Charlie Munger


wealthymatters.comFor all those who are like who the heck is this Charlie?And there are many who would ask the question where I come from. Charles Thomas (Charlie) Munger is an investment manager. He is Vice-Chairman of Berkshire Hathaway Corporation and Warren Buffett’s long term associate. Munger is also the chairman of Wesco Financial Corporation, based in Pasadena, California. Wesco Financial is an 80.1%-owned subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway. It began as a savings and loan association, but now controls Precision Steel Corp., CORT Furniture Leasing, Kansas Bankers Surety Company, and other ventures. Wesco Financial has an equity portfolio of over $1.5 billion dollars that is concentrated in Coca-Cola, Wells Fargo, Procter & Gamble, Kraft Foods, US Bancorp, and Goldman Sachs.

Buffett has often publicly stated that he regards Charlie Munger as his partner.  In fact Charlie Munger owns enough Berkshire Hathaway stock to be a bona fide billionaire in his own right. There are many similarities between these two long time friends.However the lesser known Charlie Munger is not a carbon copy of Warren Buffett.There are distinct differences in the way in which the two long -time friends think .Ofcourse what is so fascinationg is how both these people’s thoughts mesh to create a better whole.Also Warren Buffett is known to devote his time almost exclusively to his business, while Charlie Munger, who does not involve himself in the day-to-day operations of Berkshire, is a generalist for whom investment is only one of a broad range of interests.

Charlie Munger is a great admirer of Benjamin Franklin.His thoughts are compiled in a 500 odd pages tomb called “Poor Charlie’s Almanack”.

Charlie Munger believes in thinking about things by inverting. So to understand how to be happy in life, Charlie will study how to make life miserable; to examine how businesses become big and strong, Charlie first studies how businesses decline and die; most people care more about how to succeed in the stock market, Charlie is most concerned about why most have failed in the stock market.

Charlie Munger is credited with originating the concept of “Elementary, Worldly Wisdom” as it relates to business and finance. Munger’s worldly wisdom consists of a set of mental models framed as a latticework to help solve critical business problems. According to Munger, only 80 or 90 important models will carry about 90% of the freight in making you a worldly-wise person.

Another favourite Munger term is the “Lollapalooza Effect” which stands for multiple biases, tendencies or mental models acting at the same time in the same direction. With the Lollapolooza effect, the result is often extreme, due to the confluence of the mental models, biases or tendencies acting together. The effect is evident in Tupperware parties and open outcry auctions, which turn the human brain into “mush”. In the Tupperware party, you have reciprocation and social proof –The hostess gave the party and the tendency is to reciprocate; other people are buying, which is the social proof. In the open outcry auction, there is social proof of others bidding, commitment to buying the item, and deprivation super-reaction syndrome, i.e. sense of loss. The latter is an individual’s sense of loss of what he believe should be or is his. These biases often occur at either conscious or subconscious level, and in both microeconomic and macroeconomic scale.

He has also much to say on how incentives drive human behaviour.

Charlie’s thoughts are best captured in his own words-quotes popularly termed “Mungerisms”.Here is a link to my personal collection of Mungerisms: https://wealthymatters.com/2011/02/12/charlie-mungers-quotes-mungerisms/

About Keerthika Singaravel
Engineer,Investor,Businessperson

2 Responses to Charlie Munger

  1. Pingback: mungerisms – bollocks bolloks bolocks

  2. Pingback: Charlie Munger’s Quotes = Mungerisms « Wealthymatters

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