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Poor Charlie's Almanack: The Wit and Wisdom of Charles T. Munger Hardcover – Illustrated, December 30, 2005


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Donning Co Pub; 2nd Expanded edition (December 30, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 157864366X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1578643660
  • Product Dimensions: 10 x 9.9 x 1.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #226,854 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

This is a great book and worth reading; worth purchasing...I would say no.
John
His mental models approach to business and investing will give you a huge edge in life.
Justin Boone
I don't think a quick skim will do it any justice, or even be worth your time.
Scott

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

87 of 88 people found the following review helpful By Kevin Kingston on June 21, 2006
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...
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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Scott on February 17, 2007
Format: Hardcover
This book took me a looong time to read, but that's because its nearly 500 pages are so saturated with information and original ideas, you will have plenty to learn and will want to fully explore and take advantage of all Charlie has to offer. You MUST be an active reader to derive any benefit from the framework he has laid out. I don't think a quick skim will do it any justice, or even be worth your time.

The whole purpose of this book is to provide you with a strong mental foundation for success in life... I call it the "inner game." Only then are you truly ready to take on the world in business or make astute investment decisions. For specific investment advice, look no further than Buffett. What you get from Munger is both harder to obtain, and more important to master. Application of investment technique should be the easy part. Key teachings I found important were:

the importance of using the multi-disciplinary approach and interrelated mental models formed from the big (often elementary but rarely used), important ideas of various disciplines

realizing your mental circle of competence, and specializing

the lollapalooza effect

avoiding the man-with-the-hammer problem, and many other psychological tendencies he discusses

his emphasis on ethical behavior (where else do you find this?)

comparison of the stock market to the pari-mutuel betting system

the idea of betting big when the odds are in your favor (Buffett's idea as well)

What I like most is that he has a no-nonsense attitude, and this quality of genuineness makes him more likeable, and easier to learn from.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By NR Henderson on January 24, 2007
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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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Carmen Matthews on January 11, 2008
Format: Hardcover
When this book first arrived, my first thought was,"Okay. This definitely is not a book to read in between meetings - it's a heavy one, that's for sure."

As I read, "Choose clients as you would friends," and "Read all of the time," I became ready to connect with who Charlie Munger and Warren Buffet really are.

Choose Clients as you would Friends:
That makes sense, because if you love whatever you're in business to do, and you're talking to a prospect, objections would be minimal, and you both would know that you have provided your client something that would make his or her life better.

Read All of the Time:
I'd have to say, "Go beyond just reading. Be a demanding reader, and be willing to reread your books, more than once, because if you've read them well, you are in a different place, and you deserve to continue to grow."

This is a great book for those who are sincerely asking, "How did he become who he is?"

Influenced by Cicero, Benjamin Franklin, Tom Sawyer, Charlie Munger's, "Poor Charlie's Alamanac" should appeal to those who prefer:

1. Biographies;
2. Social Commentaries; or,
3. Business Tools.
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