Dare to Be Great II (Oaktree Capital Management) [PDF]


Or as Charlie Munger told me, "It's not supposed to be easy. Anyone who finds it easy is stupid." In other words, anyone who thinks it can be easy to succeed at investing is being simplistic and superficial, and ignoring investing's complex and competitive nature.

その答えは明白ではないかもしれませんが、必須なことではあります。つまり、他のほとんどの投資家が保有しているポートフォリオとは異なった構成をとらなければならない点です。他人のポートフォリオと同じようであれば、うまくいくかもしれませんし、反対にダメかもしれません。ただし、他人と違う結果を出すことはできません。もし人より優れたいのであれば、人と違っていることが絶対に必要です。最上位の成績をめざすには群衆から離れることが不可欠です。そうするには様々な方法があります。一般的でないニッチな市場で活動するやりかた、他人が見いだせなかったり、好まなかったり、危険なので手を出さないものを買うやりかた、これは見逃せないと群衆が考える人気者から遠ざかるやりかた、逆張りのタイミングで市場に参入するやりかた、とびぬけた成績をあげると予想する少数の銘柄に集中投資するやりかた、などがあります。 (p.2)

The answer may not be obvious, but it's imperative: you have to assemble a portfolio that's different from those held by most other investors. If your portfolio looks like everyone else's, you may do well, or you may do poorly, but you can't do different. And being different is absolutely essential if you want a chance at being superior. In order to get into the top of the performance distribution, you have to escape from the crowd. There are many ways to try. They include being active in unusual market niches; buying things others haven't found, don't like or consider too risky to touch; avoiding market darlings that the crowd thinks can't lose; engaging in contrarian cycle timing; and concentrating heavily in a small number of things you think will deliver exceptional performance.



Most great investments begin in discomfort. The things most people feel good about - investments where the underlying premise is widely accepted, the recent performance has been positive and the outlook is rosy - are unlikely to be available at bargain prices. Rather, bargains are usually found among things that are controversial, that people are pessimistic about, and that have been performing badly of late.

But it isn't easy to do things that entail discomfort. It's no coincidence that distressed debt has been the source of many successful investments for Oaktree; there's no such thing as a distressed company that everyone reveres. In 1988, when Bruce Karsh and I organized our first fund to invest in the debt of companies seemingly at death's door, the very idea made it hard to raise money, and investing required conviction - on the clients' part and our own - that our analysis and approach would mitigate the risk. The same discomfort, however, is what caused distressed debt to be priced cheaper than it should have been, and thus the returns to be consistently high.


In 1936, the economist John Maynard Keynes wrote in The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money, "Worldly wisdom teaches that it is better for reputation to fail conventionally than to succeed unconventionally" [italics added]. For people who measure success in terms of dollars and cents, risk taking can pay off when gains on winners are netted out against losses on losers. But if reputation or job retention is what counts, losers may be all that matter, since winners may be incapable of outweighing them. In that case, success may hinge entirely on the avoidance of unconventional behavior that's unsuccessful.


Alan Greenspan warned of "irrational exuberance" in December 1996, but the stock market continued upward for more than three years. A brilliant manager I know who turned bearish around the same time had to wait until 2000 to be proved correct . . . during which time his investors withdrew much of their capital. He wasn't "wrong," just early. But that didn't make his experience any less painful.



Charlie Munger was right about it not being easy. I'm convinced that everything that's important in investing is counterintuitive, and everything that's obvious is wrong. Staying with counterintuitive, idiosyncratic positions can be extremely difficult for anyone, especially if they look wrong at first. So-called "institutional considerations" can make it doubly hard.

Investors who aspire to superior performance have to live with this reality. Unconventional behavior is the only road to superior investment results, but it isn't for everyone. In addition to superior skill, successful investing requires the ability to look wrong for a while and survive some mistakes. Thus each person has to assess whether he's temperamentally equipped to do these things and whether his circumstances - in terms of employers, clients and the impact of other people's opinions - will allow it . . . when the chips are down and the early going makes him look wrong, as it invariably will. Not everyone can answer these questions in the affirmative. It's those who believe they can that should take a chance on being great.

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