RIP Charlie Munger, Vice-Chairman of Berkshire Hathaway, who died on the 28th November just shy of his 100th birthday. While always attracted to the investment philosophy of Munger’s more famous business partner, Warren Buffett, as time progressed I became more Charlie than Warren. Munger said less than Buffett but it resonated more. He also cared less for diplomatic niceties, preferring to call it as he saw it. Unfortunately, we live in a world where such frankness is increasingly rare.
While clearly a very intelligent man, Munger never attributed Berkshire’s investment success to some form of genius. “I think part of the popularity of Berkshire Hathaway is that we look like people who have found a trick. It’s not brilliance. It’s just avoiding stupidity.” In the light of his comment that cryptocurrency investments were “absolutely crazy, stupid gambling”, his point is obvious.
Buffett nicknamed Munger the ‘Abominable-No-Man’ because he was more likely to say ‘no’ to a potential investment than ‘yes’. It’s a wonderful quality to have but as Munger amplified “I think the record shows the advantage of a peculiar mindset – not seeking action for its own sake but instead combining extreme patience with extreme decisiveness.”
The value of investments and any income from them can go down as well as up and you may not get back the amount originally invested.
This material should not be considered as advice or an investment recommendation. Investors should seek advice from an authorised financial adviser prior to making investment decisions.
John Newsome can be contacted on 01423 705123 or email@example.com. Williams Investment Management LLP is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.