Charlie Munger Quotes – The Wisdom of Charles T. Munger

“Generally speaking, envy, resentment, revenge and self-pity are disastrous modes of thoughts. Self-pity gets fairly close to paranoia, and paranoia is one of the very hardest things to reverse. You do not want to drift into self-pity. … Self-pity will not improve the situation.”

“In my whole life, I have known no wise people (over a broad subject matter area) who didn’t read all the time — none, zero. You’d be amazed at how much Warren reads–and at how much I read. My children laugh at me. They think I’m a book with a couple of legs sticking out.”

— Charlie Munger, Poor Charlie’s Almanack: The Wit and Wisdom of Charles T. Munger

“To get what you want, you have to deserve what you want. The world is not yet a crazy enough place to reward a whole bunch of
undeserving people.”

— Charlie Munger

“I constantly see people rise in life who are not the smartest, sometimes not even the most diligent, but they are learning machines. They go to bed every night a little wiser than they were when they got up and boy does that help, particularly when you have a long run ahead of you.”

“There’s danger in just shoveling out money to people who say, ‘My life is a little harder than it used to be. At a certain place you’ve got to say to the people, ‘Suck it in and cope, buddy. Suck it in and cope.’”

“Another thing, of course, is that life will have terrible blows in it, horrible blows, unfair blows. It doesn’t matter. And some people recover and others don’t. And there I think the attitude of Epictetus is the best. He thought that every missed chance in life was an opportunity to behave well, every missed chance in life was an opportunity to learn something, and that your duty was not to be submerged in self-pity, but to utilize the terrible blow in constructive fashion. That is a very good idea.”

“Confucius said that real knowledge is knowing the extent of one’s ignorance. Aristotle and Socrates said the same thing. Is it a skill that can be taught or learned? It probably can, if you have enough of a stake riding on the outcome. Some people are extraordinarily good at knowing the limits of their knowledge, because they have to be. Think of somebody who’s been a professional tightrope walker for 20 years – and has survived. He couldn’t survive as a tightrope walker for 20 years unless he knows exactly what he knows and what he doesn’t know. He’s worked so hard at it, because he knows if he gets it wrong he won’t survive. The survivors know. … Knowing what you don’t know is more useful than being brilliant.”

“What do you want to avoid? Such an easy answer: sloth and unreliability. If you’re unreliable it doesn’t matter what your virtues are. You’re going to crater immediately. Doing what you have faithfully engaged to do should be an automatic part of your conduct. You want to avoid sloth and unreliability.”

“I’ve seen so much folly and stupidity on the part of our major philanthropic groups, including the World Bank. I really have more confidence in building up the more capitalistic ventures like Costco.”

“We both (Charlie Munger and Warren Buffett) insist on a lot of time being available almost every day to just sit and think. That is very uncommon in American business. We read and think.”

— Charlie Munger

“How to find a good spouse?
-the best single way is to deserve a good spouse.”

— Charlie Munger, Poor Charlie’s Almanack: The Wit and Wisdom of Charles T. Munger

“It takes character to sit with all that cash and to do nothing.
I didn’t get top where I am by going after mediocre opportunities.”

— Charlie Munger, Poor Charlie’s Almanack: The Wit and Wisdom of Charles T. Munger

We both insist on a lot of time being available almost every day to just sit and think. That is very uncommon in American business. We read and think.

— Charlie Munger

Spend each day trying to be a little wiser than you were when you woke up. Day by day, and at the end of the day-if you live long enough-like most people, you will get out of life what you deserve.

— Charlie Munger

You’d be amazed at how much Warren reads – at how much I read. My children laugh at me. They think I’m a book with a couple of legs sticking out.

— Charlie Munger

We all are learning, modifying, or destroying ideas all the time. Rapid destruction of your ideas when the time is right is one of the most valuable qualities you can acquire. You must force yourself to consider arguments on the other side.

— Charlie Munger

Acquire worldly wisdom and adjust your behavior accordingly. If your new behavior gives you a little temporary unpopularity with your peer group…then to hell with them.

— Charlie Munger

It takes character to sit with all that cash and to do nothing.
I didn’t get top where I am by going after mediocre opportunities.

— Charlie Munger

I believe in the discipline of mastering the best that other people have ever figured out. I don’t believe in just sitting down and trying to dream it all up yourself. Nobody’s that smart.

— Charlie Munger

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

— Charlie Munger

Mimicking the herd invites regression to the mean.

— Charlie Munger

Take one simple idea and take it seriously.

— Charlie Munger

The great algorithm to remember in dealing with this tendency is simple: an idea or a fact is not worth more merely because it’s easily available to you.

— Charlie Munger

An example of a really responsible system is the system the Romans used when they built an arch. The guy who created the arch stood under it as the scaffolding was removed. It’s like packing your own parachute.

— Charlie Munger

Generally speaking, envy, resentment, revenge and self-pity are disastrous modes of thoughts. Self-pity gets fairly close to paranoia, and paranoia is one of the very hardest things to reverse. You do not want to drift into self-pity. … Self-pity will not improve the situation.

I’ve gotten paid a lot over the years for reading through the newspapers.

— Charlie Munger

There is no better teacher than history in determining the future. There are answers worth billions of dollars in 30$ history book.

— Charlie Munger, Poor Charlie’s Almanack: The Wit and Wisdom of Charles T. Munger

People calculate too much and think too little.

— Charlie Munger

What are the secret of success? – rational

— Charlie Munger, Poor Charlie’s Almanack: The Wit and Wisdom of Charles T. Munger

Develop into a lifelong self-learner through voracious reading; cultivate curiosity and strive to become a little wiser every day.

— Charlie Munger, Charlie Munger: The Complete Investor

All I want to know is where I’m going to die so I’ll never go there.

— Charlie Munger, Life Is Short And So Is This Book

Envy is a really stupid sin because it’s the only one you could never possibly have any fun at. There’s a lot of pain and no fun. Why would you want to get on that trolley?

— Charlie Munger, Charlie Munger: The Complete Investor

If you don’t get this elementary, but mildly unnatural, mathematics of elementary probability into your repertoire, then you go through a long life like a one-legged man in an ass-kicking contest.

— Charlie Munger, Superforecasting: The Art and Science of Prediction

If something is too hard, we move on to something else. What could be simpler than that?

— Charlie Munger, Charlie Munger: The Complete Investor

A lot of people with high IQs are terrible investors because they’ve got terrible temperaments. And that is why we say that having a certain kind of temperament is more important than brains. You need to keep raw irrational emotion under control. You need patience and discipline and an ability to take losses and adversity without going crazy. You need an ability to not be driven crazy by extreme success.

— Charlie Munger

The iron rule of nature is: you get what you reward for. If you want ants to come, you put sugar on the floor.

— Charlie Munger

We have three baskets: in, out, and too tough. … We have to have a special insight, or we’ll put it in the “too tough” basket.

— Charlie Munger

Man’s imperfect, limited-capacity brain easily drifts into working with what’s easily available to it. And the brain can’t use what it can’t remember or when it’s blocked from recognizing because it’s heavily influenced by one or more psychological tendencies bearing strongly on it … the deep structure of the human mind requires that the way to full scope competency of virtually any kind is to learn it all to fluency—like it or not.

— Charlie Munger

I think that, every time you see the word EBITDA, you should substitute the words “bullshit earnings.”

— Charlie Munger