I recently attended the Berkshire Hathaway annual shareholders’ meeting in Omaha, Nebraska in the United States. To be honest it is more of a pilgrimage to meet the Gods of investing rather than a shareholders meeting.

The annual meeting is held in a large auditorium that sits 30,000 people which makes it more akin to attending a large sporting event rather than a shareholders meeting. Then again you are meeting investment legends rather than famous celebrities or sports stars. The adulation from the crowd for Warren Buffett is similar to that of a Rock god, especially the standing ovation at the end of the meeting.

Up until last year, you would have the two business partners,  Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger, on stage but sadly Charlie died in December aged 99 years and 11 months. Warren Buffett on the other hand is only 93. He claims he skips to work. He enjoys it that much. This is a man who continues to pursue his passion which is investing.

Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger meet Tony Byrne!

Both Charlie Munger and Warren Buffett have given us endless valuable investing and life lessons for more than 50 years. Some of them are worth repeating below.

Charlie Munger’s most famous quotes

“In my whole life, I have known no wise people (over a broad subject matter area) who didn’t read all the time — none, zero. You’d be amazed at how much Warren reads–and at how much I read. My children laugh at me. They think I’m a book with a couple of legs sticking out.”

“You should never be stupider than you need to be.” 

“It takes character to sit there with all that cash and do nothing. I didn’t get to where I am by going after mediocre opportunities.” 

“Whenever you think something or some person is ruining your life, it’s you.”

“If all you have is a hammer, the world looks like a nail.”

“We both (Charlie Munger and Warren Buffett) insist on a lot of time being available almost every day to just sit and think. That is very uncommon in American business. We read and think.”

“I constantly see people rise in life who are not the smartest, sometimes not even the most diligent, but they are learning machines. They go to bed every night a little wiser than they were when they got up and boy does that help, particularly when you have a long run ahead of you.”

“Remember that reputation and integrity are your most valuable assets—and can be lost in a heartbeat.”

“People calculate too much and think too little.”

“All I want to know is where I’m going to die so I’ll never go there.”

Warren Buffett’s most famous quotes

“It’s far better to buy a wonderful company at a fair price, than a fair company at a wonderful price.”  

“You should invest in a business that even a fool can run, because someday a fool will.” 

“No matter how great the talent or effort, some things just take time: You can’t produce a baby in one month by getting nine women pregnant.”

“Price is what you pay. Value is what you get.” 

“Rule number 1: Never lose money.  Rule number 2: Never forget rule number 1.”

“Be fearful when others are greedy.  Be greedy when others are fearful.”

“Someone’s sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago.”

“If you aren’t willing to own a stock for 10 years, don’t even think about owning it for 10 minutes.”

“It is not necessary to do extraordinary things to get extraordinary results.”

At the meeting, I was struck by Warren Buffett’s modesty. According to him the success of Berkshire Hathaway was largely down to his friend Charlie Munger. He gives the credit to Berkshire Hathaway’s current management team for how well the company is performing today. He thinks his wife is more talented than him. It’s the true mark of a person’s character to not take the credit and remain humble.  It’s the hallmark of success.

The truth is Warren Buffett is a genius. The greatest value investor the world has ever seen and, in my opinion, ever will see again. Follow his and Charlie Munger’s words of wisdom and you will be a successful investor. You know it makes sense.*

*RISK WARNING

The value of investments can fall as well as rise. You may not get back what you invest. The information contained within this article is for guidance only and does not constitute advice which should be sought before taking any action or inaction. All information is based on our current understanding of taxation, legislation, regulations and case law in the current tax year. Any levels and bases of relief from taxation are subject to change. Tax treatment is based on individual circumstances and may be subject to change in the future. This blog is based on my own observations and opinions.

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