You may not immediately recognize Charlie Munger’s name, but you almost certainly know his work as vice chairman of Berkshire Hathaway and financial partner to legendary investor Warren Buffett. A legendary investor in his own right, Munger — and his investment philosophy — has long been the focus of books, articles and interviews. Author Tren Griffin has scoured these writings as well as Munger’s words, then added his own insight to give investors a detailed analysis of how to invest like the billionaire genius in the new book, Charlie Munger: The Complete Investor.
Munger is a loyal follower of the principles of Benjamin Graham’s value investing approach, and that’s where the book begins. Subsequent sections examine Munger’s concept of “worldly wisdom” before delving more thoroughly into the specifics of his investment philosophy.
What I liked: Griffin’s belief that if we can learn to think more like Munger, we’ll also learn new skills we can apply to not just our portfolios, but all aspects of our lives. “My intent in creating this framework (of Munger’s thoughts),” Griffin writes, “was to create a checklist that can be used in investing.” With an emphasis on Munger’s rationality and love of checklists, Griffin introduces us to the investor’s two-phase decision-making process and teaches us how recognizing unconscious biases can improve the choices we make.
What I loved: Watching Griffin create what he calls his unified theory of Munger’s thoughts on investing. The author easily meshes Munger’s words (collected in part from lectures, essays and other writings) with his own analysis, resulting in a book filled with both philosophical musings and practical tactics any of us can use to improve our own decision-making. “Learning about Munger’s ideas and methods,” Griffin promises, “will forever change the way you think about investing and about life.”
What makes Charlie Munger: The Complete Investor worth buying: Griffin’s in-depth, carefully curated presentation of the tips, tricks and tales behind Munger’s incredible investing career. The book is dense with information and heavily footnoted; if you put it down feeling like you haven’t learned enough, blame yourself, not the author.
Read Charlie Munger: The Complete Investor if: You’re planning to join me for our live discussion of the book at the BetterInvesting National Convention in May near Washington, D.C. If you can’t be there in person, gather some local investor friends and host your own book club. I’ll happily share my BINC discussion questions; just send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know you’re a “Book Value” reader!