Legendary Charlie Munger Passed Away At 99, Leaving A Legacy of Quotes Displaying His Wit and Wisdom

Charlie Munger wouldn’t live forever, though we wish he would stay with us longer. Munger passed away peacefully, short of his 100th birthday which would have been on New Year’s Day. Warren Buffett praised his partner, confidante, and dear friend, billionaire Charlie Munger for the past 58 years in this year’s letter to Berkshire Hathaway shareholders of Berkshire Hathaway’s 2022 results. Buffett’s last letter recognized that mortality was at the door for Charlie and himself. One of the most significant and longest-running management teams has been broken.

Buffett provided Charlie Munger’s recent quotes that display his legendary wit and wisdom. What follows is Warren Buffett’s tribute to Charlie, which is only part of the man’s values and his investing legacy.

Though they often thought alike, Munger could be sharp-tongued and blunt to Buffett’s softer tone. They were an extraordinary management team, and Charlie Munger, at age 99 to Buffett’s younger 93 years, adds significant value and lessons, and according to BH’s CEO, much laughter.

Who was Charlie Munger?

Charlie Munger began working with Warren at a grocery store owned by Buffett’s grandfather in 1942. Since 1965, Vice Chairman Charlie Munger has shared the helm at Berkshire Hathaway with its CEO, Warren Buffett.

According to Forbes, Munger’s net worth of $2.3 billion is well below Buffett’s net worth of over $107 billion. The gap may relate to Charlie’s role as Vice-Chairman and later starting as a value investor than Buffett, making substantial donations much earlier than Buffett and doing so throughout his life.

Munger may sometimes yield to Buffett, but he is also a legendary investor in his own right with a strong philosophy that emphasizes a long-term focus, value investing, and aversion to leverage and unnecessary risk. He detests cryptocurrency and recently said,” “It’s totally absolutely crazy, stupid gambling.”

Charlie remained active at Berkshire Hathaway until his death and got around in a wheelchair.  He was a board member for several companies, including Daily Journal, where he recently shed his role as CEO.

Warren Buffett shared Munger’s recent thoughts in Berkshire Hathaway’s letter to its shareholders on these themes:

Take A Long Term Perspective When Investing

Like Warren Buffett, Charlie Munger emphasized patience in the market, looking for value, having a long-term horizon, and staying the course when investing.

“The world is full of foolish gamblers who will not do as well as the patient investor.”

“Patience can be learned. A huge advantage is having a long attention span and the ability to concentrate on one thing for a long time.”

“Warren and I don’t focus on the froth of the market. We seek out good long-term investments and stubbornly hold them for a long time.”

Ben Graham, considered the father of value investing said, “Day to day, the stock market is a voting machine; in the long term it’s a weighing machine.” Munger adds, “If you keep making something more valuable, then some wise person is going to notice it and start buying.”

Favored Value Investing

Although Munger admired Ben Graham, he was more critical of him than Buffett, a student who worked with him. Munger was a value investor, calling it “intelligent investing,” as you seek better prospects than what it costs you to purchase.

Investors Need To Learn More And Make Adjustments

Continue learning is a common thread used by Charlie Munger, like his partner, Warren, who devours hundreds of pages of readings to stay rational and current with the world.

“You have to keep learning if you want to become a great investor. When the world changes, you must change.”

“If you don’t see the world the way it is, it’s like judging something through a distorted lens.”

On making substantial investments in railroads, he said, “Warren and I hated railroad stocks for decades, but the world changed. Finally, the country had four huge railroads vital to the American economy. We were slow to recognize the change, but better late than never.”

“If you don’t care whether you are rational or not, you won’t work on it. Then you will stay irrational and get lousy results.”

“A great company keeps working after you are not; a mediocre company won’t do that.”

Related Reading: Best Warren Buffett Quotes: A Treasure of 16 Investing Tips

Be Mindful of Taking High Risks

Charlie Buffett has been vocal  about using leverage for potential investment gains, saying,

“There is no such thing as a 100% sure thing when investing. Thus, the use of leverage is dangerous. A string of wonderful numbers times zero will always equal zero. Don’t count on getting rich twice.”

On becoming rich, Charlie said, “You don’t, however, need to own a lot of things in order to get rich.”

“You have to keep learning if you want to become a great investor. When the world changes, you must change.”

Munger’s Extraordinary Legacy

At 99, Munger could sound youthful in his thoughts. However, in reality, it is likely that Charlie was thinking about the profound legacy he would leave us.

“You can learn a lot from dead people. Read of the deceased you admire and detest.”

“All I want to know is where I’m going to die, so I’ll never go there. And a related thought: Early on, write your desired obituary– and then behave accordingly.”

Final Thoughts

Warren Buffett was better known than Vice Chairman Charlie Munger, though the latter is integral to their partnership in managing Berkshire Hathaway for 58 years. They had a unique relationship, filled with respect and admiration for each other. Munger’s passing ends an era in many ways, even as Warren Buffett, his much younger friend, hopefully has some time with us, still.  They have given us much in the way of their philosophical lessons on money, investing, and ethics.

To many, they are American treasures.



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