Every Trend Gets Overdone

What the wise man does in the beginning, the fool does in the end. That’s the nature of the investment business – every trend gets overdone – in the investment business, the most important, single-biggest decision a strategist has to make is whether to play offense or defense. When do you turn aggressive? We just try to figure out when the negatives are being over-emphasized. It’s feel – there’s no science. Everybody should understand their own psychology – are you generally an optimist or a pessimist? Personally, I’m more conservative – but my caution is overcome by the desperation I see around me. When everybody thinks there’s no hope, I find it easier to turn bullish. If the fundamentals are a little worse, but the psychology is drastically worse, that results in cheap prices and one can be less cautious.

– Howard Marks