Sunday, December 31, 2023

Recommended reading: "Poor Charlie's Almanack"

I learned many things from my time at Western Asset Management, many of them from fellow colleagues such as Ken Leech. Ken further endeared himself by one day inviting Charlie Munger to address the professional staff. What a delight that was! As icing on Munger's talk, we received a copy of the first edition of Poor Charlie's Almanack, which I subsequently read and reread. It's full of wit, wisdom, and investment savvy. If somehow you've never heard of Charlie Munger the legendary investor, don't stay ignorant for longer than it takes to click on the link below.

A second edition has just been published by Stripe Press, only weeks after Charlie's passing at the ripe old age of 99. Not content with just publishing a marvelous book, the good folks at Stripe have also made it available online in a delightfully inspired format. I know of no greater and free gift to the world than this: Poor Charlie's Almanack

Best wishes to all for the coming New Year!


Duane Stiller said...

Scott, what other books do you recommend on this topic?

Rick Jones said...

I used to tell all my students, and I still tell any young person who seems worth the effort, that if I had to pick three 20th-Century persons to study deeply, Charlie Munger would be one of them.

There was a time in my own life when I had a "Charlie Munger Hour" scheduled every Sunday to either read something by him, or watch a video of him speaking, and then think about it. The man was absolutely brilliant in ways that matter when it comes to living your life.

wkevinw said...

I am a fan of Buffett and Munger's public advice. I remember that Munger has a short commencement speech that is well worth reading. It can be found via web search. Mostly they both said to avoid the "stupid"/negative things in life (i.e. you don't have to be smart, just don't be stupid). So true. Also they have been saying that most investors should be mostly in index funds over the long haul. Also true.

I have had a front row seat for one of their investments over the decades. Since about 1990 they haven't been "conventional" investors. The public personas are at least misleading. I believe they are able to influence government officials to their benefit, and that they have essentially been bailed out (at least once). I guess it was all legal.

They used their big money to do unconventional investing, e.g. swaps, preferred stock, etc. to invest in (e.g. bail out) smaller companies.

Scott Grannis said...

Munger's commencement speech you refer to is included in this book. It's a terrific piece and everyone should read it.