12 of the Best Things Charlie Munger Has Ever Said

By Selena MaranjianFool.com

Photo: Flickr user Nick Webb.

In financial media, you see quotes from Warren Buffett everywhere, as he's well known as one of the best stock-pickers around. The words of his longtime business partner Charlie Munger, however, don't make many headlines -- and that's a shame.

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Munger is Buffett's right-hand man and the vice chairman of Buffett's company, Berkshire Hathaway . Munger is also a great investor in his own right. When tens of thousands of people convene annually in Omaha, Neb., for Berkshire's annual shareholder meeting, Munger sits on stage with Buffett, and the two answer questions from shareholders and others for about five hours.

Buffett has even credited Munger with making him a better investor by teaching him that "it's far better to buy a wonderful company at a fair price than a fair company at a wonderful price." According to ValueWalk.com, between 1962 and 1975, Munger's investments generated compound annual average returns of nearly 20%, which is darn impressive.

Here are a few of the many quotable things Munger has said that can help you get ahead in investing and in life.

On learning

Munger has long recommended that people keep reading and learning throughout their lives and that they not restrict themselves to any single topic. He has spoken often about how various disciplines intersect and inform one another.

On patience

Patience is an underappreciated but critical component of investing success. You might double your money in a year if you're lucky, but to make 10 or 20 times your investment, you need a well-chosen investment and the patience to endureinevitable ups and downs. Investors with patience can also enjoy an easier kind of investing, as Munger explained on another occasion:

On moral obligations

This will give you an idea of Munger's stance on CEO compensation and on philanthropy. He and Buffett have repeatedly spoken against boards of directors that rubber-stamp CEO compensation packages, and both are known for giving away much of their vast wealth. Munger has also said:

His generous nature is also evident in this statement:

Assorted MungerismsMunger is known for his clever quips and retorts at Berkshire annual meetings and elsewhere. Here are just a few:

  • "I do not think you can trust bankers to control themselves. They are like heroin addicts."
  • "I'd rather throw a viper down my shirt front than hire a compensation consultant."
  • [In reference to how the Internet and technology offer both benefits and risks] "When you mix raisins and turds, you've still got turds."
  • "If mutual fund directors are independent, then I'm the lead character in the Bolshoi Ballet."
  • "What's the best way to get a good spouse? The best single way is to deserve a good spouse because a good spouse is by definition not nuts."
  • "Someone will always be getting richer faster than you. This is not a tragedy."

We would all do well to learn more from Charlie Munger. Fortunately, many of his words and thoughts are available online and in books. Better still, get yourself to a Berkshire Hathaway annual meeting and listen to him yourself.

The article 12 of the Best Things Charlie Munger Has Ever Said originally appeared on Fool.com.

Longtime Fool specialist Selena Maranjian, whom you can follow on Twitter,owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway. The Motley Fool recommends Berkshire Hathaway. The Motley Fool owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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