‘We have never had an argument,’ How Charlie Munger and Warren Buffett’s 60 years of friendship flourished

0
57

Charlie Munger, the longtime friend and business partner of investor Warren Buffett, died on Tuesday, November 28. He was 99.

Berkshire Hathaway, where Munger worked as vice chairman under Buffet for several years, said that it was “advised by members of Charlie Munger’s family that he peacefully died this morning at a California hospital.”

“Berkshire Hathaway could not have been built to its present status without Charlie’s inspiration, wisdom and participation,” Buffett said in a statement.

Both Buffett and Munger were born and brought up in Omaha, Nebraska. They formed a friendship as adults in 1959 that was to last for decades.

Back in 1978, Munger joined Buffett at Berkshire Hathaway as vice chairman. Under Munger, the small textile company eventually transformed into a massive conglomerate. At present, it is valued at more than $780 billion.

Munger, who never officially retired from Berkshire Hathaway, would have turned 100 years old in January next year.

‘He’s strong minded, I’m strong minded’

Buffett said in a 2017 interview that Munger helped change his views on investment. “He refined them in a huge way, in terms of looking for the quality companies, and looking out for the ability to make an investment that will work out for five or 10 or 20 years, as opposed to something where there might be one more puff left in the cigar,” Buffett reportedly said at the time.

“He’s strong minded, I’m strong minded. We’ve never had an argument in that whole time and we never will,” he added. “It’s been more fun doing it with Charlie.”

Interestingly, the two billionaires never had an argument, despite their six decades of friendship and business. “We have never had an argument, really, in 62 years, and it’s not that we agree on everything. We’ve, literally, in 62 years, we’ve never gotten mad at each other,” Buffett said at Berkshire Hathaway’s annual shareholders back in 2021.

Munger had different opinions on investments, but, he said that “luckily there’s no conflict, and Warren I don’t have to agree on every damn little thing we do. We’ve gotten along pretty well.”

Over the decades, Munger had, on multiple occasions, spoken about Buffett, expressing his admiration for him. “If you’re as smart as Warren Buffett, maybe two, three times a century, you get an idea like that. It was like having God just opening a chest and just pouring money into it. It was awfully easy money,” Munger told the Acquired podcast in an interview.

“What Buffett and I did is we bought things that were promising. Sometimes we had a tailwind from the economy and sometimes we had a headwind and either way we just kept swimming. That’s our system,” he said in 2020 at the California Institute of Technology.

According to Buffett, on the other hand, Munger marched “to the beat of his own music, and it’s music like virtually no one else is listening to.”