Charlie Munger’s best quotes on investing, life and everything in between | CNN Business (2024)

Charlie Munger’s best quotes on investing, life and everything in between | CNN Business (1)

Munger was known for his pithy and often humorous remarks on investing, life and more.

A version of this story first appeared in CNN Business’ Before the Bell newsletter. Not a subscriber? You can sign upright here. You can listen to an audio version of the newsletter by clicking the same link.

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Billionaire investor Charlie Munger, vice-chairman of Berkshire Hathaway and long-time friend to Warren Buffett, died on Tuesday. He was 99 years old.

Munger was known for his quick wit, life-long passion for learning and old-school approach to investing. Munger leaves behind a colossal legacy that extends from Wall Street to Main Street.

“His impact went far beyond the investing world. People discovered him, thinking that they would learn about ways to make money, but they got so much more,” Whitney Tilson, an investor and expert on both Buffett and Munger, told Before the Bell. “He talked about a latticework of how an intelligent person needs to read and study a wide range of subjects. He said ‘if all you have is a hammer, the world looks like a nail.’”

Munger, who was worth $2.7 billion according to Forbes, was revered for his pithy and often humorous remarks on investing, life and more. He often employed what Tilson calls Munger-isms to simply convey very complex concepts.

His speeches and writings, compiled in books like “Poor Charlie’s Almanack,” are considered essential reading for anyone interested in business, investing or the art of clear thinking.

Here are some of his most memorable musings.

On investing in tech:

“We were not ideally located to be high-tech wizards. How many people of our age quickly mastered Google? I’ve been to Google headquarters. It looked to me like a kindergarten.” - Berkshire Hathaway meeting, 2018

On algorithmic trading:

“We have computers with algorithms trading against other computers. We’ve got people who know nothing about stocks, being advised by stockbrokers who know even less.” - Berkshire Hathaway 2022 meeting

On learning:

“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 when they got up and boy does that help—particularly when you have a long run ahead of you.” - 2007 USC Law School Commencement Address

On sitting tight:

“There are huge advantages for an individual to get into a position where you make a few great investments and just sit on your a**: You are paying less to brokers. You are listening to less nonsense. And if it works, the governmental tax system gives you an extra 1, 2 or 3 percentage points per annum compounded.” - Worldly Wisdom by Charlie Munger 1995 - 1998

On marriage:

“I think life is a whole series of opportunity costs. You know, you got to marry the best person who is convenient to find who will have you. Investment is much the same sort of a process.” - 1997 Berkshire Hathaway Annual Meeting

On the government deficit:

“A man who jumps out of a building is OK until he hits the ground.” - 2023 Berkshire Hathaway annual meeting

On mastering our emotions:

“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.” - Kiplinger interview, 2005

On problem solving:

“Invert, always invert: Turn a situation or problem upside down. Look at it backward.” - Poor Charlie’s Almanack

On passion:

“You’ll do better if you have passion for something in which you have aptitude. If Warren Buffett had gone into ballet, no one would have heard of him.” – Berkshire Hathaway annual meeting, 2008

On mismanagement:

“Invest in a business any fool can run, because someday a fool will. If it won’t stand a little mismanagement, it’s not much of a business.” - Poor Charlie’s Almanack

On inflation:

“If I can be optimistic when I’m nearly dead, surely the rest of you can handle a little inflation” – 2010 annual Berkshire Hathaway meeting.

On success:

“It’s so simple. You spend less than you earn. Invest shrewdly, and avoid toxic people and toxic activities, and try and keep learning all your life, etcetera etcetera. And do a lot of deferred gratification because you prefer life that way. And if you do all those things you are almost certain to succeed. And if you don’t, you’re gonna need a lot of luck.” - Poor Charlie’s Almanack

On old age:

“The best armor of old age is a well spent life preceding it.” – Tao of Charlie Munger: A Compilation of Quotes from Berkshire Hathaway’s Vice Chairman on Life, Business, and the Pursuit of Wealth With Commentary by David Clarkhis

Charlie Munger’s best quotes on investing, life and everything in between | CNN Business (2024)


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You should never be stupider than you need to be." "It takes character to sit there with all that cash and do nothing. I didn't get to where I am by going after mediocre opportunities." "Whenever you think something or some person is ruining your life, it's you.

What is Charlie Munger's greatest advice? ›

Munger counsels, quoting Benjamin Franklin, “If you would persuade, appeal to interest and not to reason.” He continues, "This maxim is a wise guide to a great and simple precaution in life: Never, ever, think about something else when you should be thinking about the power of incentives.” Also, don't expect things to ...

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“Price is what you pay, value is what you get.” This famous Buffett quote strikes at the heart of the “value investor” approach and reveals the secret of how Buffett made his fortune.

Is Charlie Munger a Democrat or Republican? ›

Munger, who often supported Republican causes, never shied away from expressing his opinions about either major political party.

What is the most famous quote ever said? ›

“I have a dream.”

– Martin Luther King Jr.

What is the most famous line of all time? ›

A jury consisting of 1,500 film artists, critics, and historians selected "Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn", spoken by Clark Gable as Rhett Butler in the 1939 American Civil War epic Gone with the Wind, as the most memorable American movie quotation of all time.

What is Charlie Munger's investment advice? ›

Investing Advice From Charlie Munger

Charlie Munger once said that the first rule of compounding is to never interrupt it unnecessarily. This is powerful advice for several reasons. It first assures us that compounding is a modern wonder.

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Charlie Munger Handed Over His Family Fortune To The 'Chinese Warren Buffett' Who Flipped It into Half A Billion Dollars — 'We Made Unholy Good Returns For A Long, Long Time' In this article: BRK-B.

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Invest for the long haul. Don't get too greedy and don't get too scared.” “Waiting helps you as an investor and a lot of people just can't stand to wait. If you didn't get the deferred-gratification gene, you've got to work very hard to overcome that.”

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"Rule No. 1: Never lose money. Rule No. 2: Never forget Rule No. 1."- Warren Buffet.

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Price is what you pay, value is what you get.” “The most important quality for an investor is temperament, not intellect.” “Remember that the stock market is a manic depressive.” “The most important investment you can make is in yourself.”

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Why is Munger's net worth so much smaller? Mostly because Buffett has always owned a much larger Berkshire stake, but also because Munger has sold or donated more than 75% of his Berkshire stock over the years.

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In an interview with Yahoo Finance in 2019, Mr Munger said he had already transferred more than half of his wealth to his six children. “Well, I wouldn't sign The Giving Pledge because I have already transferred so much to my children that I've already violated it,” he said at the time.

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A little nonsense now and then is relished by the wisest men. The quote from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, "A little nonsense now and then is relished by the wisest men," speaks to the importance of embracing moments of whimsy and lightheartedness in life.

What was the most famous quote from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory? ›

You should never, never doubt something that no one is sure of.”

What is the important quote from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory? ›

You should never, never doubt something that no one is sure of. The idiotic thing at all. In almost every house we've been, We've watched them gaping at the screen.

What did Charlie Munger say about reading? ›

In my whole life, I have known no wise people (over a broad subject matter area) who didn't read all the time—none.


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