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Marc Lasry: Making Great Wealth from Taking Risks

Wednesday, October 19, 2016 11:48
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“Get no joy, except a superficial joy, out of winning. Get no sadness, except a superficial sadness, out of losing. Get to the point where it must almost be an act on your part to be joyful or to be sad – and not the opposite, as it is with most traders. Always remember that your joy and sadness come from and with the most meaningful aspects of your life – family, friends, acts of giving and loving and creating. Not trading.” – Andy Jordan (Source:

Name: Marc Lasry
Nationality: Moroccan, American
Age: 56
Occupation: Investor, fund manager, co-owner of Milwaukee Bucks

Marc was born in Morocco. His family moved to the U.S. when he was 7 years old. His dad was a computer programmer and his mom was a teacher.

He got his B.A from Clark University in 1981; plus a J.D. from New York Law School in 1984. He worked as a clerk while in law school. He then worked at Angel & Frankel, following his graduation.

In 1989, he and his sister, Sonia Gardner, founded Amroc Investments. Amroc Investments was founded with $100 million, purchasing and trading claims and bank debt held by vendors of bankrupt and/or distressed companies. In 1995, they founded Avenue Capital Group, investing $7 million of their own capital. His sister had often worked with him.

Their hedge fund grew to be as much as $11 billion in AUM. Marc was ranked one of the 25 highest-earning hedge fund managers in 2013, with total earnings of $280 million.

He became a co-owner of the NBA’s Milwaukee Bucks after purchasing the team from Herb Kohl for $550 million. That was April 2014.

Marc lives in New York, USA. Being a generous giver, he’s donated to science, education and politics. He’s a lover of basketball, tennis and comics.

As of September 2015, he was worth $1.9 billion. He’s married to Cathy Cohen – they got 5 children.

What You Need to Know:
1. Marc was blessed to have a sister who supported him and worked along with him. Concerning this, Marc revealed that he with his sister Sonia Gardner, was a forerunner to Avenue Capital Group. It was just the two of them and a secretary when they started – they were both working 14-hour days, 7 days a week. They slowly built one of the largest private distressed debt brokerage firms that existed at the time, and expanded Amroc to more than 50 employees. At the same time, for five years, they also ran their own money, just his sister and him. What can you learn here? I became a trader because my uncle called me many years ago, asking me to go learn trading because it was popular then. Today, I’m grateful that he advised me to do this. Sometimes, a piece of advice may be worth more than millions of dollars.

2. When you work with, or along with professionals, your life is easier. For example, Elon Musk surrounds himself with professionals and that’s one of the reasons why he appears to know much. Surround yourself with professionals, even work with them, and the results would be satisfactory. Marc met exceptionally smart guys at Bass: David Bonderman, Jim Coulter, Tom Barrack, and many others. It was a phenomenal period, and he quickly realized he was dealing with guys who were off-the-wall smart and really good guys – nice, smart people.

3. Marc looks at himself as a value investor. Trying to constantly find mispriced investments and add value in a situation. For him, investing means having conviction in your work and companies where you invest, even when the Street has written them off.

4. There’s no need to be concerned about how good a setup is, but we want to be concerned about how we can be protected in case things go wrong.

5. Good traders make profits because they view trading, price, etc. differently than what most people see. When the market reacts in panic, the public know. However, good traders analyze the scenario, assess the pitfalls and take actions.

6. No-one is too big to fail. No trader can avoid losses. No-one is immune from risk. Everybody can make it in life.

7. When you leave what you think is the best job for you, you might discover trading to be better. You won’t regret being a trader.

8. Marc says, “We are constantly searching, trying to find value, typically in troubled companies. And then we try to buy those assets at a discount. In contrast, most investors try to find companies that have no problems. And, when companies have problems, people get nervous. We look at the world very differently than most investors.”

Conclusion: There are many advanced traders who focus on the process of trading instead of money. They approach trading as if approaching sports (and like martial arts). They know they should approach trading as experts tackle opponents in matches. We tend to think illogically when we trade, which isn’t a normal mindset for traders.

This article is ended with another quote from Marc:

“People think we got to $20 billion overnight, but it wasn’t as easy as it seems. We had the background. We had good returns. We had the infrastructure, and we had good people. And, importantly, we had high-quality, stable, long-term investors that allowed us to raise money in a difficult fundraising environment. We were also lucky that we were in the right place at the right time.”


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