Charlie Munger, the right-hand man to Warren Buffett, passed away at age 99 on November 28th, 2023.
He worked alongside Buffett for 60+ years at Berkshire Hathaway and helped turn the company into a $700 billion dollar enterprise.
He passed away with a net worth of $2 billion despite having very little formal education.
Here are some of his best quotes on life, success, investing, money, and cryptocurrency.
Charlie Munger Quotes on Investing
It takes character to sit with all that cash and to do nothing. I didn’t get to the top where I am by going after mediocre opportunities.Charlie Munger
The big money is not in the buying or selling, but in the waiting.Charlie Munger
A lot of people with high IQs are terrible investors because they’ve got terrible temperaments.Charlie Munger
Spend each day trying to be a little wise than you were when you wake up.Charlie Munger
All intelligent investing is value investing, acquiring more than you are paying for. You must value the business in order to value the stock.Charlie Munger
It’s so simple to spend less than you earn, and invest shrewdly, and avoid toxic people and toxic activities, and try and keep learning all your life, and do a lot of deferred gratification. If you do all those things, you are almost certain to succeed. If you don’t, you’re going to need a lot of luck.Charlie Munger
You need patience, discipline, and agility to take losses and adversity without going crazy.Charlie Munger
Live within your income and save so you can invest. Learn what you need to learn.Charlie Munger
Mimicking the herd invites regression to the mean.
We have three baskets for investing: yes, no, and too tough to understand.
We both (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
An intelligent investing is value investing, acquiring more than you are paying for.
Everywhere there is a large commission, there is a high probability of a rip-off.
We have a passion for keeping things simple.
It’s waiting that 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.
Charlie Munger Quotes on Life
To get what you want, you have to deserve what you want. That world is not yet a crazy enough place to reward a whole bunch of people.Charlie Munger
Being something and doing something that no one had done before are two different things.Charlie Munger
If you keep learning all the time you have a huge advantage.Charlie Munger
You don’t have to be brilliant, only a little bit wiser than the other guys, on average, for a long, long time.Charlie Munger
A majority of life’s errors are caused by forgetting what one is really trying to do.Charlie Munger
The best thing a human can do is to help another human being know more.
There is no way you can live an adequate life without making mistakes.
When you borrow a man’s car, always return it with a tank of gas.
Assume life will be really tough, and then ask if you can handle it. If the answer is yes, you’ve won.
Don’t drift into self-pity because it doesn’t solve any problems.
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…
Remember that reputation and integrity are your most valuable assets and can be lost in a heartbeat.
Always take the high road, it’s far less crowded.
Charlie Munger Quotes on Success
I try to get rid of people who confidently answer questions about which they don’t have any real knowledge.Charlie Munger
Like Warren, I had a considerable passion to get rich, not because I wanted Ferrari’s -I wanted the independence. I desperately wanted it.Charlie Munger
Opportunity comes to the prepared mind.
We recognized early on that smart people do very dumb things, and we wanted to know why and who, so that we could avoid them.
People should take away less than they’re worth when they are favored by life…I would argue that when you rise high enough in American Business you’ve got a moral duty to be underpaid
If something is too hard, we move on to something else. What could be more simpler than that?
I met the towering intellectuals in books, not in classroom, which is natural. My family was into all that stuff, getting ahead through discipline, knowledge, and self-control.
You should avoid sloth and unreliability.
You must force yourself to consider opposing arguments. Especially when they challenge your best-loved ideas.
In my whole life, I have known no wise people…who didn’t read all the time –none, zero. You’d be amazed at how much Warren reads –at how much I read…They think I’m a book with a couple of legs sticking out.
Most people are too fretful, they worry too much. Success means being very patient, but aggressive when it’s time.
To this day, I have never taken a course anywhere, in chemistry, economics, psychology, or business.
You don’t have to have the ability that quantum mechanics requires. You just have to know a few simple things and really know them.
The iron rule of nature is: You get what you reward for. If you want ants to come, you put sugar on the floor.
I would argue that passion is more important than brainpower.
Charlie Munger Quotes on Cryptocurrency
In my life, I try to avoid things that are stupid, and evil, and make me look bad in comparison to someone else, and bitcoin does all three.Charlie Munger
In the first place, it’s stupid because it’s very likely to go to zero, and it’s evil because it undermines the Federal Reserve System and national currency system, which we desperately need to maintain its integrity and government control and so on.Charlie Munger
Those who keep learning will keep rising in life.
People calculate too much and think too little.
The habit of committing far more time to learning and thinking than to doing is no accident.
One of the greatest ways to avoid trouble is to keep it simple…the system often goes out of control.
If you skillfully follow the multidisciplinary path, you will never wish to come back. It would be like cutting off your hands.
Just the discipline of having to put your thoughts in order with somebody else is very useful thing.
I paid no attention to the territorial boundaries of academic disciplines and I just grabbed all the big ideas that I could.
It is remarkable how much long-term advantage people like us have gotten by trying to be consistently not stupid, instead of trying to be intelligent.
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.
Another thing I think should be avoided is extremely intense ideology because it cabbages up one’s mind…when you’re young it’s easy to drift into royalties and when you announce that you’re a loyal member…and you’re gradually ruining your mind.
Simplicity has a way of improving performance by enabling us to better understand what we are doing.
Generally speaking, envy, resentment, 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.
Those of us who have been fortunate have a duty to give back. Whether one gives a lot as one goes along as I do, or a little and then a lot (when one dies) as Warren does, is a matter of personal preference.
No man is fit to hold office who isn’t perfectly willing to leave it at any time…
Acknowledging what you don’t know is the dawning of wisdom.
A great business at a fair price is superior to a fair business at a great price.
.. the most famous composer in the world but was utterly miserable most of the time, and of the reasons was because he always overspent his income. This was Mozart. If Mozart couldn’t get by with this kind of asinine conduct, I don’t think you should try.
We’re not interested in taking a substantial chance of taking a lot of very decent people back to ‘Go’ so we can have one more zero on our net worth.
The liabilities are always 100 percent good. It’s the assets you have to worry about.
Take a simple idea, and take it seriously.
Wall Street has too much wealth and political power.
It’s like the slaughter of the innocents. It makes the people who run Las Vegas seem like good people.
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.
Our game is to recognize a big idea when it comes along when one doesn’t come along very often.
Ninety-nine percent of the troubles that threaten our civilization come from too optimistic, therefore we should have a system where the accounting is a way more conservative.
A lot of people think if you just had more process and more compliance- checks and double-checks and so forth-you could create a better world. We just try to operate in a seamless web of deserved trust and be careful of whom we trust.
Part of what you must learn is how to handle mistakes and new facts that change the odds. Life, in part, is like a poker game wherein you have to learn to quit sometimes when holding a much-loved hand.
Develop into a lifelong self-learner through voracious reading; cultivate curiosity and strive to become a little wiser every day.
Just because you like it does not mean that the world will necessarily give it to you.
Is there such a thing as a cheerful pessimist? That’s what I am.
Confucious 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…
Wisdom acquisition is a moral duty. It’s not something you do just to advance in life…You are not going to get very far in life based on what you already know. You’re going to advance in life by what you learn after you leave here.
Some people are extraordinarily good at knowing the limits of their knowledge because they have to be.
Spend each day trying to be a little wiser than you were when you woke up. Discharge your duties faithfully and well. Systematically you get ahead, but not necessarily in fast spurts…At the end of the day if you live long enough most people get what they deserve.
One solution fits all is not the way to go. All these cultures are different. The right culture for the Mayo Clinic is different from the right culture at a Hollywood movie studio. You can’t run all these places with a cookie-cutter solution.
There’s a tendency to think that our present politicians are much worse than we had in the past. But we tend to forget how awful our politicians were in the past.
The highest form that civilization can reach is a seamless web of deserved trust-not much procedure, just totally reliable people correctly trusting one another…
It’s not supposed to be easy. Anyone who finds it easy is stupid.
There is not more money to be made from law, but less time to enjoy it.
No wise pilot, no matter how great his talent and experience, fails to use a checklist.
I think that one should recognize the reality even when one doesn’t like it; indeed, especially when one doesn’t like it.
The best armor of old age is a well-spent life perfecting it.
Invert, always invert: Turn a situation or problem upside down. Look at it backward.