Charlie Munger: Future opportunity cost

“Everything we do comes back to opportunity cost. But it, to some extent — in fact, to some considerable extent — we are guessing at our future opportunity cost. Warren is basically saying that he’s guessing that he’ll have opportunities in due course to put out money at pretty attractive rates of return, and therefore, he’s not going to waste a lot of firepower now at lower returns. But that’s an opportunity cost calculation. And if interest rates were to more or less permanently settle at 1 percent or something like that, and Warren were to reappraise his notions of future opportunity cost, he would change the numbers. It’s like [economist John Maynard] Keynes said, ‘What do you do when you change your view of the facts? Well, you change your conduct.’ But so far at least, we have hurdles in our mind which…involve, implicitly, future opportunity cost.” –Charlie Munger (2003). 

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Charlie Munger: Perfectly amazing mental malfuncttion

“It’s your alternatives that are competing for the use of your time or money, that matter in judging whether you take action or not. And of course, those vary greatly from time to time and from company to company. And we tend to make all of our financial decisions based on our opportunity costs, just as like they teach in freshman economics. And the rest of the world has gone off on some crazy kick where they can create a standard formula, and that’s cost. They even get a cost of equity capital for some business that’s old and filthy rich. It’s a perfectly amazing mental malfunction.” –Charlie Munger. 

Charlie Munger: Prepare for fast spurts

“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… 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.”

—Charlie Munger. 

Charlie Munger: Simple, old-fashioned discipline

“We have this simple, old-fashioned discipline, which Warren likens to Ted Williams waiting for a fat pitch. I don’t know about Warren, but if you said to me, ‘Charlie, you can go into the business of managing money the way other people do, where you’re measured against indexes and you got consultants choosing consultants that are reviewing you to committees,’ I would just hate it. I would regard it as being put into shackles. And shackles where the very system was preventing me from delivering value…. The general system for money management requires people to pretend that they can do something that they can’t do, and to pretend to like it when they really don’t.” —Charlie Munger. 

Charlie Munger: Value investing

“All intelligent investing is value investing. You have to acquire more than you really pay for, and that’s a value judgment. But you can look for more than you’re paying for in a lot of different ways. You can use filters to sift the investment universe. And if you stick with stocks that can’t possibly be wonderful to just put away in your safe deposit box for 40 years, but are underpriced, then you have to keep moving around all the time. As they get closer to what you think the real value is, you have to sell them, and then find others. And so, it’s an active kind of investing. The investing where you find a few great companies and just sit on your ass because you’ve correctly predicted the future, that is what it’s very nice to be good at.”

—Charlie Munger.