Sunday, August 30, 2009

Munger's Life Advice

If it's any reflection of the impact Charlie Munger has had on my life, last night I dreamed that I talked with him as an undergraduate student at UCLA debating whether deficit spending would resolve the current global recession.

While it's an answer to a completely different question that I may have posted already, I reflect on Munger's life advice so often that I felt it was worth re-posting:

How to Get Rich

We get these questions a lot from the enterprising young. It's a very intelligent question: you look at some old guy who's rich and you ask, "how can I become like you, except faster?" [Laugher] My answer is that I did it slowly, inch by inch, taking losses mentally when they occurred. If you want to do it with fast rapidity, then you're talking to the wrong man, but I know my way works.

If you don't just want to play tiddlywinks, I say welcome to the pool. Spend each day trying to be a little wiser than you were when you woke up. Discharge your duties faithfully and well. Step by step you get ahead, but not necessarily in fast spurts. But you build discipline by preparing for fast spurts. You may not need Zsa Zsa Gabor or a Lamborghini or a lot of other things you think you need now. Slug it out one inch at a time, day by day, at the end of the day -- if you live long enough -- most people get what they deserve.

It's so simple. What's the best way to get a good spouse? The best single way is to deserve a good spouse because a good spouse is by definition not nuts. [Laughter] It's the same with the responsibilities in life.

1 comment:

Kelvin said...

Thanks for sharing this. I hate to be that guy that relates everything back to poker, but I think that this really relates to trying to be a good card player, as well. Particularly with all of the televised (and edited) poker that we see these days, people feel like they have to swing for the fences every time. I'm definitely not the best card player, but I find that I play my best when I'm working on making good, smart, incremental wins, rather than trying to triple up every time.