Charlie Munger Acquired Podcast Interview w/ Transcript (October 2023)
The Acquired Podcast has new episode with Charlie Munger. As usual Charlie was candid and dropped some truth bombs, although we never quite get to hear what he really thinks about venture capital… 🤐 If you scroll down on the page, you’ll also find a full transcript of the interview.
Here are a few selected highlights (slightly edited by me at times to match the audio):
The extra-wide parking spaces at Costco! I always felt they were a competitive edge.
Ben: What was it about Costco that made you realize this is one of those few moments in a lifetime?
Charlie: They really did sell cheaper than anybody else in America and they did it in big, efficient stores. All the parking spaces were 10 feet wide instead of eight or nine feet or whatever they normally are. They did it all right and they had a lot of parking spaces. They kept out of their stores, all these people didn’t do big volumes, and they gave special benefits to the people who did come to the stores in the way of reward points [via the Executive membership 2% back].
Rational people don’t risk what they have and need for what they don’t have and don’t need.
David: But your relationship with Warren?
Charlie: We were both somewhat similar. We both wanted to keep our families safe and take a good job for our investors and so on. We had similar attitudes.
David: Did it change over the decades?
Charlie: No. Warren still cares more about the safety of his Berkshire shareholders than he cares about anything else. If we used a little bit more leverage throughout, we’d have three times as much now, and it wouldn’t have been that much more risk either. We never wanted to give them the least a chance of screwing up our basic shelter position.
The three things.
Person: Charlie, if you started with Warren today and you were both 30 years old, do you think you guys would build anything close to what Berkshire is today?
Charlie: The answer to that is no, we wouldn’t. We had… everybody that had unusually good results… almost everything has three things: They’re very intelligent, they worked very hard, and they were very lucky. It takes all three to get them on this list of the super successful. How can you arrange to have just […] good luck? The answer is you can start early and keep trying for a long time, and maybe you’ll get one or two.
Climb the mountain once.
Andrew: I don’t think you’re saying there are no opportunities whatsoever. I think you’re just saying low expectations and fewer bonanzas.
Charlie: The beauty of it is: you only have to get rich once. You don’t have to climb this mountain four times. You just have to do it once.
It was a great interview, and prompted me to add these other Acquired Podcast episodes to my playlist:
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