Charlie Munger is Warren Buffet’s partner and friend at Berkshire Hathaway. They have been partners for decades and boast one of the best investment records of all time. Just like Warren, Charlie is known for his wisdom and ideas about investing and just life in general. In this article though, I argue that it may time for an update to one of his most sound pieces of advice and present what makes him so great. Now at 99 he is in the final act of his life in the form of Charlie Munger and we have so much we can learn from his experience.
Some of my favorite Charlie Munger quotes
- “Spend each day trying to be a little wiser than you were when you woke up. Discharge your duties faithfully and well. Step by step you get ahead, but not necessarily in fast spurts. But you build discipline by preparing for fast spurts. Slug it out one inch at a time, day by day. At the end of the day – if you live long enough – most people get what they deserve.”
- “The best thing a human being can do is to help another human being know more.”
- “The safest way to try to get what you want is to try to deserve what you want. It’s such a simple idea. It’s the golden rule. You want to deliver to the world what you would buy if you were on the other end.”
- “The best thing you can do is to keep learning. Never stop asking questions.”
- “We try more to profit from always remembering the obvious than from grasping the esoteric. 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.”
Some interesting things about Charlie Munger
- Charlie Munger is best known for his role as the vice chairman of Berkshire Hathaway, the multinational conglomerate holding company led by Warren Buffett.
- Munger was born in Omaha, Nebraska, in 1924, and spent much of his childhood moving around the Midwest. He later attended the University of Michigan, where he studied mathematics, and Harvard Law School.
- Munger is known for his multi-disciplinary approach to problem-solving, which draws on insights from a wide range of fields, including psychology, economics, and physics.
- Munger is an avid reader, and has said that he spends much of his time reading books and journals. He is also known for his extensive library, which includes books on a wide range of topics, from history and science to philosophy and psychology.
- Munger is a strong advocate of ethical investing and has spoken out against the use of complex financial instruments and practices that he believes can harm society. He has also been a major supporter of education and has donated millions of dollars to universities and other institutions.
The first $100k needs an update
“I don’t care what you have to do — if it means walking everywhere and not eating anything that wasn’t purchased with a coupon, find a way to get your hands on $100,000. After that, you can ease off the gas a little bit.”
Why $100K matters so much
Why is that figure so important — especially when you consider that for many investors and savers, the goal is often much higher?
After all, $100,000 back in 2002 now amounts to about $166k today. And with inflation way to high, that sum doesn’t go as far as when Munger delivered his message.
Then again, Munger didn’t elaborate on just how much that first $100,000 could grow over time, even if left alone. Invested at a modest 5% return, you wouldn’t have needed to add a single penny over 21 years to see that stash grow to $278,596, per compound interest calculators like this one.
It’s Not The Number
I came to realize over the years that it was not the number that was important in his lesson. It is about the discipline, mentality and habits that are formed by being able to save and invest $100k. The sad reality is that most people in the world will never reach this goal. Sometimes not their fault, but sometimes it may be.
The Habits That Make Us Rich
A core message of the Money Vikings is presenting the habits and practices that make a person rich. And we take a holistic approach that address wealth, health, relationships, hobbies and more. This is what we call True Wealth!
See Related: Happy Birthday Warren Buffett
Here are 5 Habits that Make a Person Rich Practiced by Charlie Munger
- Saving Money: One of the key habits of wealthy people is saving a significant portion of their income. Saving money allows you to accumulate wealth over time and helps to create a financial cushion in case of unexpected events.
- Investing: Wealthy individuals tend to invest their money in a variety of assets, including stocks, bonds, real estate, and businesses. Investing can help you grow your money over time and create passive income streams. Charlie Munger is famous for investing mainly in stocks, businesses and real estate.
- Living below your means: Another common habit of wealthy individuals is living below their means. This means that they spend less money than they earn and avoid debt whenever possible. Living below your means can help you build wealth by allowing you to save and invest more money. This is what Charlie is talking about when he says do everything you can invest your first $100k.
- Continual Learning: Many wealthy individuals are lifelong learners, constantly seeking to improve their skills and knowledge. This can help them stay ahead in their careers, identify new investment opportunities, and make informed decisions about their money. Charlie Munger is a life long learner!
- Goal Setting: Successful people tend to be very goal-oriented, setting clear objectives for themselves and working tirelessly to achieve them. Setting financial goals can help you stay focused and motivated, whether you are aiming to save for retirement, start a business, or achieve financial independence.