Howard Marks on the US Dollar, Three Ways to Add Defense, and Good Questions (#431)

Howard Marks

“Move forward but with caution.” — Howard Marks

Howard Marks (@HowardMarksBook) is co-chairman and co-founder of Oaktree Capital Management, a leading investment firm with more than $125 billion in assets under management. He is the author of the books Mastering the Market Cycle: Getting the Odds on Your Side and The Most Important Thing: Uncommon Sense for the Thoughtful Investor, both critically acclaimed bestsellers.

Warren Buffett has written of Howard Marks: “When I see memos from Howard Marks in my mail, they’re the first thing I open and read. I always learn something.” Marks holds a BSEc degree from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania with a major in finance and an MBA in accounting and marketing from the University of Chicago.

Please enjoy!

Listen to the episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Overcast, Stitcher, Castbox, Google Podcasts, or on your favorite podcast platform.

This podcast is brought to you by LinkedIn Jobs and 5-Bullet Friday.” More on both below.

You can find the transcript of this episode here. Transcripts of all episodes can be found here.

#431: Howard Marks on the US Dollar, Three Ways to Add Defense, and Good Questions

This episode is brought to you by LinkedIn Jobs. Whether you are looking to hire now for a critical role or thinking about needs that you may have in the future, LinkedIn Jobs can help. LinkedIn is an active community with more than 675 million members worldwide. LinkedIn screens candidates for the hard and soft skills you’re looking for and puts your job in front of candidates looking for job opportunities that match what you have to offer.

With LinkedIn, you can hire the right person quickly when you need them. And if you need to hire for healthcare or essential services, you can post your jobs for free. When it’s time to find and hire that right person, LinkedIn is here to help. Just visit to get started! Terms and conditions apply.

This episode is also brought to you by “5-Bullet Friday,” my very own email newsletter, which every Friday features five bullet points highlighting cool things I’ve found that week, including apps, books, documentaries, gadgets, albums, articles, TV shows, new hacks or tricks, and—of course—all sorts of weird stuff I’ve dug up from around the world.

It’s free, it’s always going to be free, and you can subscribe now at

What was your favorite quote or lesson from this episode? Please let me know in the comments.


Want to hear Howard’s first time on the show? — Check out our 2018 conversation, in which we discuss risk tolerance, patience, cryptocurrency, mental models for investing, superior judgment, getting along with a business partner, and much more.

#338: Howard Marks — How to Invest with Clear Thinking


Connect with Howard Marks:

Website | Oaktree Capital Management | Twitter | LinkedIn | Facebook


  • Howard opens with the story of arriving at First National Citibank in May of 1968 and how it contrasted with what he then did in 1978. [04:28]
  • If Howard were to look at our current circumstances as a game and perhaps compare it to 2008, what are the games we’re looking at now? [12:00]
  • How is Howard navigating the unprecedented uncertainties of 2020? [16:39]
  • What does Howard think the unintended consequences of instating stimulus packages designed to offset COVID-19-related economic disruption might be, and is this solution better or worse than others we might have tried instead? [25:46]
  • How does the Fed’s stimulus strategy affect Howard’s playbook regarding crowded versus uncrowded opportunities? How does he implement defense? [34:16]
  • Does Howard believe the Fed is truly operating, as Chair Jay Powell says, with “infinite” ammunition? What does he see as the possible outcomes and probabilities if this kind of spending continues for a long period of time? [44:08]
  • If the American economy is on life support, by what metrics could we determine that the patient is ready to be taken off of life support? [46:58]
  • What types of questions are the wise asking these days? Are any particular types of thinking or questions present in those people Howard admires as good thinkers right now? [49:40]
  • What are some of the higher-signal sources of information that Howard’s paying attention to these days? [55:13]
  • What does Howard think people perhaps aren’t thinking about as much as they should? [59:18]
  • Parting thoughts. [1:02:10]


The Tim Ferriss Show is one of the most popular podcasts in the world with more than 900 million downloads. It has been selected for "Best of Apple Podcasts" three times, it is often the #1 interview podcast across all of Apple Podcasts, and it's been ranked #1 out of 400,000+ podcasts on many occasions. To listen to any of the past episodes for free, check out this page.

Leave a Reply

Comment Rules: Remember what Fonzie was like? Cool. That’s how we’re gonna be — cool. Critical is fine, but if you’re rude, we’ll delete your stuff. Please do not put your URL in the comment text and please use your PERSONAL name or initials and not your business name, as the latter comes off like spam. Have fun and thanks for adding to the conversation! (Thanks to Brian Oberkirch for the inspiration.)

5 Replies to “Howard Marks on the US Dollar, Three Ways to Add Defense, and Good Questions (#431)”

  1. Huge Marks fan, always read his publicly released memos. It’s great to have this chance to hear him talk through his thinking on markets, risk, pricing and uncertainty and the current environment. Thank you so much for having him on the podcast just now.

  2. The only reason its the biggiest health crisis in the last hundred years is because governments and the media have convinced everyone it is.

  3. Hey Tim, I love your writings with valuable information. The three ways can be termed as golden ways in the market.

  4. Hey Tim, loved the two questions you asked at the end:

    – What would you hope people would think more about ?
    – What aren’t people paying enough attention to?

    Thank you for doing the work you do! Cheers