On November 18, 2023, Charlie Munger passed away at the age of 99. Munger was the Vice Chairman of Berkshire Hathaway, the investment conglomerate, and Warren Buffett's right-hand man. He also was a real estate attorney, philanthropist and architect.
Munger’s family said he peacefully died at a California hospital. He would have turned 100 on New Year’s Day. Munger died with an estimated fortune of $2.3 billion.
“Berkshire Hathaway could not have been built to its present status without Charlie’s inspiration, wisdom and participation,” Buffett said in a statement.
Munger was known for being no-nonsense and straight-to-the-point. Here are the top 10 Charline Munger quotes and a bonus.
Top 10 Charlie Munger Quotes
- “Spend each day trying to be a little wiser than you were when you woke up.”
- “The best thing a human being can do is to help another human being know more.”
- “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 very intelligent.”
- “In my whole life, I have known no wise people who didn't read all the time — none, zero.”
- “I never allow myself to have an opinion on anything that I don't know the other side's argument better than they do.”
- “The big money is not in the buying and selling, but in the waiting.”
- “You don't have to be brilliant, only a little bit wiser than the other guys, on average, for a long, long time.”
- “The first rule is that you can't really know anything if you just remember isolated facts and try and bang 'em back.”
- “There are worse situations than drowning in cash and sitting, sitting, sitting.”
- “The game of life is the game of everlasting learning. At least it is if you want to win.”
Honorable mention quote, “Bitcoin is probably rat poison squared”
These quotes reflect Munger's emphasis on continuous learning, rational decision-making, and a long-term perspective in investing and life.
Charlie Munger's Quotes And Sayings In Video
Here are some of Charlie Munger's zingers over video. As you will see, Charlie was always a straight shooter and liked to cut through the BS.
Charlie Munger's Difficult Upbringing
In 1953, Munger was 29 years old. He recently got divorced and lost the house. Back then, getting a divorce carried a lot of social stigma.
But even worse than social shame was the discovery that his 8-year-old son, Teddy, was diagnosed with cancer. Unfortunately, his leukemia was incurable. Despite not having medical insurance, Munger was able to pay for all his son's medical care.
Charlie would visit Teddy in the hospital every day — and then walk the streets crying. Sadly, Teddy died at the age of 9.
Charlie was broke, divorced and just lost his child. Many people would've turned to alcohol, drugs, or suicide. Munger never did.
Fast forward to 52 years old, a failed cataract surgery left him blind in one eye with the potential of going fully blind one day. Charlie was an obsessive learner who read every book he could get his hands on. When confronted with the possibility of going blind and no longer being able to read he said: “It's time for me to learn braille!”
The only thing that might be more impressive than his intellect was his actions.
Charlie Munger On Self-Pity And Dealing With Envy
“Generally speaking, envy, resentment, revenge, and self-pity are disastrous modes of thought. Self-pity gets pretty close to paranoia… Every time you find your drifting into self-pity, I don’t care what the cause, your child could be dying from cancer, self-pity is not going to improve the situation. It’s a ridiculous way to behave.
Life will have terrible blows, horrible blows, unfair blows, it doesn’t matter. Some people recover and others don’t. There I think the attitude of Epictetus is the best. He thought that every mischance in life was an opportunity to behave well. Every mischance in life was an opportunity to learn something and that your duty was not to be immersed in self-pity, but to utilize the terrible blow in a constructive fashion.
That is a very good idea.”
Learning From Munger's Ways
Charlie Munger lived a full life. He kept doing what he wanted to do until the very end.
Clearly Charlie could have retired early and sat on the beach all day. But I think part of what drove him to live so long was his continued desire to learn. He enjoyed the challenge of outperforming the markets.
We need purpose in life. Charlie has inspired me to keep writing and recording on Financial Samurai for as long as I can.
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