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Poor Charlie's Almanack The Wit and Wisdom of Charles T. Munger Hardcover – January 1, 2005


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Donning Company Publishers (2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1578643031
  • ISBN-13: 978-1578643035
  • Product Dimensions: 10.3 x 10 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #237,050 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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I wish I had read this book much, much earlier.
Shane Ayers
This book is about Warren Buffett's less famous partner and vice-chairman of Berkshire Hathaway, Charlie Munger.
Philip Durell
Most of mathematics and science evolved by adding solid tested ideas one above to the other.
Annaswamy Ravichandran

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

45 of 45 people found the following review helpful By Kevin Kingston on November 29, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Poor Charlie's Almanack; The Wit and Wisdom of Charles T. Munger

This book gives us the opportunity to learn how one of the greatest financial minds of our day views the world. Amazingly Charlie shares not only his opinions but his thought process and belief system. The book walks you through how Charlie arrives at the decisions that have made him a billionaire. I continually study both Charlie Munger and Warren Buffett , including reading the Berkshire Hathaway annual letter to shareholders which is packed with so much timely insight I'm surprised they don't charge for it.

Some of my favorite thoughts and quotes, which are elaborated on in the book are:

Pg 6 - "Read all the time"

Pg 45 - The Lollapalooza Effect - Charlie coined this phrase as a way of describing an idea, concept or business strategy that literally grows exponentially due to favorable coinciding events.

Pg. 40 -"Be prepared, act promptly, in scale, on a few major opportunities."

Pg 48- Jessy Livermore, "Big money is made in the waiting"

Charlie then goes on to explain that he would sit on 10-20 million at a time in T-Bills just waiting.

Pg 49 - "It takes character to sit there with all that cash and do nothing. I didn't get to where I am by going after mediocre opportunities"

- "It's like looking for a horse that pays 50/50 and has a 3-to-1 chance of winning."

Pg 60 - "The man who doesn't read good books has no advantage over the man who can't" - Mark Twain

On Coumpound Interest:

"Compound interest is the eighth wonder of the world" - Einstein

"Never interrupt it unnecessarily" - Munger

"...'tis the stone that will turn all your lead into gold...
Read more ›
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39 of 43 people found the following review helpful By D. Hutchison on August 25, 2005
Format: Hardcover
I am an ardent follower of Charlie Munger and have the utmost respect for his accomplishments. His investment record is nearly without parallel and his broad understanding of subjects beyond investing requires no further elaboration to those that are familiar with him. I bought this book hoping that it would be the Munger equivalent of the excellent compilation by Lawrence Cunningham, "The Essays of Warren Buffett: Lessons for Corporate America."

This book was not even close to what Cunnningham produced and I returned it. The book is a coffee-table style book that is presented like a middle-school textbook, with odd illustrations (in one instance, when the text referred to General Electric, they inserted a giant GE logo on the page). The book has excellent content in the form of original letters and transcripts of talks that Munger has given. But it reads much more like a tribute or toast to his accomplishments instead of a digest of his beliefs. Instead. why not focus on what he has said and done so that we can all learn from his example?

Certainly others have liked this book and, again, I am a huge fan of Munger, but this book disappointed me and I would not recommend buying it without first browsing through it in person.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By James East VINE VOICE on December 22, 2005
Format: Hardcover
The majority of the book is mostly a compilation of his Top 10 public speeches, but with many side business anecdotes and references. The highlight however is with respect to his "Mental Models" with some new material. As Munger says, without the Models you're doomed with the "Man with a Hammer" syndrome. Just as you need several tools to both be a competent individual and to provide something back to society, you also need the tools to be a good investor as you are rarely the smartest one in the room.

In addition, the recommended readings (if adhered to) are an education in themselves and are primarily the basis for many of the Mental Models presented, but entail so, so much more. Whether you are interested in investing, or not, one can learn many life lessons from the mental model teachings in Poor Charlie's Almanack.
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16 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Philip Durell on May 13, 2005
Format: Hardcover
This book is about Warren Buffett's less famous partner and vice-chairman of Berkshire Hathaway, Charlie Munger. It includes ten of his lectures with sidebars by various authors amplifying the points Charlie is making.

It also gives a great insight into the personality that made Charlie, along with Warren one of the finest investors ever.

As Charlie said at the recent Berkshire shareholder's meeting "considering we've been so successful as a company I'm amazed that no-one copies our example"

Companies may not imitate Berkshire Hathaway but investors can follow the simple rules laid down by Warren & Charlie. "It doesn't take a great IQ to be successful, most of all it takes a good temperament"

Simply an outstanding book which will be treasured in our household.

Philip Durell

Analyst/Advisor The Motley Fool Inside Value newsletter
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By NR Henderson on November 10, 2005
Format: Hardcover
This is an absolutely fabulous book. I love it. I am an avid follower of Charlie Munger, going to the annual meetings etc. So I thought that this might only be a rehash of existing speeches and talks, which admittedly form the bulk of the text. But it is much more-Munger has revised and added to some of his talks. The editor, Peter Kaufman, has added other materials. Munger's son's comments about dinner table conversations with his children (and grandchildren) are worth the price of the book.

Simply, the book imparts the wisdom of Charlie Munger, from the dinner table to the boardroom.

Now to the bad: as marvelously as the book portrays Munger's wisdom, graphically it is one of the silliest books I have ever seen. The illustrations and pictures range from trite to dreadful. They are poorly chosen, poorly reproduced, sophomoric at best: a picture from Star Trek to illustrate second order consequences, inane caricatures of Munger and Buffett, etc. Visually, it is ghastly.

Nevertheless, this is still a 5 star book. So, here is a new Franklinesque proverb: Don't judge a book by its illustrations.
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