Seeking Alpha

"The world seems more uncertain today than at any other time in my life," writes Oaktree's...

"The world seems more uncertain today than at any other time in my life," writes Oaktree's Howard Marks, but it doesn't mean we should settle for assets deemed "safe."  Dusting off an old book on corporate bonds, Marks takes comfort knowing the asset class performed well during periods encompassing the Great Depression and world wars. "Corporate investing represents an attractive strategy for uncertain times."
Comments (12)
  • The Geoffster
    , contributor
    Comments (4230) | Send Message
     
    Howard Marks must not have had to fight in any of his nations' wars. Now, that's uncertainty for you! Figuring out where to put your money is child's play in comparison. I like hard assets for the long haul. Some cash in the short term and high quality corporate bonds and dividend payers for the medium term.
    16 Sep 2012, 10:07 AM Reply Like
  • the_value_vulture
    , contributor
    Comments (251) | Send Message
     
    For those that have time, this is a real great piece to read this morning. I always enjoy his down to earth writing. Always a sobering breath of fresh air.
    16 Sep 2012, 11:06 AM Reply Like
  • Stone Fox Capital
    , contributor
    Comments (7484) | Send Message
     
    Now isn't the time for investing ideas as if we're in the Great Depression. That worked from 2007-11.
    16 Sep 2012, 11:35 AM Reply Like
  • anonymous#12
    , contributor
    Comments (552) | Send Message
     
    The world has always been in "uncertain times". Without risk capitalism wouldn't exist, equities would be useless.

     

    As a investor one cannot wait for the "perfect time, perfect era". That just a utopia as humans aren't perfect and are bound by errors.

     

    Productivity continues to rise, opportunities to make money abound..

     

    And yes, nothing is "safe".
    16 Sep 2012, 11:57 AM Reply Like
  • Edaugh
    , contributor
    Comments (122) | Send Message
     
    Good synopsis, but nothing that most readers of SA aren't already aware of. Yes....kicking the can down the road...best house on a bad block...Black Swan...hard/soft China landing...
    I think the part about the United States's period from 91-2001 deserves some mention. To quote Francis Fukuyama, this was supposed by many to be the "End of History". Things didn't exactly turn out that way, but it did lead to a nice 10 years of spectacular growth. One is also reminded of the post WWII period where we in effect bombed out all of our competition for a generation...nice period of growth there.
    Now that China is experiencing the difficulties of being a developed economy (this is only going to increase IMO) and Europe is hamstrung for the next forseeable 10+ years, might we be on the verge of entering another "white swan" period like the above two I have mentioned? Our main two competitors are pretty much spinning their wheels and will be doing so for the forseeable future and we "accomplished" this by non military means. Combine that with the fact that consumers have been massively deleveraging for the past few years (pain now, but the right thing to do for the long term) and it's not that hard to see what might be around the corner.
    Of course, we could all implode on a black swan event that isn't even a focus now, but I see way too many articles on that and not that many on the other side of the coin.
    16 Sep 2012, 11:58 AM Reply Like
  • detto
    , contributor
    Comments (73) | Send Message
     
    Good comment Edaugh. It is clear that the US is currently in a sideways mode which would led to huge gains in the latter part of this decade. Bodes well for the US including of course investors.

     

    Bernanke is doing a pretty good job keeping inflation in check and providing a boost to confidence in the capital markets.
    16 Sep 2012, 01:42 PM Reply Like
  • FWS
    , contributor
    Comments (136) | Send Message
     
    How do you measure inflation? The Fed's way? Wrong...
    16 Sep 2012, 07:39 PM Reply Like
  • Owen
    , contributor
    Comments (691) | Send Message
     
    "The world seems more uncertain today than at any other time in my life" - I guess that would be true if the speaker were under four years old. If he is older than four, that would imply a deterioration in his memory to the point where he cannot recall the events of 2008-2009.

     

    While the world is never "certain" in any sense of the word, things are far more stable and predictable today than they were in late 2008.
    16 Sep 2012, 12:17 PM Reply Like
  • dividend_growth
    , contributor
    Comments (2899) | Send Message
     
    Since when is the future certain?
    16 Sep 2012, 12:31 PM Reply Like
  • untrusting investor
    , contributor
    Comments (9964) | Send Message
     
    Interesting article, but seems to say just take some type of a balanced investing approach with different asset classes. Will be interesting to see how that plays out over the next 1-2 years.
    16 Sep 2012, 01:15 PM Reply Like
  • Owen
    , contributor
    Comments (691) | Send Message
     
    > Will be interesting to see how that plays out over the next 1-2 years.

     

    In two years no one will remember any of this has ever happened. Slovakia or someone will announce possible plans to leave the EU, and some dolt will declare it to be the most tumultuous of times in human history.
    16 Sep 2012, 02:34 PM Reply Like
  • 7footMoose
    , contributor
    Comments (2266) | Send Message
     
    I like your sarcastic point of view.
    16 Sep 2012, 07:29 PM Reply Like
DJIA (DIA) S&P 500 (SPY)
ETF Hub
ETF Screener: Search and filter by asset class, strategy, theme, performance, yield, and much more
ETF Performance: View ETF performance across key asset classes and investing themes
ETF Investing Guide: Learn how to build and manage a well-diversified, low cost ETF portfolio
ETF Selector: An explanation of how to select and use ETFs