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Howard Marks tells Virginia conference markets are ‘in balance’

Howard Marks
Howard Marks

If you're going to be a superior investor, “you're going to have to think differently and better,” Howard Marks, chairman of Oaktree Capital Management (OAK), told investors and money managers gathered for the University of Virginia Investing Conference on Friday.

“I happen to think things are in balance” in today's markets, he said at the Charlottesville, Va., conference. He also offered a piece of advice: “Move forward, but with caution. I believe strongly that when people move out the risk curve, they forget to bring their caution with them.”

Mr. Marks added that it is helpful to look for inefficient markets, including distressed debt — Oaktree's specialty.

Tony Crescenzi, executive vice president, market strategist and portfolio manager at Pacific Investment Management Co., said the “new normalization” is short-term maturities for two reasons: fiscal headwinds and credit availability.

Mr. Crescenzi also praised Janet Yellen, nominated as the next chairwoman of the Federal Reserve, for providing a seamless transition. “She has the most experience ever for a new Fed chair, and she will be a great Fed chair,” Mr. Crescenzi said at the conference.