Charlie Munger: A Tribute To The Legendary Investor And Philanthropist

By Steve Biko Wafula / Published November 29, 2023 | 2:28 pm



Charlie Munger

Charlie Munger, the vice chairman of Berkshire Hathaway and the longtime partner of Warren Buffett, passed away on November 28, 2023, at the age of 99.

Munger was widely regarded as one of the most influential and successful investors of all time, as well as a generous philanthropist and a source of wisdom and wit.

He has always inspired me and I would like to celebrate his remarkable life and achievements and look at some of the quotes, decisions, and lessons that shaped his legacy.

Munger was born in Omaha, Nebraska, in 1924. He served in the U.S. Army Air Corps during World War II and later graduated from Harvard Law School. He practiced law and real estate development in California, where he met Buffett in 1959. The two became friends and eventually business partners, as Munger joined Berkshire Hathaway in the 1970s and became its vice chairman in 1978.

Munger was instrumental in the growth of Berkshire Hathaway, which became a $700 billion conglomerate with subsidiaries in various industries, such as insurance, railroads, energy, manufacturing, and retail. Munger also held positions at other companies, such as Wesco Financial, Daily Journal, and Costco.

Read Also: The Power of Personal Disappearance: 7 Transformative Steps To Rediscover Yourself And Become An Entrepreneurial Alpha

He was known for his keen analytical skills, his multidisciplinary approach, and his long-term perspective. He often credited his success to his use of mental models, which are frameworks for understanding how the world works and making better decisions.

Munger was also a prolific writer and speaker, who shared his insights and opinions on various topics, such as investing, business, economics, psychology, ethics, and education. He was famous for his witty and candid remarks, which often challenged conventional wisdom and provoked thought. Here are some of his memorable quotes:

“The big money is not in the buying and selling … but in the waiting.”

“Knowing what you don’t know is more useful than being brilliant.”

“It is remarkable how much long-term advantage people like us have gotten by trying to be consistently not stupid, instead of trying to be very intelligent.”

“In my whole life, I have known no wise people who didn’t read all the time – none … ZERO.”

“Opportunity comes to the prepared mind.”

“Whenever you think something or some person is ruining your life, it’s you. A victimization mentality is so debilitating.”

“A great business at a fair price is superior to a fair business at a great price.”

“I never allow myself to have an opinion on anything that I don’t know the other side’s argument better than they do.”

“Three rules for a career: 1) Don’t sell anything you wouldn’t buy yourself; 2) Don’t work for anyone you don’t respect and admire; and 3) Work only with people you enjoy.”

“The game of investing is one of making better predictions than other people. How are you going to do that? One way is to limit your tries to areas of competence. If you try to predict the future of everything, you attempt too much.”

“Great investing requires a lot of delayed gratification.”

“You don’t have to pee on an electric fence to learn not to do it.”

“It’s amazing how intelligent it is just to spend some time sitting. A lot of people are way too active.”

“The safest way to get what you want is to deserve what you want.”

“Take a simple idea and take it seriously.”

Munger also made some remarkable investing decisions, both for himself and for Berkshire Hathaway. Some of his most notable ones include:

Investing in Berkshire Hathaway itself, which he initially disliked as a textile company, but later appreciated as a vehicle for Buffett’s capital allocation. Munger reportedly bought 1,000 shares of Berkshire Hathaway in 1966 for $16,000, which would be worth over $400 million today.

Read More:

Convincing Buffett to invest in See’s Candies, a high-quality business with strong brand loyalty and pricing power, in 1972. The $25 million investment has generated over $2 billion in profits for Berkshire Hathaway.

Leading Berkshire Hathaway’s investment in Chinese electric vehicle maker BYD in 2008, was a visionary bet on the future of clean energy and transportation. The $230 million investment is now worth over $6 billion.3

Buying shares of Daily Journal, a legal publisher, in 1977, and becoming its chairman. Under his leadership, the company expanded into software and online services and also invested its cash in stocks such as Wells Fargo, Bank of America, and U.S. Bancorp, which have appreciated significantly.

Investing in Costco, a leading warehouse retailer, in 1997, and joining its board of directors. Munger admired Costco’s culture, management, and value proposition, and called it “one of the most admirable capitalistic institutions in the world.”

Read Also: Ecclesiastes 11:1-6: A Practical and Spiritual Guide For Wealth Creation And Entrepreneurship

Munger also made some mistakes and missed some opportunities, which he openly admitted and learned from. For example, he regretted not buying Google and Amazon when they were undervalued, and he called his investment in Alibaba “one of the worst mistakes I ever made.”4 He also acknowledged that he was wrong about some of his criticisms of Bitcoin, which he once called “rat poison squared.”

Munger’s death is a huge loss for the investing world, as well as for the many causes he supported with his philanthropy. He donated millions of dollars to various educational, scientific, and cultural institutions, such as the University of Michigan, Stanford University, Harvard-Westlake School, Huntington Library, and the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History. He also funded the construction of student dormitories, academic buildings, and medical facilities. He was a strong advocate of rationality, integrity, and lifelong learning, and he inspired countless people with his example and his words.

Munger once said, “I would argue that passion is more important than brain power.” He certainly had both, and he used them to make a positive and lasting impact on the world. He will be remembered as a legendary investor, a philanthropist, and a mentor. He will be missed, but not forgotten.

Read Also: 10 Brutal Life Lessons For Entrepreneurs In 2023 That Life Has Taught Me As A Kenyan Entrepreneur: No Easy Walk




About Steve Biko Wafula

Steve Biko is the CEO OF Soko Directory and the founder of Hidalgo Group of Companies. Steve is currently developing his career in law, finance, entrepreneurship and digital consultancy; and has been implementing consultancy assignments for client organizations comprising of trainings besides capacity building in entrepreneurial matters.He can be reached on: +254 20 510 1124 or Email: info@sokodirectory.com

View other posts by Steve Biko Wafula


More Articles From This Author








Trending Stories










Other Related Articles










SOKO DIRECTORY & FINANCIAL GUIDE



ARCHIVES

2024
  • January 2024 (238)
  • February 2024 (227)
  • March 2024 (10)
  • 2023
  • January 2023 (182)
  • February 2023 (203)
  • March 2023 (322)
  • April 2023 (298)
  • May 2023 (268)
  • June 2023 (214)
  • July 2023 (212)
  • August 2023 (257)
  • September 2023 (237)
  • October 2023 (266)
  • November 2023 (284)
  • December 2023 (176)
  • 2022
  • January 2022 (293)
  • February 2022 (329)
  • March 2022 (358)
  • April 2022 (292)
  • May 2022 (271)
  • June 2022 (232)
  • July 2022 (278)
  • August 2022 (253)
  • September 2022 (246)
  • October 2022 (196)
  • November 2022 (232)
  • December 2022 (167)
  • 2021
  • January 2021 (182)
  • February 2021 (227)
  • March 2021 (325)
  • April 2021 (259)
  • May 2021 (285)
  • June 2021 (272)
  • July 2021 (277)
  • August 2021 (232)
  • September 2021 (271)
  • October 2021 (305)
  • November 2021 (364)
  • December 2021 (249)
  • 2020
  • January 2020 (272)
  • February 2020 (310)
  • March 2020 (390)
  • April 2020 (321)
  • May 2020 (335)
  • June 2020 (327)
  • July 2020 (333)
  • August 2020 (276)
  • September 2020 (214)
  • October 2020 (233)
  • November 2020 (242)
  • December 2020 (187)
  • 2019
  • January 2019 (251)
  • February 2019 (215)
  • March 2019 (283)
  • April 2019 (254)
  • May 2019 (269)
  • June 2019 (249)
  • July 2019 (335)
  • August 2019 (293)
  • September 2019 (306)
  • October 2019 (313)
  • November 2019 (362)
  • December 2019 (318)
  • 2018
  • January 2018 (291)
  • February 2018 (213)
  • March 2018 (275)
  • April 2018 (223)
  • May 2018 (235)
  • June 2018 (176)
  • July 2018 (256)
  • August 2018 (247)
  • September 2018 (255)
  • October 2018 (282)
  • November 2018 (282)
  • December 2018 (184)
  • 2017
  • January 2017 (183)
  • February 2017 (194)
  • March 2017 (207)
  • April 2017 (104)
  • May 2017 (169)
  • June 2017 (205)
  • July 2017 (189)
  • August 2017 (195)
  • September 2017 (186)
  • October 2017 (235)
  • November 2017 (253)
  • December 2017 (266)
  • 2016
  • January 2016 (164)
  • February 2016 (165)
  • March 2016 (189)
  • April 2016 (143)
  • May 2016 (245)
  • June 2016 (182)
  • July 2016 (271)
  • August 2016 (247)
  • September 2016 (233)
  • October 2016 (191)
  • November 2016 (243)
  • December 2016 (153)
  • 2015
  • January 2015 (1)
  • February 2015 (4)
  • March 2015 (164)
  • April 2015 (107)
  • May 2015 (116)
  • June 2015 (119)
  • July 2015 (145)
  • August 2015 (157)
  • September 2015 (186)
  • October 2015 (169)
  • November 2015 (173)
  • December 2015 (205)
  • 2014
  • March 2014 (2)
  • 2013
  • March 2013 (10)
  • June 2013 (1)
  • 2012
  • March 2012 (7)
  • April 2012 (15)
  • May 2012 (1)
  • July 2012 (1)
  • August 2012 (4)
  • October 2012 (2)
  • November 2012 (2)
  • December 2012 (1)
  • 2011
    2010
    2009
    2008
    2007
    2006
    2005
    2004
    2003
    2002
    2001
    2000
    1999
    1998
    1997
    1996
    1995
    1994
    1993
    1992
    1991
    1990
    1989
    1988
    1987
    1986
    1985
    1984
    1983
    1982
    1981
    1980
    1979
    1978
    1977
    1976
    1975
    1974
    1973
    1972
    1971
    1970
    1969
    1968
    1967
    1966
    1965
    1964
    1963
    1962
    1961
    1960
    1959
    1958
    1957
    1956
    1955
    1954
    1953
    1952
    1951
    1950