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Article Archive: Munger

A lifetime of wisdom
01/14/24   Munger
"Though Munger was an active investment manager, he didn't base his decisions on forecasts. He simply looked to buy good businesses with honest managers at attractive prices. That was the extent of the time he spent on predictions."

Poor Charlie's Almanack
12/09/23   Munger
"Initially a mere disciple of Ben's, Charlie was soon breaking new ground. What Ben had recommended, Charlie demanded. If Ben suggested saving pennies, Charlie raised the stakes. If Ben said be prompt, Charlie said be early. Life under Ben's rules began to look positively cushy compared with the rigor demanded by Munger."

More than money
12/03/23   Munger
"The records of people and companies that are outliers are always a mix of a reasonable amount of intelligence, hard work and a lot of luck."

Successful investing is hard
12/03/23   Munger
"Each person has to play the game given his own marginal utility considerations and in a way that takes into account his own psychology. If losses are going to make you miserable - and some losses are inevitable - you might be wise to utilize a very conservative patterns of investment and saving all your life."

Charlie Munger dies at age 99.9
11/28/23   Munger
"Munger died Tuesday, according to a press release from Berkshire Hathaway. The conglomerate said it was advised by members of Munger's family that he peacefully died this morning at a California hospital. He would have turned 100 on New Year's Day."

Charlie Munger interview
11/05/23   Munger
"We sit down with the legendary Charlie Munger in the only dedicated longform podcast interview that he has done in his 99 years on Earth. We've gotten to have some special conversations on Acquired over the years, but this one truly takes the cake. Over dinner at his Los Angeles home, Charlie reflected with us on his own career and his nearly 50-year partnership at Berkshire Hathaway with Warren Buffett. He offered lessons and advice for investors today, and of course he shared his speech on the virtues of Costco once again (among other favorite investments). We're so glad that we got the opportunity to record and share this with you all - break out your notebooks, tune in, and enjoy the singular wit and wisdom of Charlie Munger." [video]

Charlie Munger speaks
02/15/23   Munger
"Berkshire Hathaway Vice Chairman Charlie Munger speaks at the Annual Shareholders Meeting of the Daily Journal Corporation." [video]

Charlie at the DJ AGM
02/16/22   Munger
"Daily Journal annual meeting with Chairman Charlie Munger"

Charlie's hobby
10/29/21   Munger
"As for the architectural critiques, Munger said those are par for the course on any building project. 'It's hard to get any two architects to ever agree about anything,' he said. 'Architecture is a game of trade-offs.'"

Charlie Munger AGM
02/28/21   Munger
"Charlie Munger, Vice Chairman of Berkshire Hathaway, speaks at the Daily Journal Annual Meeting." [video]

Charlie Munger interview
12/19/20   Munger
"Charlie Munger appeared for the first time since January on a public interview with Caltech faculty." [video]

Charlie Munger talks
07/11/20   Munger
"Charlie Munger talks at the Redlands Forum" [video]

Charlie Munger talks
06/12/20   Munger
"Charlie Munger, Stewart Resnick, Dick Ridordan are the legendary investors of our life time. Having these 3 titans in one room to exchange ideas was a privilege for me and an honor to share the conversation." [video]

Charlie Munger AGM
02/15/20   Munger
"Investing legend Charlie Munger, Berkshire Hathaway vice chairman and chairman of the Daily Journal, speaks to shareholders at the newspaper's annual meeting. Munger is best known for his steady role as the right-hand man of investing legend Warren Buffett." [video]

Charlie Munger interview
05/15/19   Munger
"But of course, when people use the word "common sense," what they mean is uncommon sense. Because the standard human condition is ignorance and stupidity. And when they say, old Joe has common sense, what they mean is he has uncommon sense."

Charlie Munger's AGM
02/20/19   Munger
"Charlie Munger addresses shareholders at Daily Journal annual meeting" [video]

Lollapalooza effect
08/13/18   Munger
"In simple words, lollapalooza effect is an outcome which is far bigger than the sum of the parts."

Charlie Munger: 2018 AGM transcript
02/20/18   Munger
"Most newspapers by the way I think are going to perish. It's just a question of when. I mean they're all going to die. You know the New York Times will continue because people will pay $5 for it in an airport. So there will be a few survivors, but by and large the newspaper business is not doing well. Berkshire Hathaway owns a lot of them. And buying them we figured on a certain natural decline rate after which the profits would go to zero. We underestimated the rate of decline. It's going faster than we thought."

A conversation with Charlie
12/24/17   Munger
"Charlie Munger, Vice Chairman of Berkshire Hathaway, joins Michigan Ross Dean Scott DeRue for a conversation about Mr. Munger's life, career journey, philanthropic legacy, and his thoughts on a few current global trends."

Daily Journal Meeting 2015
10/30/17   Munger
"Charlie Munger audio of Daily Journal Meeting in 2015." [video]

The psychology of misjudgement
06/26/17   Munger
"In 1995, Charlie Munger gave a speech about how the human mind tricks itself into making poor decisions. This is an abridged and animated version of that speech."

Charlie Munger interview
05/14/17   Munger
"If you don't learn, you're going to be stuck in yesteryear and clobbered by fate." [video]

Charlie Munger speaks
02/19/17   Munger
"Charlie Munger speaks at the Daily Journal annual meeting" [video]

Charlie Munger interview
05/08/16   Munger
"what could be more asinine than making a judgment about something without taking into account both the advantages and disadvantages? What kind of a nut would just look at one side and not the other?"

Munger vs. auditors
03/05/16   Munger
"At the annual meeting on February 10, almost five months later than usual because resolving the disputes with the auditor led to filing delays, Munger noted that 60,000 shares - or about 5% of the total - had voted against retaining BDO. 'I don't know why 60,000 people are mad at BDO,' he teased, 'but it's a big firm.' Who owns the shares voted against BDO this year and also last year? One possibility is Munger himself. Munger controls 50,000 shares personally."

Charlie Munger vs. Valeant
11/01/15   Munger
"Months before Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc. tumbled under attack from short sellers, Munger told investors in Los Angeles the company reminded him of the excesses of the 1960s conglomerate craze. 'I'm holding my nose,' Warren Buffett's longtime business partner said. Turns out, those remarks were just the start of his concerns."

Charlie Munger on Benjamin Graham
09/27/15   Munger
"Charlie Munger has developed a powerful system that is useful in making any type of decision. One notable application of this system by Munger relates to investing and involves another system developed by Benjamin Graham."

The best way to be smart
09/20/15   Munger
"So how then do we channel our inner Munger? In this episode of the a16z Podcast, we discuss how to think about thinking; why the best investors and business leaders spend more time on what they don't know; and how the best way to be smart is to - not be stupid."

Munger mocks Greek idea
03/28/15   Munger
"Billionaire investor Charles Munger faulted Greek citizens for their notion that you can 'vote yourselves rich.'"

A fireside chat with Charlie Munger
09/13/14   Munger
"You have to strike the right balance between competency or knowledge on the one hand and gumption on the other. Too much competency and no gumption is no good. And if you don't know your circle of competence, then too much gumption will get you killed. But the more you know the limits to your knowledge, the more valuable gumption is."

Charles Munger: Secrets of Buffett's Success
09/13/14   Munger
"Why did nearly 250 investors converge on Los Angeles this past week to listen to a 90-year-old man address the annual meeting of a tiny legal-publishing and software company? To hear Charles T. Munger - better known as Warren Buffett's right-hand man - expound on one of his least-known holdings and just about everything else."

Charlie Munger: CEO pay is insane
05/04/14   Munger
"Instead of complaining, Munger said some corporate executives should willingly decide to work for less money."

Munger on corporate governance
04/19/14   Munger
"Good character is very efficient. If you can trust people, your system can be way simpler. There's enormous efficiency in good character and dis-efficiency in bad character."

Charlie's secret
09/05/13   Munger
"Charlie Munger is Warren Buffett's co-chairman of Berkshire Hathaway and an investing genius in his own right. He's almost 90, six years older than Buffett, but every bit as sharp and cagey even in his advanced age. And also, he kicks the shit out of all you momentum investor hotshots, what with your risk parities and your quant factors and your newfangled social networking stocks. Munger has run into more burning buildings than the NYFD, dodging scores of other investors fleeing in the opposite direction without even a second's hesitation."

Munger triples publisher's value
07/28/13   Munger
"Daily Journal Corp., the California publisher that counts Charles Munger as its chairman, more than tripled in value since 2008 after the company jumped into stocks during the financial crisis."

China roundtable
07/21/13   Munger
"China Bilateral Investment with Victor K. Fung, Charles Munger, and Jim Sinegal"

Colorful Charlie Munger
05/05/13   Munger
"One of Munger's biggest zingers today had him saying the European Union's decision to allow Greece to join was as stupid as someone using rat poison as whipping cream."

The Psychology of Human Misjudgement
02/04/13   Munger
"Audio of the often referred to speech by Charlie Munger on the psychology of human misjudgement given to an audience at Harvard University circa Jun 1995."

Berkshire's Charlie Munger speaks
05/04/12   Munger
"Vice-chairman of Berkshire Hathaway Corporation Charlie Munger talks to CNBC's Becky Quick about the consistency of Berkshire, Warren Buffett's health, the company's succession plan and his feelings on the future of the company."

A conversation with Charlie
09/19/10   Munger
Charlie Munger speaks at the Ross School of Business.

Basically, it's over
02/19/10   Munger
"Of course, the most effective political opposition to change came from the gambling casinos themselves. This was not surprising, as at least one casino was located in each legislative district. The casinos resented being compared with cancer when they saw themselves as part of a long-established industry that provided harmless pleasure while improving the thinking skills of its customers."

Charlie on the crisis
02/12/10   Munger
"Charles T. Munger, the Vice-Chairman of Berkshire Hathaway Corporation, discusses the current economic crisis with Professor Joseph A. Grundfest."

Charlie Munger: Boom and bust is normal
10/27/09   Munger
"Today, Munger says he may only speak to Buffett once a week, but his key influence on the success of Buffett's enterprise over many decades is undisputed."

A conversation with Charlie Munger
05/28/09   Munger
"Charles Munger presented the Institute's 2008 DuBridge Distinguished Lecture in Beckman Auditorium on March 11. Munger, the vice chairman of Berkshire Hathaway Inc., a business partner of Warren Buffett, and one of the richest people in the United States, was joined in conversation by Caltech's Tom Tombrello, chair of the Division of Physics, Mathematics and Astronomy, and Kenan Professor and professor of physics."

Charlie Munger's words of wisdom
05/18/09   Munger
"A lifetime of practicing what he preaches has made Munger a billionaire: Good businesses are ethical businesses, he tells us. A business model that relies on trickery is doomed to fail."

Legal matters with Charles T. Munger
05/13/09   Munger
"Charles T. Munger is a man of many interests, much like his hero Benjamin Franklin. Self-taught in a range of disciplines, he's a strong advocate for interdisciplinary education saying, "If I can do it, many people can." A student of physics and mathematics before entering law school, he left his mark on the legal profession early in his career by co-founding Munger, Tolles & Olson in 1962 - a firm that is today consistently ranked at the top of its field. Now an icon of the business world, he joined forces with Warren Buffett in the mid-1960s - leaving law to become vice chairman of Berkshire Hathaway and a partner in one of the most successful firms in the world."

Munger favors ban on credit swaps
05/01/09   Munger
"Berkshire Hathaway Inc. Vice Chairman Charles Munger said he supports an outright ban of credit- default swaps to prevent speculators from profiting on the failure of companies."

Here's the story on Berkshire's Munger
05/01/09   Munger
"Mr. Munger grew up in Omaha and joined the U.S. Army during World War II, serving as a meteorologist in Alaska. After the war, he earned a degree from Harvard Law School and became an attorney at a California firm. He also became a serious investor. He met Mr. Buffett in an Omaha restaurant in 1959. After working together on a number of investments for many years, the two joined forces full time at Berkshire in 1978, when Mr. Munger became vice chairman."

How we can restore confidence
02/11/09   Munger
"Sensible reform cannot avoid causing significant pain, which is worth enduring to gain extra safety and more exemplary conduct. And only when there is strong public revulsion, such as exists today, can legislators minimize the influence of powerful special interests enough to bring about needed revisions in law."

Dimon, Munger, Rohatyn: No more vegas
10/14/08   Munger
"Munger wants Wall Street balance sheets reduced by 70% and insists that the firms "be a market maker, a broker, an underwriter and a custodian of securities but not the hedge funds they have become." He wants to restrict leverage to 50% on every securities transaction except for the Treasury trading desk where "you're dealing with the safest securities around." That 50% margin level, incidentally, is the maximum that ordinary investors can obtain from their broker when they purchase common stock. Before their respective demises, Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers were leveraged to the tune of $30 of debt for every $1 of capital."

Buffett's best man
09/02/08   Munger
"Munger, 84 and blind in one eye, walks stiffly to the stage. A prestigious physics professor waits to interview him, but once the lanky, thick-bespectacled guest starts blaspheming some favorite targets, the prof rarely gets a word in edgewise. Munger's topic du jour is the spiraling credit crisis: He flings vitriol at bankers, saying they've been selling investors "a hapless mess of super-complexity." The accounting profession has "disgraced itself" with its lax standards, and so has academia. "The idea that we need derivatives is just so much twaddle," he says. Yet despite all this inanity and skullduggery, Munger still sees the investing world as a place where common sense can triumph -- if only because "it isn't so common.""

Berkshire's No. 2 man helps from the background
05/16/08   Munger
"The two men who run Berkshire Hathaway Inc. have an arrangement: Warren Buffett is the face of the company and Charlie Munger stays mainly in the shadows. That works well for the two billionaires, who together have developed one of the most successful investment records ever. But while Munger downplays his own contributions -- he is known for repeating "I have nothing to add" after Buffett's expansive comments at the Berkshire shareholder meetings -- his role is key to much of the company's success."

2008 Wesco notes
05/16/08   Munger
"Most assets are priced to a level where it is hard to get excited. It is hard to get 4% yield on a nice apartment, and it doesn't include replacing the carpets. Bonds of strong corporations are 4% yield. Corporate equities are paying 2% pa, growing 4% per year. Such a world isn't the one that made all of you able to come to the meeting. Last generation has been in hog heaven - some bumps, but it had easiest time getting ahead. In the eighteen years that preceded hog heaven, the purchasing power of Yale's endowment went down 60%. They were getting real investment return of 0%, negative. It is not at all impossible that brilliant investors like Yale get bad results in the future."

2007 Wesco notes
09/04/07   Munger
"Railroads - now that's an example of changing our minds. Warren and I have hated railroads our entire life. They're capital-intensive, heavily unionized, with some make-work rules, heavily regulated, and long competed with a comparative disadvantage vs. the trucking industry, which has a very efficient method of propulsion (diesel engines) and uses free public roads. Railroads have long been a terrible business and have been lousy for investors. We did finally change our minds and invested. We threw out our paradigms, but did it too late. We should have done it two years ago, but we were too stupid to do it at the most ideal time. There's a German saying: Man is too soon old and too late smart. We were too late smart. We finally realized that railroads now have a huge competitive advantage, with double stacked railcars, guided by computers, moving more and more production from China, etc. They have a big advantage over truckers in huge classes of business."

Charlie Munger's 2007 commencement address
07/02/07   Munger
"Safest way to get what you want is to deserve what you want. Deliver to the world what you would buy if you were on the other end. There is huge pleasure in life to be obtained from getting deserved trust. And the way to get it is to deliver what you would want to buy if the circumstances were reversed."

Munger speaks on Berkshire's success
05/12/07   Munger
""I didn't set out in life to become the assistant leader of a cult." That is how Charlie Munger welcomed shareholders to the 2007 Wesco (WSC) annual meeting. The cult, of course, is the loyal throng of value investors that invade both Omaha, Neb., and Pasadena, Calif., each spring to learn at the feet at Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger, and as Munger noted "to leave a little wiser than they came.""

I would not allow directors to be paid
01/02/07   Munger
"Paying directors more is going to make the compensation excesses harder to fix. The more you pay directors, the more the directors are going to want to pay the CEO. Putting more duties on the directors and giving them more money is like trying to extinguish a fire by pouring gasoline on it. If I were running the world, I would not allow directors to be paid at all. I would make directors be exemplars and serve just as they serve on the boards of Harvard and Yale."

A lesson on elementary, worldly wisdom
06/02/06   Munger
"Here's a model that we've had trouble with. Maybe you'll be able to figure it out better. Many markets get down to two or three big competitors-- or five or six. And in some of those markets, nobody makes any money to speak of. But in others, everybody does very well. Over the years, we've tried to figure out why the competition in some markets gets sort of rational from the investor's point of view so that the shareholders do well, and in other markets, there's destructive competition that destroys shareholder wealth."

Buffett's alter ego
05/26/06   Munger
"Ask folks about Berkshire Hathaway, and most will tell you that it's Warren Buffett's company, which is true as far as it goes. But those in the know recognize that Berkshire's success is actually the product of a tag-team effort by Buffett and his long-standing partner, Charlie Munger."

Notes from Wesco
05/17/06   Munger
"Welcome to the annual meeting of Wesco, for the die-hard groupies." [Note: I can't verify the author, but the lengthy notes correspond to less detailed ones that I've seen]

The world according to "Poor Charlie"
12/05/05   Munger
"The academics have done a terrible disservice to intelligent investors by glorifying the idea of diversification. Because I just think the whole concept is literally almost insane. It emphasizes feeling good about not having your investment results depart very much from average investment results. But why would you get on the bandwagon like that if somebody didn't make you with a whip and a gun?"

A must-read for Berkshire fans
08/09/05   Munger
"A large, heavy, coffee table book, Poor Charlie's Almanack is part fanzine, part analysis, and a lot of pure Munger. It's an eye-catching, cleverly designed volume, colorfully illustrated and sporting a breezy style and easy-to-digest layout. Its creation was clearly a labor of love for the participants. The title is, of course, a play on Poor Richard's Almanack, the 18th century almanac written and published year after year by Benjamin Franklin, one of Munger's heroes."

Munger' s worldly wisdom
06/10/05   Munger
"It's quite interesting to think about Wal-Mart starting from a single store in Bentonville, Arkansas against Sears, Roebuck with its name, reputation and all of its billions. How does a guy in Bentonville, Arkansas with no money blow right by Sears, Roebuck? And he does it in his own lifetime - in fact, during his own late lifetime because he was already pretty old by the time he started out with one little store.... He played the chain store game harder and better than anyone else. Walton invented practically nothing. But he copied everything anybody else ever did that was smart - and he did it with more fanaticism and better employee manipulation. So he just blew right by them all. He also had a very interesting competitive strategy in the early days. He was like a prizefighter who wanted a great record so he could be in the finals and make a big TV hit. So what did he do? He went out and fought 42 palookas. Right? And the result was knockout, knockout, knockout - 42 times. Walton, being as shrewd as he was, basically broke other small town merchants in the early days. With his more efficient system, he might not have been able to tackle some titan head-on at the time. But with his better system, he could destroy those small town merchants. And he went around doing it time after time after time. Then, as he got bigger, he started destroying the big boys. Well, that was a very, very shrewd strategy."

Wesco's letter
03/27/05   Munger
"In fact, the one thing that should interest Wesco shareholders most with respect to 2004 is that, as in 2003, 2002 and 2001, Wesco found no new common stocks for our insurance companies to buy."

Dueling views of reform
02/22/05   Munger
"When it comes to outspoken bluntness, Berkshire Hathaway Chairman and CEO Warren Buffett has nothing on his No. 2 man, Charlie Munger."

Munger's wisdoms
02/10/05   Munger
"Warren Buffet's eldest son once paid high tribute to his father by saying Buffett is the "second-smartest man" that he knows. When asked who the smartest man he knows is, the younger Buffett said, "Charles Munger," his father's long-time friend and partner. While relatively unknown and overshadowed in the public eye by the legendary Buffett, Charlie Munger has nonetheless carved out an important career and considerable personal wealth of his own, and has proven well worth listening to."

Master's class
09/13/04   Munger
"I am more than skeptical of the orthodox view that huge diversification is a must for those wise enough that indexation is not the logical mode for equity investment. I think the orthodox view is grossly mistaken. In the United States, a person or institution with almost all wealth invested long-term in just three fine domestic corporations is securely rich. And why should such an owner care if at any time most other investors are faring somewhat better or worse? And particularly so when he rationally believes, like Berkshire, that his long-term results will be superior by reason of his lower costs, required emphasis on long-term effects, and concentration in his most-preferred choices."

Munger goes mental
06/04/04   Munger
"Charlie Munger, the famed right-hand man of Warren Buffett, gave a brilliant speech last October at the University of California, Santa Barbara. With Munger's permission, Whitney Tilson is publishing a transcript for the first time -- a Motley Fool exclusive! -- and shares the highlights in this column."

Academic economics
06/04/04   Munger
"Mr. Munger's achievements are very great. They are too numerous for me to detail here. He attended Caltech and Harvard, and in addition to being Vice Chair at Berkshire Hathaway, he's the chair of a major legal newspaper corporation and also Wesco Financial Corporation. He's the President of the Alfred C. Munger Foundation, a philanthropic foundation named after his father. He's on the Forbes 400 list - and what makes that achievement remarkable is that he got there the old fashioned way: He earned it."

Notes from Wesco's 2004 annual meeting
05/07/04   Munger
"Whitney Tilson's lengthy notes [.DOC File]"

Charlie Munger in rare form
05/07/04   Munger
"Charlie Munger, who runs Wesco Financial, is the famed right-hand man of Warren Buffett. He is also a master investor in his own right. At Wesco's annual meeting on Wednesday, he shared his wisdom on keys to investment success, the importance of moral behavior, the outlook for Berkshire, and more."

The psychology of human misjudgment
06/25/03   Munger
"And I came here because behavioral economics. How could economics not be behavioral? If it isn't behavioral, what the hell is it? And I think it's fairly clear that all reality has to respect all other reality. If you come to inconsistencies, they have to be resolved, and so if there's anything valid in psychology, economics has to recognize it, and vice versa. So I think the people that are working on this fringe between economics and psychology are absolutely right to be there, and I think there's been plenty wrong over the years."

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