What Warren Buffett said about Charlie Munger | Mint

What Warren Buffett said about Charlie Munger

Warren Buffett, left, and Charlie Munger at Berkshire Hathaway’s 2019 shareholders meeting in Omaha, Neb. (File Photo: AFP)
Warren Buffett, left, and Charlie Munger at Berkshire Hathaway’s 2019 shareholders meeting in Omaha, Neb. (File Photo: AFP)

Summary

Here are some of the Oracle of Omaha’s comments through the years on his longtime investing partner, who died Tuesday at 99.

Warren Buffett has been the face of Berkshire Hathaway for decades. He always said that he and Berkshire’s vice chairman, Charlie Munger, ran the company as partners.

Munger died Tuesday at 99 years old.

Buffett credits Munger with teaching him Berkshire’s key investing philosophy, which Buffett summarizes as buying “wonderful businesses at fair prices."

Buffett said in his 2000 annual letter to investors: “Charlie thinks about business economics and investment matters better than anyone I know, and I’ve learned a lot over the years by listening to him."

Here are some of the many Buffett quotes on one of his favorite subjects, Charlie Munger:

“Charlie and I are interchangeable in business decisions. Distance impedes us not at all: we’ve always found a telephone call to be more productive than a half-day committee meeting."—1982 annual letter

“Our Vice Chairman, Charlie Munger, has always emphasized the study of mistakes rather than successes, both in business and other aspects of life. He does so in the spirit of the man who said: “All I want to know is where I’m going to die so I’ll never go there." You’ll immediately see why we make a good team: Charlie likes to study errors and I have generated ample material for him."—1985 annual letter

“It’s far better to buy a wonderful company at a fair price than a fair company at a wonderful price. Charlie understood this early; I was a slow learner."—1989 annual letter

“Charlie doesn’t like it when I equate the jet with bacteria; he feels it’s degrading to the bacteria. His idea of traveling in style is an air-conditioned bus, a luxury he steps up to only when bargain fares are in effect.…Naming the plane has not been easy. I initially suggested ‘The Charles T. Munger.’ Charlie countered with ‘The Aberration.’ We finally settled on ‘The Indefensible.’"—1989 annual letter

“At Berkshire, we believe in Charlie’s dictum—‘Just tell me the bad news; the good news will take care of itself’—and that is the behavior we expect of our managers when they are reporting to us."—1995 annual letter

“Charlie and I went soft last year and added one more person at headquarters. (Charlie, bless him, never lets me forget Ben Franklin’s advice: ‘A small leak can sink a great ship.’)"—2000 annual letter

“I try to look out ten or twenty years when making an acquisition, but sometimes my eyesight has been poor. Charlie’s has been better; he voted no more than ‘present’ on several of my errant purchases."—2011 annual letter

“Charlie has a wide-ranging brilliance, a prodigious memory, and some firm opinions. I’m not exactly wishy-washy myself, and we sometimes don’t agree. In 56 years, however, we’ve never had an argument. When we differ, Charlie usually ends the conversation by saying: ‘Warren, think it over and you’ll agree with me because you’re smart and I’m right.’"—2014 special letter to shareholders

“Charlie and I think pretty much alike. But what it takes me a page to explain, he sums up in a sentence. His version, moreover, is always more clearly reasoned and also more artfully—some might add bluntly—stated."—2022 annual letter

Write to Nicole Friedman at nicole.friedman@wsj.com

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