Seth Klarman and Howard Marks on price and value

Seth Klarman and Howard Marks on price and value

From Seth Klarman, via his 2010 conversation with Jason Zweig:

In our view, there is no such thing as a value company. Price is the essential determinant in every investment equation. At some price, every company is a buy; at some price, every company is a hold; and at a still higher price, every company is a sell. We do not really recognize the concept of a value company.

From Howard Marks, via The Most Important Thing:

For a value investor, price has to be the starting point. It has been demonstrated time and time again that no asset is so good that it can’t become a bad investment if bought at too high a price. And there are few assets so bad that they can’t be a good investment when bought cheap enough.

When people say flatly, “we only buy A” or “A is a superior asset class,” that sounds a lot like “we’d buy A at any price . . . and we’d buy it before B, C or D at any price.” That just has to be a mistake. No asset class or investment has the birthright of a high return. It’s only attractive if it’s priced right”

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