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Charlie Munger: An extraordinary, ordinary man - Value Research Online

Last updated Tuesday, December 5, 2023 01:02 ET , Source: NewsService

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Charlie Munger's path to extraordinary success lay through ordinary things done well


Anand Kumar

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Charlie Munger died very rich. In fact, they are richer than some '99.many-nines' per cent of human beings who have ever lived. However, despite what you may have read over the last few days, Charlie Munger's chief achievement was not that he started as a middle-class person and eventually became very rich. Munger's (and obviously Warren Buffett's) chief achievement was the absolute ordinariness of his path to riches, and that he never tried to pretend otherwise. We live in a time of hyperbole. Every rich or talented or even merely successful person is supposed to be full of special qualities and talents that are hard to find elsewhere. This is just as true of companies, products or services. Everyone is excited, passionate and thrilled about everything all the time.

Amidst all this, Charlie Munger was like a breath of ordinary fresh air. Of the many quotable quotes from this witty and articulate man, perhaps the most characteristic was, "It is remarkable how much long-term advantage people like us have gotten by trying to be consistently not stupid, instead of trying to be very intelligent." That's it. Just don't do stupid things. Instead, do the ordinary, sensible things and keep at it year after year, decade after decade. He propounded the long game, believing in the compound effects of small, smart decisions made consistently over...

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