trouble». On the other shoulder is the devil in a red robe with his pitchfork. He whispers: «Do it, you’ll get rich». In the end, the devil usually wins. Caution, maturity and doing the right thing are old-fashioned ideas. And when they do battle against the desire to get rich, other than in panic times the desire to get rich usually wins. That’s why bubbles are created and frauds like Bernie Madoff get money.

Are you listening to the angel or the devil right now? I’m trying to listen to both.

Source:

Howard Marks: “In The End, The Devil Always Wins” (ZeroHedge)

 

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