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  • Our Becky Quick looks back at Munger's long life and his underrecognized role in helping Warren Buffett become one of the richest people on earth.

  • Charlie Munger was best known as Warren Buffett's right-hand man, their investing partnership dating back decades.

  • I would say that every time I'm with Charlie, I'll get at least some new slant on an idea that causes me to rethink certain things, and we've had so much fun in the partnership over the years.

  • It's almost hilarious, it's been so much fun.

  • Buffett credits the Berkshire Hathaway vice chairman with teaching him the importance of paying up for high-quality businesses.

  • When he weaned me away from the idea of buying very so-so companies at very cheap prices, knowing that there was some small profit and looking for really wonderful businesses to buy at fair prices.

  • It's not that much fun to buy a business where you really hope this sucker liquidates before it goes broke.

  • The willingness to pay for quality paid off for Munger and Buffett in deals like their purchase of See's Candies and the decision in the late 1980s to buy a substantial stake in Coca-Cola.

  • Before his Berkshire days, Munger owned his own successful investment firm and practiced law.

  • In 1962, he and a group of attorneys founded Munger Tolles, now known as Munger, Tolles & Olsonvery, a very prominent law firm.

  • Munger, like Buffett, grew up in Omaha, Nebraska, and as teenagers, they both worked at Buffett's grandfather's grocery store, but not at the same time, as Munger was seven years older.

  • It wasn't until Buffett was in his late 20s and Munger in his mid-30s and living in California that they were introduced to each other by mutual friends.

  • We had dinner together in 1959. In five minutes, Charlie was rolling on the floor laughing at his own jokes, and I'd do the same thing.

  • They began to spend hours each week on the telephone, talking investments, and Buffett urged Munger to trade in a career in law for one in investing.

  • I met Charlie and he was practicing law. I told him that was okay as a hobby, but it was a lousy business, so... - Fortunately, I listened.

  • From 1962 until 1975, Munger's investment partnership produced a 19.8% compound annual return versus just 5% for the Dow.

  • It wasn't until 1978 that Munger formally joined Berkshire as vice chairman.

  • But Munger's even-tempered, risk-averse and pragmatic approach to investing was a major influence on Buffett from the time they first met,

  • helping Berkshire Hathaway grow into a multimillion-dollar conglomerate that owns well-known businesses like Dairy Queen, Geico, Helzberg Diamonds, and Burlington Northern.

  • Munger, however, didn't limit himself to just Berkshire.

  • He was chairman of Wesco Financial from 1984 until 2011 when it was totally assimilated into Berkshire.

  • During those years, he was known for his deadpan humor and straight-shooting style at shareholder meetings where he interacted at length with his investers.

  • After Wesco, Munger moved the show and his growing collection of fans to another company, where he remained chairman, The Daily Journal.

  • Charlie? - Yeah.

  • One of my favorite lines from you is, you want to hire the guy with the IQ of 130 that thinks he's 120 and the guy with an IQ of 150 who thinks he's just 170 will just kill you.

  • You must be thinking of what Elon Musk.

  • He brought his blistering one-liners to Berkshire Hathaway's annual meetings too.

  • What I needed to get ahead was to meet against idiots, and luckily, there's a large supply.

  • Professional traders, they go into trading cryptocurrencies, it's just disgusting. It's like somebody else is trading turds, and you decide, I can't be left out.

  • Charlie is big on lowering expectations.

  • Absolutely. That's the way I got married. My wife lowered her expectations.

  • And despite a net worth of around $2 billion, for Munger, money wasn't everything.

  • All you succeed in doing in your life is to get early rich from passing holding little bits of paper, and you get better and better at only that for all your life, it's a failed life.

  • Life is more than being shrewd at passing wealth accumulation.

  • Well. with that, we're through.

Our Becky Quick looks back at Munger's long life and his underrecognized role in helping Warren Buffett become one of the richest people on earth.

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