Howard Mark’s latest memo is as usual, a must read. This time around he does more than the past in terms of outlook by explaining both his positive and negative viewpoints on the markets. There’s an interesting discussion that he has on the impact of the new Tax laws in the US and how it may only be a short term benefit versus the typically argued long term benefit that you may have been reading from research reports or the press. Thus as usual, here’s a few snippets below and a link to the rest of the article.

For me the key points regarding the general market outlook are as follows:

  • The absence of widespread euphoria certainly is an important flaw in any near-term bearish view.
  • Thus there’s no reason for confidence in the existence of a soon-to-burst bubble.
  • Investor psychology continues to grow more confident, however.
  • Asset prices are already unusually high.
  • Future events remain unpredictable, but today’s high prices mean the odds are against a significant long-term upward move from here.
  • No one can say what’s going to happen in the short term.
Asset prices and valuation metrics are certainly worrisome, but psychology and its implications – as well as timing – are unpredictable.  I think that’s about all we can know. 

Source: Oaktree Capital

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