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Uncertainty by Howard Marks

Howard is one of my favourite authors out there. His memos are a must-read and I have been a follower since past 18 months.

His recent memo which stands out is titled Uncertainty. You can read the full memo by clicking here

Below are some quotes as found in this memo.

In some recent memos, I’ve mentioned Marc Lipsitch, Professor of Epidemiology at Harvard’sT.H. Chan School of Public Health. In my version of his hierarchy, there are

(a) facts,

(b) logical inferences from past experience and

(c) guesses.

. . .if you’ve never experienced something before, you can’t say you know how it’s going to turn out.

No one can succeed in predicting things that are heavily influenced by randomness and otherwise inconsistent.

No amount of sophistication is going to allay the fact that all of your knowledge is about the past and all your decisions are about the future.

Ian E. Wilson (former Chairman of GE)

People can foresee the future only when it coincides with their own wishes, and the most grossly obvious facts can be ignored when they are unwelcome.

George Orwell

Forecasts create the mirage that the future is knowable.

Peter Bernstein

The future you shall know when it has come; before then forget it.

Aeschylus

Forecasts usually tell us more of the forecaster than of the future.

Warren Buffett

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