Charlie Munger Bio: Everything You Need to Know About the Famous Investor

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Charlie Munger is one of the most famous investors of all time. Even though he’s known best for being Warren Buffet’s right-hand man, reducing his life’s achievements to just that would be unfair. He has been credited for a lot of Berkshire Hathaway’s success. He is known for his generous donations to educational institutes like the University of Michigan, Stanford Law School, and Harvard-Westlake School in Los Angeles. 

As far as his investment philosophies are concerned, he is known to openly speak against cryptocurrency and admits that investing now is harder for the average college student than it ever was before. Keep reading this Charlie Munger bio to find out more about the man behind all the success.

Charlie Munger Quick Facts

Birth Date 1 January 1924
Birth Place Omaha, Nebraska, America 
Nick Name  None 
Nationality  American 
Siblings  Carol Munger, Mary Munger
Children  Barry A. Munger, Charles T. Munger, Emilie Munger Ogden, Jr., Molly Munger, Philip R. Munger, Wendy Munger
Partner/Spouse  Nancy Huggins, Nancy Barry
Profession  Investor, Businessman, Real Estate Lawyer
Salary  Base salary of $100,000 with no bonus
Net Worth  $2.4 Billion 
Social Media  Twitter
Companies Associated With  Berkshire Hathaway, Daily Journal Corp., Costco, Afton Properties
Last Updated 5/31/2022

Charlie Munger Key Facts Summary

  • Is worth $2.4 Billion
  • Known to be Warren Buffet’s right-hand man and vice chairman of Berkshire Hathaway
  • He is also on the board for companies like Costco and Daily Journal Corp. while being part owner of Afton Properties
  • He is known for his successful investment strategies and is credited for a lot of Berkshire Hathaway’s success
  • He was a real estate lawyer before he started his own investment company and later joined Buffet at Berkshire Hathaway
  • He was married twice and has six living children

See also: Sofia Franklyn Bio: A Complete History of the Podcaster’s Turbulent Career

Charlie Munger Birthplace and Early Life 

Charlie Munger was born in Omaha, Nebraska, on 1st January 1924. Both Munger’s father and grandfather were lawyers. 

While he was still in his hometown, he worked at Buffet & Sons, a grocery store owned by Warren Buffet’s grandfather. While the pair fell out of touch, they would eventually reconnect and start working together, with Munger being credited multiple times by Buffet as the person who told him that his initial investing strategy was like the “cigarette butt” of investing. 

Munger later attended the University of Michigan as a Mathematics student but dropped out when he turned 19 to join the army. He was ordered to study meteorology at Caltech in Pasadena, California. Eventually, he decided to study law. 

He applied to Harvard Law School but was denied admission because he did not have an undergraduate degree, even though he had attended multiple advanced courses from major universities. He was eventually given admission after a call from Munger’s grandfather to the Dean. 

He graduated magna cum laude in 1948 and started working at the firm Munger, Tolles & Olson LLP.  He gave up practicing law in favor of starting an investing company after reconnecting with Buffet in the 1960s, which I’ll talk about in later sections. 

Charlie Munger Early Business Success 

Charlie Munger didn’t have a lot of success early in his business – he had to switch careers multiple times, quit law, shut down his investment firm, and much more before he finally got to the point where I’m writing an article about him right now. 

Wheeler, Munger, and Company 

The company that would eventually turn into losses and needs to be shut down wasn’t a complete failure. In the times that it was up and running, it gave consistent annual returns at 19.8% between 1962 and 1975 before turning out losses and eventually having to shut down. 

No doubt, this experience would have been helpful for Munger in learning the ropes before he set out on his venture with Warren Buffet. 

His Time With Berkshire Hathaway 

Munger and Buffet first met when Munger was back in Omaha for his father’s funeral. He stayed there to support his family, and the two connected over their shared interests and the fact that they both worked at Buffet’s grandfather’s grocery store as teenagers. 

Then, Munger left the town to establish his investing firm which went on to do remarkably well. He eventually started working with Warren Buffet at Berkshire Hathaway. This was when Buffet was still playing it safe, buying failing companies for cheaper than their market values. It was Munger who made Buffet see that this approach wasn’t going to work and that it was pretty much the cigarette butt version of investing. 

According to Buffet, the real money is in buying good companies even at great rates because those are the ones that have the potential for great returns and to provide real value to the company. Today, Berkshire Hathaway owns stakes in some of the biggest companies in the world like Apple and also holds giants like Dairy Queen and Berkshire Hathaway Energy. 

Other Business Affiliations 

In addition to his work at Berkshire Hathaway, he is a director for Costco and is the chairman of the newspaper company Daily Journal Corp. 

Charlie Munger Investment Philosophy 

Munger is a huge believer in the fact that only ethical companies can achieve real success. One of the things he learned early because of his love for playing cards is that when you have a winning hand, you leverage it to full capacity, and you pull out early from the game when you don’t. 

As Buffet’s right-hand man and the vice-chairman of Berkshire Hathaway, Munger has been hugely responsible for and credited for the success he has brought to the company, which has grown to be one of the biggest in the world. He is in charge of managing all of the company’s holdings. He handles a lot of affairs and investment decisions, as well as being on the board for Costco and being associated with several other companies. 

See also: Leon Black Bio: The Billionaire Businessman Plagued by Scandal

Charlie Munger Business Failures 

Charlie Munger hasn’t always been successful. First, he had to stop practicing law which was his first profession, and later, he had to shut down the first investment company he had established when it brought in significant losses for two years in a row. 

Charlie Munger Philanthropy 

Munger has been known to donate millions of dollars to universities like the University of Michigan and Stanford Law School. Most of these donations have gone towards constructing buildings and residencies, most of which Munger himself has helped design. 

He has also donated to Harvard-Westlake School in Los Angeles, a prep school where he has also been on the board of trustees. His sons and grandsons have graduated from this school before going on to top colleges in the country. 

His donations have recently invited criticism and scrutiny, though, mainly because Munger demands that he have a say in the design of the buildings constructed out of them, thanks to his passion for architecture. One example would be the state-of-the-art residence called the Munger Graduate Residence he designed for the University of Michigan, which has about 600 windowless rooms. 

Charlie Munger Family 

Munger was married twice, first to a woman named Nancy Higgins while he was still with the military. They had three children together named Wendy Munger, Molly Munger, and Teddy Munger. 

A few years after he divorced his first wife, he got married to Nancy Barry, with whom he had four additional children. He also has two stepchildren from this marriage. They are all named Charles T. Munger Jr., Emilie Munger Ogden, Barry A. Munger and Philip R. Munger. The stepchildren are named William Harold Borthwick and David Borthwick. 

Both of his former wives are now deceased. 

Charlie Munger Net Worth and Career Earnings

Charlie Munger only takes a $100,000 base pay from Berkshire Hathaway without any bonuses, but with his investments and business skills, he has amassed a wealth of nearly $2.4 Billion. 

In addition to being the vice president for Berkshire Hathaway, he is affiliated with companies like Costco and Daily Journal Corp. 

Charlie Munger Real Estate Holdings 

Charlie Munger is a huge investor in the real estate market, having a $1.2 billion stake in California real estate under the name of Afton Properties, among other things. He has developed real estate properties and apartment complexes for rent, using tactics like improving the landscaping, which allowed him to raise rents in the area. 

Recently, he has famously spent money on a seaside retreat in Montecito, a town where he has designed seaside communities himself as well. It is where he is currently residing. 

Charlie Munger Quotes 

  • “A great business at a fair price is superior to a fair business at a great price.”
  • “The big money is not in the buying and the selling, but the waiting.” 
  • “You don’t have to be brilliant, only a little bit wiser than the other guys, on average, for a long, long time.” 
  • “People calculate too much and think too little.”  
  • “A lot of people with high IQs are terrible investors because they’ve got terrible temperaments.” 

FAQs

Question: How much is Charlie Munger worth? 

Answer: Charlie Munger is worth over $2.4 billion. 

Question: What is Charlie Munger best known for? 

Answer: Munger is known best for being the vice chairman for Berkshire Hathaway, one of the biggest companies in the world, as well as being Warren Buffet’s right-hand man. He has been credited with a lot of the company’s success. 

Question: What does Charlie Munger do? 

Answer: Charlie Munger is an ex-real estate attorney who turned to invest. He first started working with his own company, Wheeler, Munger, and Company, but then joined Warren Buffet over at Berkshire Hathaway. 

Question: Is Charlie Munger married? 

Answer: Munger has been married twice. His first marriage with Nancy Higgins ended in a divorce, and his second marriage ended with the death of his second wife, Nancy Barry. He has a total of six living children as well as two step-sons. 

Question: What businesses is Charlie Munger associated with?

Answer: In addition to Berkshire Hathaway, Munger is associated with companies like Daily Journal Corp., Costco, and Afton Properties. 

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