Title Image - Quotes by Author Charlie Munger

Welcome to our collection of quotes by Charlie Munger. We hope you enjoy pondering them and please share widely.

Wikipedia Summary for Charlie Munger

Charles Thomas Munger (born January 1, 1924) is an American billionaire investor, businessman, and former real estate attorney. He is vice chairman of Berkshire Hathaway, the conglomerate controlled by Warren Buffett; Buffett has described Munger as his closest partner and right-hand man. Munger served as chairman of Wesco Financial Corporation from 1984 through 2011. He is also chairman of the Daily Journal Corporation, based in Los Angeles, California, and a director of Costco Wholesale Corporation.

If you're unhappy with what you've had over the last 50 years, you have an unfortunate misappraisal of life. It's as good as it gets, and it's very likely to get worse.

--Charlie Munger

I've got some advice for the young: If you've got anything you really want to do, don't wait until you're 93.

--Charlie Munger

Most people don't grab the right ideas or don't know what to do with them.

--Charlie Munger

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.

--Charlie Munger

All sensible investing is value investing.

--Charlie Munger

It's a rare business that doesn't have a way worse future than it has a past.

--Charlie Munger

Show me the incentive and I will show you the outcome.

--Charlie Munger

Opportunity comes to the prepared mind.

--Charlie Munger

Where you have complexity, by nature you can have fraud and mistakes...This will always be true of financial companies, including ones that run by governments. If you want accurate numbers from financial companies, you're in the wrong world.

--Charlie Munger

By and large, I don't think too much of finance professors. It is a field with witchcraft.

--Charlie Munger

There is more dementia about finance than there is about sex.

--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

Investors can have 90% of their wealth in a single company, if it is the right company.

--Charlie Munger

Intense interest in any subject is indispensable if you're really going to excel in it.

--Charlie Munger

For one of the most successful business strategies is to be a contrarian investor-- to go in the opposite direction -- to buy when others are selling.

--Charlie Munger

You're not going to get very far in life based on what you already know. You're going to advance in life by what you're going to learn after you leave here.

--Charlie Munger

You need a different checklist and different mental models for different companies.

--Charlie Munger

I regard the bitcoin craze as totally asinine to create some manufactured currency.

--Charlie Munger

I'm a great admirer of the Trump change of mind about China and making an ally out of China instead of screaming about their trade.

--Charlie Munger

If you have competence, you pretty much know its boundaries already. To ask the question (of whether you are past the boundary) is to answer it.

--Charlie Munger

I do not think you can trust bankers to control themselves. They are like heroin addicts.

--Charlie Munger

The iron rule of nature is: you get what you reward for.

If you want ants to come, you put sugar on the floor.

--Charlie Munger

There's no way that you can live an adequate life without many mistakes.  In fact, one trick in life is to get so you can handle mistakes. Failure to handle psychological denial is a common way for people to go broke.

--Charlie Munger

If you rise in life, you have to behave in a certain way. You can go to a strip club if you're a beer-swilling sand shoveler, but if you're the Bishop of Boston, you shouldn't go.

--Charlie Munger

Choose clients as you would friends.

--Charlie Munger

Early Charlie Munger is a horrible career model for the young, because not enough was delivered to civilization in return for what was wrested from capitalism. And other similar career models are even worse.

--Charlie Munger

It's amazing how intelligent it is just to spend some time sitting. A lot of people are way too active.

--Charlie Munger

We have found in a long life that one competitor is frequently enough to ruin a business.

--Charlie Munger



Clever derivatives broke dozens of companies. It killed them. Bankrupt. We don't need these kinds of innovation in finance. It's OK to be boring in finance. What we want is innovation in widgets.

--Charlie Munger

The idea of excessive diversification is madness. Wide diversification, which necessarily includes investment in mediocre businesses, only guarantees ordinary results.

--Charlie Munger

The idea of excessive diversification is madness.

--Charlie Munger

We don't train executives, we find them. If a mountain stands up like Everest, you don't have to be a genius to figure out that it's a high mountain.

--Charlie Munger

They made a mistake. And it was an easy mistake to make. I don't regard setting incentives aggressively as a mistake. I think the mistake was, when the bad news came, they didn't recognize it directly. I don't think that impairs the future of Wells Fargo. They'll be better for it.

--Charlie Munger

Wells Fargo had a glitch -- the truth of the matter is they made a business judgement that was wrong. I don't think anything is fundamentally wrong.

--Charlie Munger

Economics profession, they've been -- they've been confident in various formulas, but economics is not physics. The same formula that works in one decade doesn't work in the next. Economics is a difficult subject.

--Charlie Munger

I always like it when someone attractive to me agrees with me, so I have fond memories of Phil Fisher. The idea that it was hard to find good investments, so concentrate in a few, seems to me to be an obviously good idea. But 98% of the investment world doesn't think this way.

--Charlie Munger

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.

--Charlie Munger

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

I think it is undeniably true that the human brain must work in models. The trick is to have your brain work better than the other person's brain because it understands the most fundamental models- ones that will do most work per unit.

--Charlie Munger

A lot of opportunities in life tend to last a short while, due to some temporary inefficiency... For each of us, really good investment opportunities aren't going to come along too often and won't last too long, so you've got to be ready to act and have a prepared mind.

--Charlie Munger

I think corporate managers should learn to be better investors because it would make them better managers.

--Charlie Munger

Intense interest in any subject is indispensable if you're really going to excel in it.

--Charlie Munger

The liabilities are always 100 percent good. It's the assets you have to worry about.

--Charlie Munger

Anytime anybody offers you anything with a big commission and a 200-page prospectus, don't buy it. Occasionally, you'll be wrong if you adopt Munger's Rule. However, over a lifetime, you'll be a long way ahead -- and you will miss a lot of unhappy experiences.

--Charlie Munger

Understanding how to be a good investor makes you a better business manager and vice versa.

--Charlie Munger

We don't have any miraculous way of avoiding taxes at Wesco and Berkshire.

--Charlie Munger

I'm not entitled to have an opinion unless I can state the arguments against my position better than the people who are in opposition. I think that I am qualified to speak only when I've reached that state.

--Charlie Munger

When I run into a paradox I think either I'm a total horse's ass to have gotten to this point, or I'm fruitfully near the edge of my discipline. It adds excitement to life to wonder which it is.

--Charlie Munger

Our success has come from the lack of oversight we've provided, and our success will continue to be from a lack of oversight. But if you're going to provide minimal oversight, you have to buy carefully. It's a different model from GE's. GE's works -- it's just very different from ours.

--Charlie Munger

Is there such thing as a cheerful pessimist? That's what I am.

--Charlie Munger

That's the last thing on Earth you should think about... There's just a whole lot of things that aren't going to work for you. Figure out what they are and avoid them like the plague. And one of them is bitcoin... It is total insanity.

--Charlie Munger

Trying to prioritize among things we're unlikely to do is pretty fruitless.

--Charlie Munger



For many of our shareholders, our stock is all they own, and we're acutely aware of that. Our culture of conservatism runs pretty deep.

--Charlie Munger

You'll better understand the evil when top audit firms started selling fraudulent tax shelters when I tell you that one told me that they're better than the others because they only sold the schemes to their top-20 clients, so no-one would notice.

--Charlie Munger

When it gets into these spikes, with shortages and uproar and so forth, people go bananas, but that's capitalism.

--Charlie Munger

You have a real asset-price bubble in places like parts of California and the suburbs of Washington, D.C.

--Charlie Munger

There must be some wisdom in the folk saying: Its the strong swimmers who drown.

--Charlie Munger

I love when I think we're taking territory -- if it makes sense in the long term, we just don't give a damn what it looks like in the short term. After all, we're running a cult, not a normal company.

--Charlie Munger

The total amount paid out in dividends is roughly equal to the amount lost in trading and investment advice, so net dividends to shareholders are zero. This is a very peculiar way to run a republic.

--Charlie Munger

Here's one truth that perhaps your typical investment counselor would disagree with: if you're comfortably rich and someone else is getting richer faster than you by, for example, investing in risky stocks, so what?! Someone will always be getting richer faster than you. This is not a tragedy.

--Charlie Munger

Part of having uncommon sense is being able to tune out folly, as opposed to recognizing wisdom. If you bat away many things, you don't clutter yourself.

--Charlie Munger

To me, it's obvious that the winner has to bet very selectively. It's been obvious to me since very early in life. I don't know why it's not obvious to very many other people.

--Charlie Munger

I constantly see people rise in life who are not the smartest -- sometimes not even the most diligent. But they are learning machines; they go to bed every night a little wiser than when they got up. And, boy, does that habit help, particularly when you have a long run ahead of you.

--Charlie Munger

If people tell you what you really don't want to hear what's unpleasant-there's an almost automatic reaction of antipathy. You have to train yourself out of it.

--Charlie Munger

The SEC does way more good than harm -- the last thing I would do is get rid of the SEC...if accounting were thoroughly fixed, a lot of other sins would go away. We're paying a huge price for deterioration of accounting.

--Charlie Munger

Our biggest mistakes, were things we didn't do, companies we didn't buy.

--Charlie Munger

Rationality is not just something you do so that you can make more money, it is a binding principle. Rationality is a really good idea. You must avoid the nonsense that is conventional in one's own time. It requires developing systems of thought that improve your batting average over time.

--Charlie Munger

It's not the bad ideas that do you in, but the good ones.

--Charlie Munger

Fixable but unfixed bad performance is bad character and tends to create more of itself, causing more damage to the excuse giver with each tolerated instance.

--Charlie Munger

It's very useful to have a good grasp of all the big ideas in hard and soft science. A, it gives perspective. B, it gives a way for you to organize and file away experience in your head, so to speak.

--Charlie Munger

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.

--Charlie Munger

If it happens every year like clockwork, what's so extraordinary about it?

--Charlie Munger

Forgetting your mistakes is a terrible error if you are trying to improve your cognition.

--Charlie Munger

It took us months of buying all the Coke stock we could to accumulate $1 billion worth -- equal to 7% of the company. It's very hard to accumulate major positions.

--Charlie Munger

Don't confuse correlation and causation. Almost all great records eventually dwindle.

--Charlie Munger

Fancy computers are engaging in legalized front-running. The profits are clearly coming from the rest of us -- our college endowments and our pensions. Why is this legal? What the hell is the government thinking? It's like letting rats into a restaurant.

--Charlie Munger

The normal expectancy of the average investor -- for example, the pension funds of ATandT or IBM -- is 6% for a long time.

--Charlie Munger

Without numerical fluency, in the part of life most of us inhibit, you are like a one-legged man in an ass-kicking contest.

--Charlie Munger

If you want good behavior, don't pay on a commission basis. Our judges aren't paid so much a case. We keep them pretty well isolated with a fixed salary. Judges in this whole thing have come out pretty well -- there have been relatively few scandals.

--Charlie Munger

While no real money came down, my family gave me a good education and a marvelous example of how people should behave, and in the end that was more valuable than money. Being surrounded by the right values from the beginning is an immense treasure. Warrenhad that. It even has a financial advantage.

--Charlie Munger

It's a good habit to trumpet your failures and be quiet about your successes.

--Charlie Munger

We want very good leaders who have a lot of power.

--Charlie Munger

I think there's something to be said for developing the disposition to own stocks without fretting.

--Charlie Munger

Wrigley is a great business, but that doesn't solve the problem. Buying great businesses at advantageous prices is very tough.

--Charlie Munger

A great business at a fair price is superior to a fair business at a great price.

--Charlie Munger

If you can get really good at destroying your own wrong ideas, that is a great gift.

--Charlie Munger

If all you succeed in doing in life is getting rich by buying little pieces of paper, it's a failed life. Life is more than being shrewd in wealth accumulation.

--Charlie Munger

The whole concept of dividing it up into 'value' and 'growth' strikes me as twaddle. It's convenient for a bunch of pension fund consultants to get fees prattling about and a way for one advisor to distinguish himself from another. But, to me, all intelligent investing is value investing.

--Charlie Munger

Quotes by Charlie Munger are featured in:


Courage Quotes

Know a quote that we are missing? Please use our suggest a quote form below and let us know. Thank YOU for visiting -- we wish you a perfect day!