Charlie Munger

Berkshire Hathaway Vice Chairman

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What Was the Worst Advice Someone Gave You?

All you do is turn on the TV, and you'll get bad advice. People that will be lying to you about what their remedy is going to do for you. You know, they'll be puffing…

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What Do You Look for in a Job Candidate?

The first thing you want is total integrity. You want a totally reliable person. After that comes all the other good things, like willing to work hard and talent and experience.

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What Mistakes Do People Make Over and Over Again?

They think they're a lot more able, more pleasing, more smart, more whatever, than they really are. That comes with the human condition. And they think they know a lot more than they really do.…

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What Is Your Favorite Motivational Quote?

Well, I don't think I have a favorite motivational quote. I have little aphorisms that I've picked up over the years. One is, "Never underestimate the man who overestimates himself." Now, some weird egomaniac will…

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When Is It Okay to Yell at Someone?

Well, I suppose if you really needed help, or you were hard of hearing, why, of course it would be appropriate to yell. And I will raise my voice if somebody is a long way…

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How Do You Handle Receiving Criticism?

I won't pretend to like it. But my first wife used to say to me, "Charlie, you either talk too much or not at all." And I think she was right. And I tried to…

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Did You Ever Give Up on Something and Why?

I give up if I know I can't win or achieve a satisfactory result. I give up when I'm too tired to effectively keep going. I give up all the time. I'm also quite determined…

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Did a Personal Issue Ever Affect Your Work and How Did You Handle It?

I've been too tired, I've been too sick, I've been a little discouraged, but I've never been way down, you know? And when I was in that condition, I'd go out and play golf, or…

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What's a Sign Someone Is Ready for a Promotion?

Well, I don't think I'm any great expert on that subject. Personally, I never liked working up in a big bureaucracy. So if that's what you're doing in life, you're going to the wrong coach.…

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What Is an Important Truth Very Few People Agree On?

Well, what people don't realize that's really important is the extent to which to your own mind misleads you. And one of the worst ways it misleads you, one of the worst for you, is…

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Do You Need a College Education to Succeed?

No. I think some people are so shrewd and so disciplined, all they need to do is just be sort of turned up and fed, and they will get ahead. Take Mrs. Blumkin, who came here,…

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What Was the Low Point in Your Career?

Well, everybody has has low points. I had a son who died when he was very young. That was pure agony. I had at least one financial reverse that was painful, and that was very…

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How Do You Find a Needle in a Haystack?

You’ve got to know where needles are likely to be, which is statistical thinking. And then you’ve got to work at sifting and looking, and then you’ve got to aggressively grab when you see a…

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How Are Millennials Different From Previous Generations Entering the Workforce?

Well, I don't interface very much with millennials, except those in my own family. And I think those are a little less millennial than most. And less sense of entitlement. I basically don't like a…

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What Happened to You as a Child That Changed Your Life?

Well, I'm white. I'm male. Males were favored in my generation. I was, I lived in the right part of town. My family had enough income so that we could live better than most people.…

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Who Do You Admire and Why?

Well, I admire a lot of people, including very many people who are dead. I have more friends among the illustrious dead than most people, and they've helped me greatly, because you learn so much…

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What Is the Best Advice You’ve Ever Received?

One of the best pieces of advice I ever got, I got indirectly from my father. Because he had two clients. And one of them I admired, and the other I didn't. And I said,…

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If You Could Write a Letter to Your 21-Year-Old Self What Would You Say?

If you want to succeed, you’ve got to do what you're good at. You will not succeed in something you hate doing, and you've got to keep learning all the time in whatever you're doing. And…

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Is It Ever Okay to Lie at Work?

Lying should practically never happen. I lied to my dying child about his health. And it was very painful to do that lying, but I did, and every parent will do that. But I, generally…

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What's Your Management Style?

My own personal management style is quite simple. I either do it all myself, or I delegate it completely. And so I'm not a normal executive. There are a lot of lawyers who operate the…

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What Do You Do When an Employee Makes a Serious Mistake?

I tend to either forgive it or get rid of them. There's no point in having an unpleasant office. All the things you buy, all the people you deal with, all those securities you buy and…

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What Is the Secret to a Great Co-Founders' Relationship?

A great relationship is one where two people trust one another, like one another, and are useful to one another. And I think you need all three.

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What's Your Morning Routine?

I've got a different kind of day than most people, because I always wanted many hours in the day when I would just read and think. And so I organized my whole life so I…

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What Would You Do All Over Again?

I wouldn't do much all that different. I always wanted a lot of time to think and read, I always wanted a big family, and I got both. I never wanted to be the Chief…

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What's Your Power Food?

I would say sugar. And I eat a lot of sugar and meat. You know, they asked Julia Child why she lived so long, and she said, “Red meat and gin.” And I would say…

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What Makes Your Blood Boil?

Well, I never allow my blood to boil. I have this theory that anger destroys judgment, and I really try and...Sure, I'm disappointed or disapproval, but real anger, I tend to try and totally avoid.…

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How Have Your Parents Affected You?

My wife had a saying. She said, "It's hard to accomplish much in one generation." Those of us who have done pretty well, we tend to forget what we owe the extreme hard work of,…

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"Worked for Warren Buffett's grandfather as a teenager"

Charles T. Munger was born in Omaha, Nebraska on January 1, 1924, graduated from Omaha Central High School in 1941, attended the University of Michigan and Cal Tech (under Air Force auspices), served as 2nd Lieutenant (Meteorologist) in the Air Force in World War II, and received a J.D. degree, magna cum laude, from the Harvard Law School in 1948. He practiced law in Los Angeles from 1948 to 1965, during which time he helped found the law firm of Munger, Tolles & Olson (in 1962). Since 1965, he has been engaged in a variety of businesses, after 1975 primarily as an officer and director of Berkshire Hathaway Inc. and various subsidiaries but also at Daily Journal Corporation (publisher of California's leading newspapers for lawyers). He is Vice Chairman of Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (under Warren E. Buffett) and Chairman of Daily Journal Corporation. The public companies of which he is a director are: Berkshire Hathaway Inc., Daily Journal Corporation, and Costco Wholesale Corporation.

Became a Trustee of Good Samaritan Hospital in 1979 and has served as Chairman since November 1987. Trustee (and former Chairman) of Harvard-Westlake School 1969 to date. Trustee and Chief Financial Officer of Planned Parenthood, Los Angeles, 1967-1993 (approximately). Founder and President of The Alfred C. Munger Foundation.