Hear the other view

Sounding a warning bell to the equity markets is a thankless job. If you are early, you are going to face ridicule as the markets go the other way from your warning. If you are late, you will still be seen as wrong. Bull markets are a contrarian opinionist’s nightmare.

Giving opinions is a tough task and demands enormous mental strength. Investing based on the contrarian philosophy is relatively simpler. The reason is simple; investing is a private affair whereas opinion making is a public affair. One can manage his investment thoughts in absolute privacy. This allows one the luxury to remain unaffected by criticism. Managing the self and one’s own conviction happens within a secure and protected comfort zone. But, giving a public opinion that goes against the market mood can be very challenging.

It is in this context that we must view Howard Marks’ latest memo. Global markets seem richly valued and Indian markets aren’t cheap. We need to understand the global risks to our markets. That makes Marks’ opinion very important. Our markets seem to be in no mood to listen to the other view. This makes it all the more important for discerning investors to fully understand the other view.

It is better to be early than be late and repentant. It’s time to listen to Howard Marks.

“I believe that through knowledge and discipline,

financial peace is possible for all of us” – Dave Ramsey

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