Charlie Munger isn’t nearly as high-profile as his Berkshire Hathaway partner Warren Buffett, but The Wall Street Journal’s Jason Zweig recently caught up with him for a fascinating interview in which Munger talked about everything from Socrates and Confucius to derivatives and accounting practices to why he doesn’t love Benjamin Graham the way Buffett does.
A few highlights from the interview:
— “Confucius said that real knowledge is knowing the extent of one’s ignorance. Aristotle and Socrates said the same thing. …. Knowing what you don’t know is more useful than being brilliant.”
— “Warren and I aren’t prodigies. We can’t play chess blindfolded or be concert pianists. But the results are prodigious, because we have a temperamental advantage that more than compensates for a lack of IQ points.”
— “I think Ben Graham wasn’t nearly as good an investor as Warren Buffett is or even as good as I am. Buying those cheap, cigar-butt stocks [companies with limited potential growth selling at a fraction of what they would be worth in a takeover or liquidation] was a snare and a delusion, and it would never work with the kinds of sums of money we have. You can’t do it with billions of dollars or even many millions of dollars. But he was a very good writer and a very good teacher and a brilliant man, one of the only intellectuals — probably the only intellectual — in the investing business at the time.”
To read the full interview, click here.