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  • Writer's pictureDel Chatterson

Words of wisdom from Charlie Munger

Updated: Feb 19

Gone but not forgotten

"If I can be optimistic when I’m nearly dead, surely the rest of you can handle a little inflation."

Charlie Munger's many incisive one-liners are being shared on news coverage and media feeds worldwide for us all to remember the wise words of the legendary investor, vice-chairman and business partner of Warren Buffet at Berkshire Hathaway, who died on Tuesday, November 28th.

I credit my own awareness of Charlie Munger's words of wisdom to David Senra's post on Linkedin with his comprehensive notes from Poor Charlie's Almanac. (See Below)

Another example: Market Watch article by Nicole Lyn Pesce “ 9 of Charlie Munger's best investing lessons and words of wisdom:

  1. Lifelong learning is paramount to long-term success.

  2. Every time you hear EBITDA, just substitute it with bullshit.

  3. If you're not willing to react with equanimity to a market price decline of 50% two or three times a century, you're not fit to be a common shareholder and you deserve the mediocre results you're going to get.

  4. Forget what you know about buying fair businesses at wonderful prices; instead, buy wonderful businesses at fair prices. 

  5. The best thing a human being can do is to help another human being know more.

  6. The world is not driven by greed. It's driven by envy.

  7. The best armor of old age is a well spent life preceding it.

Do you have your own favourites? Or contradictory advice?

Be better. Do Better. Be an Enlightened Entrepreneur.

Del Chatterson, your Uncle Ralph

Note: David Senra's post on Linkedin with his comprehensive notes from Poor Charlie's Almanac: The Wit and Wisdom of Charlie Munger turned into maxims:

1. Find a simple idea and take it seriously.

2. Good ideas are rare. When you find one bet heavily.

3. Humans have been writing down their best ideas for 5,000 years. Read them.

4. Avoiding stupid mistakes is more important than being smart.

5. Don't work with anyone you don't admire.

6. Don't sell anything you wouldn't buy.

7. Avoiding a bad habit is easier than breaking a bad habit.

8. Work on your best idea. Don't diversify

9. Incentives rule everything around you. Look for them.

10. Great businesses are built by going ridiculously far in maximizing or minimizing one or a few things. Think Costco.

11. Learning is changing behavior.

12. Do the unpleasant tasks first.

13. Charlie has read hundreds of biographies. Do the same.

14. Stop multitasking. Concentrate.

15. Many hard problems are solved best when approached backwards.

16. Think of ideas as tools. When a better tool comes along use it.

17. Clip your business and personal expenses. Small leaks sink big ships.

18. Make friends with smart dead people. Adam Smith, Darwin, Cicero, Ben Franklin, whoever interests you. Read their writing. Steal their ideas. They don't need them anymore.

19. Don't confuse intelligence with invincibility.

20. Bad things will happen to you. It's inevitable. When they do get up and keep going and remember the next maxim.

21. Self pity has no utility.

22. Find out what you are best at. Then pound away at it. Forever.

23. Only plays games where you have an edge.

24. Avoid mob rule. Avoid demagogues. Avoid dogma. Avoid bureaucracy.

25. Optimize for independence.

25. Use money to buy freedom.

26. Develop durability.

27. What do you have an *intense* interest in? Do that for money.

28. Self improvement has no end.

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