We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access.
The Most Important Thing Audiobook

The Most Important Thing: Uncommon Sense for The Thoughtful Investor

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. The Most Important Thing explains the keys to successful investment and the pitfalls that can destroy capital or ruin a career.
    • 1 audiobook per month
    • 180,000+ titles to choose from
    • $14.95 per month after free trial

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.

Download the accompanying reference guide.

©2012 Howard Marks (P)2012 Audible, Inc.

What the Critics Say

"This is that rarity, a useful book." (Warren Buffett)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.4 (269 )
5 star
 (166)
4 star
 (71)
3 star
 (22)
2 star
 (5)
1 star
 (5)
Overall
4.4 (219 )
5 star
 (132)
4 star
 (61)
3 star
 (18)
2 star
 (5)
1 star
 (3)
Story
4.4 (219 )
5 star
 (128)
4 star
 (63)
3 star
 (23)
2 star
 (3)
1 star
 (2)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Johnny PISMO BEACH, CA, United States 06-08-15
    Johnny PISMO BEACH, CA, United States 06-08-15 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    9
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    8
    4
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Steven New York, NY, United States 03-09-13
    Steven New York, NY, United States 03-09-13 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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


    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bill Pennock West Sacramento, CA USA 03-04-15
    Bill Pennock West Sacramento, CA USA 03-04-15 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    9
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    William SALEM, OREGON, United States 04-11-13
    William SALEM, OREGON, United States 04-11-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
    42
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    78
    63
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    9
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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
  •  
    Amazon Customer 09-12-14 Listener Since 2008

    kmilani

    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    11
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "5 Pages would have been sufficient."
    What would have made The Most Important Thing better?

    Most Important Excuses for under performing the market.


    What was most disappointing about Howard Marks’s story?

    It goes on ad nauseam on the subject of risk with out really giving a hint as how to manage it.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    Pretentious pronunciation.


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Most Important Thing?

    I would just give a refund to the readers.


    4 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Vito Ferrara Nevada USA 03-11-13
    Vito Ferrara Nevada USA 03-11-13 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    3
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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.


    4 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Yetanotherguy Damnyankee, Mass USA 02-03-16
    Yetanotherguy Damnyankee, Mass USA 02-03-16
    HELPFUL VOTES
    11
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    5
    3
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Best Investing Book Since Ben Graham's book"
    Where does The Most Important Thing rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    I finished the 17 hour (unabridged) version of the intelligent investor not too long ago and was really taken with it. I expected each book I read afterwards to be a lesser book, fortunately that isn't true with this book - really seems to nail framing and bad psychological decisions, risk, etc very well.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    I appreciate that he has given Nicholas Nassim Taleb a great deal of credit in how he views markets, evaluates risk, and makes decisions. AntiFragile (Taleb's book) is without a doubt one of the most mind altering books I have read in my adult life - Howard Marks obviously recognizes what a game changer Taleb's influence is.. and frames it in clearer examples for most to get than perhaps Taleb does.


    Which character – as performed by John FitzGibbon – was your favorite?

    I love the reading and intonation, it has to be particularly hard for a reader to really sound like he is spontaneously coming up with this as he reads.. but he does. A really talented actor.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Too many parts to mention.. I still have about 3 hours left in the book but unless they really blow it, it's a really rare treat.


    Any additional comments?

    The only downside, not entirely surprising, is that "Oak Tree" is pushed over and over. The book has great merits on its own and I realize it was made up primarily of investor letters to Oak Tree customers, but it does get a little tiresome.. I'm not deducting for it because it's still worth listening to every second.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Santa Barbara Mom 10-29-15 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    5
    3
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "A "classic, must read" for the value investor"

    Really entertaining to listen to, but more than that, an indispensable explanation of managing risk and other aspects of investing

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nick 10-16-15
    Nick 10-16-15 Member Since 2015
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    5
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "The Most Important Thing: Reading this book"
    Any additional comments?

    I have read and listened to this book on audible probably 5-6 times now and it never gets old. This book is the modern day Intelligent Investor, giving unbelievably useful investing and psychological advice and conditioning needed in value investing. Howard Mark's is an unbelievably intelligent man and is able like only a few of the smartest people in the world to describe things simply. I am thankful to have read this book. Also if you listen to the audible version John Fitzgibbon does a fan static job narrating.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael D. 07-03-15
    Michael D. 07-03-15 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    15
    3
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Useful, Novel, Insightful"

    This is a great book, a modern classic. Understandable for the student, professional or lay person. A must read for anyone with any desire to invest.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
Sort by:
  • Per.E
    3/29/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Very useful indeed"

    Overall a very useful book. However, highly biased against Allocation focus, Strategists & Economists. On the other side biased in favour of stock pickers an Equities in general..

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank you.

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.