A Dinner with Charlie Munger

In an article for The Wall Street Journal, columnist Jason Zweig recounted a dinner with Berkshire Hathaway vice chairman Charlie Munger.

Describing Warren Buffett’s 95 year-old business partner as a man with a “superabundance of stamina, curiosity and concentration that many people a third his age would envy,” Zweig adds, “Charlie Munger is a living reminder that to be a great investor, you must be a great learner.”

Here are some highlights and key insights from Munger’s comments:

1 – On Amazon’s competitive edge: “I think that Amazon has more to fear from Costco than Costco has to fear from Amazon. In the end, Costco will be more efficient and they’re already more trusted.”

2 – Regarding Berkshire’s competitive edge, Munger quipped, “We’ll earn a lower return than we did on the way up,” due to increased competition in the form of companies, “scrounging every area and little niche.” He still believes Berkshire will beat the S&P 500 by “a little,” adding, “But that’s not bad with a market cap of over $600 billion.”

3 – On indexing, Munger said, “It may be good. Now that the index [funds] are starting to push people around a little, it may be a plus.”

4 – The big tech companies, according to Munger, will survive the political pressure to break them up: “Nobody’s going to stop the Internet that enabled me to get that table for $100. And everybody’s threatened by it. And it’s not going away. And it shouldn’t go away. It’s good for the world.”

5 – Munger explained, “Part of the reason I’ve been a little more successful than most people is I’m good at destroying my own best-loved ideas.” Reading, reading and more reading is one way to see view points you may be missing.