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30+ Charlie Munger Quotes!

I’m a huge fan of Charles T. Munger (aka “Warren Buffett’s right-hand man”) – I named  Poor Charlie’s Almanack the #1 book in The 20 Best Business Books Of All Time because I find myself quoting and utilizing his knowledge all the time.

In the mean time, here are some of my favorite Charlie Munger quotes:

  1. Never, ever, think about something else when you should be thinking about the power of incentives. (For more on incentives, see  my articles on the Incentives Mental Model and  “Are Cubbie Fans The Reason The Cubs Have Sucked For 100+ Years?”)
  2. Almost all good businesses engage in ‘pain today, gain tomorrow’ activities.
  3. Spend each day trying to be a little wiser than you were when you woke up.
  4. In my whole life, I have known no wise people (over a broad subject matter area) who didn’t read all the time — none, zero.
  5. Choose clients as you would friends.
  6. The best armour of 0ld age is a well-spent life preceding it.
  7. When you borrow a man’s car, always return it with a tank of gas.
  8. If only I had the influence with my wife and children that I have in some other quarters!
  9. Take a simple idea and take it seriously.
  10. In business we often find that the winning system goes almost ridiculously far in maximizing and or minimizing one or a few variables — like the discount warehouses of Costco.
  11. Don’t do cocaine. Don’t race trains. And avoid AIDS situations.
  12. We look for a horse with one chance in two of winning and which pays you three to one.
  13. You’re looking for a mispriced gamble. That’s what investing is. And you have to know enough to know whether the gamble is mispriced. That’s value investing.
  14. 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.
  15. A great business at a fair price is superior to a fair business at a great price.
  16. All intelligent investing is value investing — acquiring more than you are paying for.
  17. You must value the business in order to value you the stock.
  18. No wise pilot, no matter how great his talent and experience, fails to use his checklist.
  19. There are worse situations than drowning in cash and sitting, sitting, sitting. I remember when I wasn’t awash in cash — and I don’t want to go back.
  20. …it never ceases to amaze me to see how much territory can be grasped if one merely masters and consistently uses all the obvious and easily learned principles.
  21. Once you get into debt, it’s hell to get out. Don’t let credit card debt carry over. You can’t get ahead paying eighteen percent.
  22. If you always tell people why, they’ll understand it better, they’ll consider it more important, and they’ll be more likely to comply.
  23. Spend less than you make; always be saving something. Put it into a tax-deferred account. Over time, it will begin to amount to something. This is such a no-brainer.
  24. You don’t have to be brilliant, only a little bit wiser than the other guys, on average, for a long, long time.
  25. Three rules for a career: 1) Don’t sell anything you wouldn’t buy yourself; 2) Don’t work for anyone you don’t respect and admire; and 3) Work only with people you enjoy.
  26. I won’t bet $100 against house odds between now and the grave.
  27. I try to get rid of people who always confidently answer questions about which they don’t have any real knowledge.
  28. …being an effective teacher is a high calling.
  29. 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. Nobody’s that smart…
  30. Without numerical fluency, in the part of life most of us inhibit, you are like a one-legged man in an ass-kicking contest.
  31. In my life there are not that many questions I can’t properly deal with using my $40 adding machine and dog-eared compound interest table.
  32. Perhaps the most important rule in management is to get the incentives right. (source: Poor Charlie’s Almanack)
  33. I do not think you can trust bankers to control themselves. They are like heroin addicts (source: CNBC interview May 2013)
  34. The best thing a human being can do is to help another human being know more.”“The best thing a human being can do is to help another human being know more.

 

 

6 Comments

  • http://robdkelly.com/leadership/john-wooden-7-things-to-do/ John Wooden’s 7 Things to Do (aka 7 Creeds) & John Wooden Quotes | Rob Kelly

    [...] “In my whole life, I have known no wise people (over a broad subject matter area) who didn’t read all the time — none, zero.” (read here for more Charlie Munger quotes) [...]

  • http://robdkelly.com/investing/four-filters-invention/ What You Ought To Know About Buffett & Munger’s Four Filters Invention | Rob Kelly

    [...] book at times and add in a dose of quotes I’ve collected (see my past postings on Charlie Munger Quotes or Warren Buffett Quotes) as well as some quotes and insights from other [...]

  • http://robdkelly.com/quotes/12-awesome-chinese-provebs/ 12 Awesome Chinese Proverbs | Rob Kelly

    [...] Charlie Munger Quotes [...]

  • http://robdkelly.com/quotes/warren-buffett-quotes/ My Favorite Important Warren Buffett Quotes | Rob Kelly

    [...] Charlie Munger Quotes [...]

  • guest

    thanks for sharing – loved it all!

  • http://robdkelly.com/blog/models-frameworks/munger-mental-models/ The Top 100 Mental Models (Inspired By Charlie Munger) | Rob Kelly

    [...] about something else when you should be thinking about the power of incentives.” (check out 30+ Charlie Munger Quotes! for more great Charlie words of wisdom.)He argues that people respond most strongly to what they [...]