Two great pieces by Jason Zweig on Charlie Munger and the DJCO meeting, see excerpts below. Also see our notes embedded in storify.
Charlie Munger: Secrets of Buffett’s Success?
Why did nearly 250 investors converge on Los Angeles this past week to listen to a 90-year-old man address the annual meeting of a tiny legal-publishing and software company? To hear Charles T. Munger—better known as Warren Buffett’s right-hand man—expound on one of his least-known holdings and just about everything else.
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They weren’t disappointed. Charlie Munger talked almost nonstop for two hours, lambasting the banking and money-management industries, hailing the economic potential of China and, above all, dispensing common-sense advice that anyone can benefit from. His central message: Investors can reach their fullest potential only by thinking for themselves. “If you stay rational yourself,” he told the crowd, “the stupidity of the world helps you.”
I also spoke to Mr. Munger privately after the meeting. Here’s some of what he told me.
See full article on Charlie Munger: Secrets of Buffett’s Success? by Jason Zweig, Wall Street Journal
A Fireside Chat With Charlie Munger
Charlie Munger on how Warren Buffett influenced him:
Warren talked me into leaving the law business, and that was a very significant influence on me. I was already thinking about becoming a full-time investor, and Warren told me I was far better suited to that. He was right. I would probably have done it myself, but he pushed me to it. I have to say, it isn’t an easy thing to work very hard for many years to build up a significant career, as I had done, and then to destroy that career on purpose. [Mr. Munger left the law firm he founded, Munger, Tolles & Olson LLP, in 1965 to serve as Charlie Buffett’s right-hand man at Berkshire and to run a private investment partnership.] That would have been a lot harder to do if not for Warren’s influence on me.
It wasn’t a mistake. [Laughter.] It worked out remarkably well for both of us and for a lot of other people as well [the investors in Berkshire].
Charlie Munger on Benjamin Graham, the great investor who was Warren Buffett’s revered mentor:
I don’t love Ben Graham and his ideas the way Warren does. You have to understand, to Warren — who discovered him at such a young age and then went to work for him — Ben Graham’s insights changed his whole life, and he spent much of his early years worshiping the master at close range. But I have to say, Ben Graham had a lot to learn as an investor. His ideas of how to value companies were all shaped by how the Great Crash and the Depression almost destroyed him, and he was always a little afraid of what the market can do. It left him with an aftermath of fear for the rest of his life, and all his methods were designed to keep that at bay.
See full A Fireside Chat With Charlie Munger by Jason Zweig, Wall Street Journal