Charles Thomas Munger is a business magnate, investor, and former real estate lawyer who was born in the United States on January 1, 1924. Warren Buffett has identified Charlie Munger as his closest colleague and right-hand man, and Munger holds the position of vice chairman at Berkshire Hathaway, the company Buffett controls. As Wesco Financial Corporation’s chairman, Munger oversaw the company from 1984 to 2011. In addition to serving as a director for Costco Wholesale Corporation, he also serves as chairman of the Daily Journal Corporation in Los Angeles, California.
1. He Shares Warren Buffett’s Fortune
These two investment giants have been pals for decades, even before Berkshire Hathaway became a household name. The two guys haven’t met, but they really crossed paths in the 1930s at that same grocery store we described before Buffets. Ernest Platt Buffet, Warren Buffett’s grandpa, was the store’s proprietor. Considering Charlie was six years older than Warren, they probably never met.
While Charlie was in Nebraska in 1959 for his father Alfred’s funeral, a common friend from their respective hometowns introduced the two. It didn’t take long for them to bond over their mutual familiarity with Nebraska culture and the Buffets grocery store where they’d both once worked.
We went out to supper, and within five minutes both Charlie and I were on the floor, laughing hysterically at our own jokes. To paraphrase what Buffett said to CNBC, “the major thing we learned from the grocery shop is that we didn’t want to work in a grocery store.”
Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, Warren and Charlie maintained a tight relationship in which they used a “buddy system” to consult with one another before either of them made a significant investment. Because of the two years of market downturn between 1973 and 1974, Charlie decided to close Wheeler, Munger & Company in 1975.
2. Relationships Were Difficult for Him
Charlie’s background and commercial acumen have been explored, but who is the guy behind the curtain? The details of his life are a tale of heroic accomplishment and devastating loss.
Do you recall how Charlie got out of the service and enrolled at Harvard Law School after World War II ended? On this trip, Charlie would meet Nancy Huggins, the sister of his college buddy. In 1945, they tied the knot, and their union was blessed with three children. A divorce was finalized after eight years of marriage, which was unusual and controversial in 1953.
With the breakup came the loss of Charlie’s home and all of his savings. He could have given up, but instead, he worked like a madman to get back what he had lost. Charlie had only just begun to experience difficulties, as the worst was yet to come. Charlie’s youngest son, Teddy, was stricken with Leukemia a year after the divorce.
3. Three of The Most Important Lessons in Life Are Within His Possession
Let’s take a cue from the man who’s seen it all and listen to his wisdom on living. Embrace the freedom of five timeless mastery teachings
- “The sin of envy is the only one you’ll never be able to laugh at, hence it’s the stupidest of all of the vices. There’s lots of suffering and zero rewards. Get off that trolly, why don’t you?
- You can’t have a good life without making a lot of mistakes.
- According to my logic, “passion is more important than mental power.”
4. He’s Written Some Excellent Financial Books
Anyone who considers themselves an investor but has never heard of “Poor Charlie’s Almanack” should slap themselves and read it immediately. Ben Franklin’s “Poor Richard’s Almanack” ran from 1733 to 1758 and offered sound counsel that has stood the test of time. Next, Charlie Munger took the mic.
Any investor, novice or veteran, would do well to study this collection of Charlie Munger’s seminars and speeches. Nothing says it better than Charlie that investing abilities are applicable to many areas of life, not just stocks.