Poor Charlie's Almanack: The Wit and Wisdom of Charles T. Munger, Expanded Third Edition Hardcover – January 1, 2005
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Let's be clear, this is not a book that you can quickly skim through, but rather a book you spend quality time with every day; for a good couple of months. This way you're giving yourself the best change of retaining all of Charlie's tidbits of wisdom. One of the great things about this book is the plethora of quotes from successful entrepreneurs, historians, philosophers alike whose ideas and writings have survived the test of time.
Suffice to say, this is one of those books I'm going to re-read, reference and quote for the rest of my life. Well worth a purchase!
Three Key Takeaways from the book:
1. Charlie knows no wise people who didn't read all the time. It is more than just reading though, one has to grab ideas and do sensible things. Most people do not identify ideas, and if they do, they do not know what to do with them
2. Diversification in investing is something that Charlie doesn't believe in. His recommendation is to choose three good company stocks and invest accordingly. Interesting approach given most financial advisors typically recommend the opposite
3. Self-pity is always counter-productive, It's the wrong way to think. And when you avoid it you get a great advantage over everybody else or almost everybody else, because self-pity is a standard response. And you can train yourself out of it
There are nuggets of wisdom in the book. No one can question Munger has achieved a lot. The book is incredibly repetitive. If you want classic financial wisdom - go read any of the Wiley Investment Classics before this. If you want life advice - this is not the place to find it - and if you do find it, you'll find the same aphorism repeated page after page.
There is a reason that there is no 'sneak peak' function for this book - anyone who clicked through it would dismiss it as not being very in depth on the financial side and also disappointingly weak in the style of writing. Spend your time elsewhere.
Don’t waste time reading books and articles about Charlie: just go to this original source for his thinking process.
What I found most beneficial are:
- the original speeches included in this book provide a comprehensive list, examples, and elaborations on his “lattice of mental models”
- the wisdom you can glean from this book can be applied amply to both life in general and investment specifically
- his multidisciplinary approach and constant reminder for you to raise these learning to fluency through usage can be absolutely exhilarating for any life learner
The list can go on, but the takeaway is this: buy it, read it, truly learn it and make it your own. My only regret is that I didn’t come across this book earlier, and when I did, the price of the book put me off a few years from purchasing it.
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The biography of Charlie Munger with annotations and references explained.
Transcripts of lectures Munger gave at various periods in different places.
The talks with checklists of mental models he uses in the checklist, the psychology behind every models and ‘antidotes ‘ he found that helps to control influence caused by particular models.