Buffett's long-time partner Charlie Munger, vice chairman of Berkshire Hathaway, passed away on Tuesday local time at the age of 99.
Munger is Buffett's old friend and right-hand man. Their business mentality and even some of their personality traits seemed strikingly similar. Both are known for their patient, long-term investment style, and are also famous for being frugal, long-lived, and sweet eaters.
Munger often admires Buffett's investment wisdom and sometimes defends his actions. Here are seven classic quotes from Munger about Buffett during his lifetime:
1. “If you're as smart as Warren Buffett, you'll probably think like this two or three times in a century. It's like God opens a box and puts money inside. It's so easy to make money.”
This is what Munger said in a podcast interview in late October this year. He was referring to Buffett's move to borrow funds in Japan at ultra-low interest rates and invest these funds in Japanese blue-chip stocks.
2. “What Buffett and I did was buy something promising. There are times when we have good economic winds, and sometimes there are headwinds, no matter what, we are continuing to move forward. That's our mechanism,” Munger said at Caltech in December 2020.
3. “I don't think Warren Buffett did anything very evil to make money. “He is more concerned about Berkshire's situation than his own money situation.” Munger defended Buffett in a television interview earlier this month, denying a report that “Buffett's personal stock account and Berkshire traded the same stock for a similar period of time.” Munger said, “This is yet another ridiculous statement against Berkshire.”
4. “Buffett is still more concerned about the safety of Berkshire shareholders than anything else. If we used more leverage throughout the process, we would now have three times as much money, and the risk wouldn't be that great. We never want to give ourselves the slightest chance to mess up our fundamental shareholder position.” This is what Munger said in an October podcast interview.
5. Munger also said, “Warren doesn't like retail. He is afraid of retail; almost all of the once powerful retail industries have disappeared. Sears Roebuck is gone, and the big department stores are gone. It's too difficult for him.”
6. “If you were Warren, you'd want to be the owner of the house, not a gambler.”
At the “Daily” February annual meeting, Munger compared Buffett to his planned successor, Greg Abel (Greg Abel): “As a business leader, both as a thinker and as a doer, Greg is outstanding. He's also a huge learning machine—you could say he's as good at learning all kinds of things as Warren. There are some things he can do better than Warren, and Warren knows this, so he always told Greg all the things Greg could do better and taught him a lot.”