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Charlie Munger Interview with the BBC (2012) [10:56]

Charlie Munger, the long-time business partner of famed investor Warren Buffett, talks with the BBC in this interview from 2012.

If you know anything about Charlie Munger, he’s famous for his quick wit, plain spokenness and absolute genius, and he has helped shareholders of Berkshire Hathaway amass untold fortunes.

Charlie Munger covers several topics in the video above. In my opinion, here are some of his best quotes from the interview:

On Temperament:

If you’re not willing to react with equanimity to a market price decline of 50% two or three times a century, you’re not fit to be a common shareholder and you deserve the mediocre result you’re going to get… compared to the people who do have the temperament and who can… be more philosophical about these market fluctuations.

Munger and Buffett’s Investment Criteria:

In order for Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger to invest in a business, it must have the following characteristics:

  1. We have to deal in things that we’re capable of understanding,
  2. Once we’re over that filter, we have to have a business with some intrinsic characteristics that give it a durable competitive advantage,
  3. Then of course, we would vastly prefer a management in place with a lot of integrity and talent,
  4. And finally, no matter how wonderful it is, it’s not worth an infinite price. So we have to have a price that makes sense and gives a margin of safety, given the natural vicissitudes of life.

That’s a very simple set of ideas. And the reason our ideas haven’t spread faster is they’re too simple. The professional classes can’t justify their existence if that’s all they have to say. It’s all so obvious and so simple, what would they have to do with the rest of the semester?

On the Future of Berkshire Hathaway after Buffett and Munger are Gone:

You’ve got to remember that Berkshire is probably the most decentralized big corporation in the world. I think the very decentralization of Berkshire and the extreme pockets of talent in all the subsidiaries will give Berkshire a very respectable future long after we’re gone. And you’ve got to remember that we started with a little nothing. And our successors are starting with something that’s not a little nothing. And you’ve ought to be able to achieve a lot more when you’re given a mighty hand than you were when you start with a little nothing. Now you won’t be able to multiply money as fast per share, because that can’t happen when you’re working with such large sums. But in terms of a creditable institution that serves the wider world, I think Berkshire’s contribution after Warren is dead will utterly dwarf the contribution made while he was alive.