Charlie Munger: ‘We don’t do startups’

“We could make a lot of decisions about a lot of things very fast and very easily. And we’re unusual in that respect. And the reason we’re able to do that is there’s such an enormous other lot of things that we won’t allow ourselves to think about at all. It’s just that simple. I have a little phrase when people make pitches to me, and about halfway through the first sentence, I say, ‘We don’t do startups.’ They don’t exist. Well, if you blot out startups, there’s a whole layer of complexity that goes out of your life. And we’ve got other little blotter-out systems. And using those, we finally find out that what remains is still a pretty large territory that we can handle.”
—Charlie Munger.

Charlie Munger: Your whole civilization deteriorates

“I would say that I like a certain amount of social intervention that takes some of the inequality out of results in capitalism. But I hate, with a passion, rewarding anything that can be easily faked. Because I think then people lie, and lying works, and the lying spreads. And I think your whole civilization deteriorates.”
—Charlie Munger.

Charlie Munger: Profit sitting in the yard

“We tend to prefer the business which drowns in cash. It just makes so much money that one of the main principles of owning it is you have all this cash coming in. There are other businesses, like the construction equipment business of my old friend John Anderson. And he used to say about his business ‘You work hard all year, and at the end of the year there’s your profit sitting in the yard.’ There was never any cash. Just more used construction equipment. We tend to hate businesses like that.”
–Charlie Munger.

Charlie Munger: Rare person

“If the business is good enough, it will carry a lousy manager. And the converse case, where a really good manager gets in a really lousy business, he’ll ordinarily have a very imperfect record. In other words, it’s a rare person that can take over a textile business, totally doomed—which is what Warren [Buffett] did in his youthful folly— and turn it into what’s happened here. You should not be looking for other Warrens on the theory they’re under every bush.” –Charlie Munger.