By our economics editors
Nov 29, 2023 at 7:59 AM Update: 8 minutes ago
Charlie Munger, the vice chairman of investment firm Berkshire Hathaway, has died at the age of 99. The American became known as the right-hand man of Warren Buffett, who gained the reputation of a super investor as CEO of Berkshire Hathaway.
Munger met Buffett in 1959. Later, Buffett would state that Munger gave him one of his most important pieces of business advice. Munger urged him to “buy great companies at a great price, rather than good companies at a great price.”
Under Buffett and Munger, Berkshire Hathaway grew into an investment fund with a market value of more than $783 billion. Munger’s equity was estimated at 2.3 billion dollars (about 2 billion euros) at the beginning of 2023. The companies that the investors bought are active in, among other things, the insurance industry, freight transport and utilities.
Munger and Buffett did not become a duo until 1975, when Munger became vice chairman of Berkshire, which was then led by Buffett. Munger was popular for his dry comments about investing, the economy and human nature. For example, he once compared bankers to “uncontrollable heroin addicts” and called the virtual currency Bitcoin “rat poison”.
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Munger was able to come out unexpectedly
He could also come out unexpectedly. For example, in one of his last interviews he told CNBC that “gold is a great thing to sew into your clothes if you are a Jewish family in Vienna in 1939, but I think civilized people don’t buy gold: they invest in productive businesses .”
Of Berkshire’s success, he said in 2010: “We may look like people who have mastered a trick. But it’s not genius. It’s just avoiding stupidity.”
Munger died peacefully in a hospital in California. In a statement, his partner Buffett said: “Berkshire Hathaway could not have been built into what it is today without Charlie’s inspiration, wisdom and contributions.”
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Berkshire HathawayWarren BuffettEconomie