The Garrulous Jay – Munger Games

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On the 28th November the world of finance lost one of its investment Titans. The passing of Charlie Munger, at the age of 99, brought to an end the double act, with his business partner Warren Buffet, that topped investment company Berkshire Hathaway for over 40 years.

It is often Buffet that takes the plaudits for the success of Berkshire Hathaway, but he was always the first to give credit to his modestly titled ‘vice chairman’.

To get a sense of what the two men accomplished together one only needs to look at the share price of the investment company they headed. In 1962, when Warren Buffet started buying stock in the ailing textile business it traded at $8.

By 1980, two years after Charlie Munger joined his fellow Omaha native at Berkshire, it was up to $1,380 a share. Not bad! But today a single share in the company will set you back $537,780. (Source: Google)

Much of this success can be attributed to a highly disciplined approach to investing. An approach that appears so self-evidently simple one might think it would be easy to replicate but, hard as many have tried, few have succeeded.

I think the reason for this is Buffet & Munger’s long-term approach, combining financial discipline with a focus on quality companies, is far harder to adhere to than it might seem. The irresistible temptation to make a fast, or just a faster, buck has been the downfall of many a fund manager, either at their own hands or those of their impatient overlords.

Many books have been written about the Buffet-Munger approach, not least by the man himself in Munger’s case, in the predictably self-deprecating “Poor Charlie’s Almanack”.

His aphorisms, often expressed at Berkshire Hathaway annual meetings (always held in Omaha) became legendary in their own right.

Here are just four I gleaned from Yahoo!Finance:

“I think life is a whole series of opportunity costs. You know, you got to marry the best person who is convenient to find who will have you. Investment is much the same sort of a process.”

“One of the inane things [that gets] taught in modern university education is that a vast diversification is absolutely mandatory in investing in common stocks. That is an insane idea…”

“Mimicking the herd invites regression to the mean.”

“The world is full of foolish gamblers and they will not do as well as the patient investors.”

All of this makes what Berkshire Hathaway does not own in its portfolio as interesting as it is unsurprising: no Alphabet, no Meta Platforms, no Microsoft, no Nvidia, no Tesla… But around half the total portfolio in Apple! (Source:

Charlie Munger was recently estimated by Forbes to be worth $2.2 billion, making him one of the 1,500 richest people on the planet. He leaves behind an investment legacy that straddles the best part of a century and which was more than matched, remarkably, by his modesty. RIP.