80 Charlie Munger Quotes (On Life, Business, Investing)

By Maxime Lagacé

Maxime is the founder of WisdomQuotes. He has been collecting quotes since 2004. His goal? To help you develop a calm and peaceful mind. Learn more about him on his about page.

Life QuotesBusiness QuotesInvesting QuotesSuccess Quotes – Simplicity Quotes – Visual – Takeaways – Further Readings

charlie munger quotes wisdom

You have access here to 80 of the top Charlie Munger quotes.

And you will not be disappointed.

Not only was Charlie smart, but he was also direct and funny.

What will you learn today?

  • How to be successful in business (and your life)
  • The key to becoming a great investor
  • The secret to making better decisions (hint: it has a lot to do with patience, self-control, and discipline)

But who was Charlie Munger (1924-2023)?

  • He was an investor and philosopher
  • He was the business partner of Warren Buffett, one of the most successful investors in the world
  • He was the vice chairman of Berkshire Hathaway, a conglomerate holding company

So, be ready to learn about stoicism, mental models, and the value of learning itself.

So much useful in today’s world.

Please enjoy the best Charlie Munger quotes.

Charlie Munger Quotes On Life

charlie munger quotes lot deferred gratification wisdom

Do a lot of deferred gratification. Charlie Munger

You should avoid sloth and unreliability. Charlie Munger

You’re not going to get very far in life on the basis of what you already know. You’re going to advance in life by what you’re going to learn. Charlie Munger

A majority of life’s errors are caused by forgetting what one is really trying to do. Charlie Munger

Another thing, of course, is that life will have terrible blows in it, horrible blows, unfair blows. It doesn’t matter. And some people recover and others don’t. Charlie Munger

Envy is a really stupid sin because it’s the only one you could never possibly have any fun at. There’s a lot of pain and no fun. Why would you want to get on that trolley? Charlie Munger

The best thing a human being can do is to help another human being know more. Charlie Munger

charlie munger quotes think life learn time wisdom

I think a life properly lived is just learn, learn, learn all the time. Charlie Munger

Assume life will be really tough, and then ask if you can handle it. If the answer is yes, you’ve won. Charlie Munger

If you don’t get this elementary, but mildly unnatural, mathematics of elementary probability into your repertoire, then you go through a long life like a one-legged man in an ass-kicking contest. Charlie Munger

I did not succeed in life by intelligence. I succeeded because I have a long attention span. Charlie Munger

Acquire worldly wisdom and adjust your behavior accordingly. If your new behavior gives you a little temporary unpopularity with your peer group…then to hell with them. Charlie Munger

Invert, always invert: Turn a situation or problem upside down. Look at it backward. Charlie Munger

Don’t drift into self-pity because it doesn’t solve any problems. Charlie Munger

charlie munger quotes recognize reality dont like wisdom

Recognize reality even when you don’t like it – especially when you don’t like it. Charlie Munger

My family was into all that stuff, getting ahead through discipline, knowledge, and self-control. Charlie Munger

Mimicking the herd invites regression to the mean. Charlie Munger

Always take the high road, it’s far less crowded. Charlie Munger


Charlie Munger Quotes On Business

charlie munger quotes opportunity prepared mind wisdom

Opportunity comes to the prepared mind. Charlie Munger

Show me the incentive and I will show you the outcome. Charlie Munger

When you borrow a man’s car, always return it with a tank of gas. Charlie Munger

Almost all good businesses engage in ‘pain today, gain tomorrow’ activities. Charlie Munger

A great business at a fair price is superior to a fair business at a great price. Charlie Munger

Never, ever, think about something else when you should be thinking about the power of incentives. Charlie Munger

In the world of business, the people who are most successful are those who are doing what they love. Charlie Munger

The iron rule of nature is: You get what you reward for. If you want ants to come, you put sugar on the floor. Charlie Munger

charlie munger quotes would argue passion important brainpower wisdom

I would argue that passion is more important than brainpower. Charlie Munger

I try to get rid of people who always confidently answer questions about which they don’t have any real knowledge. Charlie Munger

If at all feasible, you want to maneuver yourself into doing something in which you have an intense interest alongside people whose company you enjoy. Charlie Munger

Three rules for a career: Don’t sell anything you wouldn’t buy yourself. Don’t work for anyone you don’t respect and admire. Work only with people you enjoy. Charlie Munger

The most important thing is knowing where you are competent and where you aren’t. The human mind tries to make you believe you are smarter than you are. Rub your nose in your mistakes. Charlie Munger

Remember that reputation and integrity are your most valuable assets and can be lost in a heartbeat. Charlie Munger

Determine value apart from price; progress apart from activity; wealth apart from size. Charlie Munger

Don’t sell anything you wouldn’t buy yourself. Charlie Munger



Charlie Munger Quotes On Investing And Money

charlie munger quotes intend get rich wanted independent wisdom

I did not intend to get rich. I just wanted to get independent. Charlie Munger

Live within your income and save so that you can invest. Charlie Munger

The first rule of compounding: Never interrupt it unnecessarily. Charlie Munger

The big money is not in the buying or the selling, but in the waiting. Charlie Munger

All intelligent investing is value investing, acquiring more than you are paying for. Charlie Munger

We try more to profit from always remembering the obvious than from grasping the esoteric. Charlie Munger

In the world of business, the ability to adapt is essential. Successful people recognise change as an opportunity, not a threat.

You make your money by the waiting. Charlie Munger


charlie munger quotes investing great companies sit ass wisdom

Investing is where you find a few great companies and then sit on your ass. Charlie Munger

The wise ones bet heavily when the world offers them that opportunity. They bet big when they have the odds. And the rest of the time, they don’t. It’s just that simple. Charlie Munger

It’s waiting that helps you as an investor, and a lot of people just can’t stand to wait. If you didn’t get the deferred-gratification gene, you’ve got to work very hard to overcome that. Charlie Munger

No wise pilot, no matter how great his talent and experience, fails to use his checklist. Charlie Munger

What is the secret of success? I’m rational. That’s the answer. I’m rational. It’s not possible for investors to consistently outperform the market. Therefore you’re best served investing in a diversified portfolio of low-cost index funds. Charlie Munger

People who cannot be alone with their own thoughts for a long time are terrible candidates to become successful investors. Charlie Munger

Like Warren, I had a considerable passion to get rich, not because I wanted Ferrari’s – I wanted the independence. I desperately wanted it. Charlie Munger

We recognized early on that smart people do very dumb things, and we wanted to know why and who, so that we could avoid them. Charlie Munger

charlie munger quotes people high iqs investors temperaments wisdom

A lot of people with high IQs are terrible investors because they’ve got terrible temperaments. Charlie Munger

You don’t have to be brilliant, only a little bit wiser than the other guys, on average, for a long, long time. Charlie Munger

Our game is to recognize a big idea when it comes along when one doesn’t come along very often. Charlie Munger

Someone will always be getting richer faster than you. This is not a tragedy. Charlie Munger

The desire to get rich fast is pretty dangerous. Charlie Munger

Charlie Munger Quotes On Success, Learning, Reading

charlie munger quotes whole life known wise people read wisdom

In my whole life, I have known no wise people who didn’t read all the time — none, zero. Charlie Munger

Patience is not just a virtue; it’s a strategy. Success often requires waiting for the right moment to act. Charlie Munger

Develop into a lifelong self-learner through voracious reading; cultivate curiosity and strive to become a little wiser every day. Charlie Munger

Success comes from making rational decisions based on facts, not emotions. Remove the emotional cloud to see the clear path forward. Charlie Munger

We both (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. Charlie Munger

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 when they got up and boy does that help — particularly when you have a long run ahead of you. Charlie Munger

To get what you want, deserve what you want. Trust, success, and admiration are earned. It’s such a simple idea. It’s the golden rule so to speak: You want to deliver to the world what you would buy if you were on the other end. Charlie Munger

I met the towering intellectuals in books, not in classroom. Charlie Munger

charlie munger quotes remarkable long term advantage stupid intelligent wisdom

It’s remarkable how much long-term advantage people like us have gotten by trying to be consistently not stupid, instead of trying to be very intelligent. Charlie Munger

Neither Warren nor I are smart enough to make decisions with no time to think. We make actual decisions very rapidly, but that’s because we have spent so much time preparing ourselves by quietly reading. Charlie Munger

Spend each day trying to be a little wiser than you were when you woke up. Discharge your duties faithfully and well. Slug it out one inch at a time, day by day. Charlie Munger

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. Charlie Munger

There is no better teacher than history in determining the future… There are answers worth billions of dollars in 30$ history book. Charlie Munger

Most people are too fretful, they worry to much. Success means being very patient, but aggressive when it’s time. Charlie Munger

There are always people who will be better at something than you are. You have to learn to be a follower before you become a leader. Charlie Munger

You need patience, discipline, and agility to take losses and adversity without going crazy. Charlie Munger


Charlie Munger Quotes On Simplicity

charlie munger quotes passion keeping things simple wisdom

We have a passion for keeping things simple. Charlie Munger

We have three baskets for investing: yes, no, and too tough to understand. Charlie Munger

If something is too hard, we move on to something else. What could be more simpler than that? Charlie Munger

Take a simple idea and take it seriously. Simple ideas have been the source of most human success. Charlie Munger

Our job is to find a few intelligent things to do, not to keep up with every damn thing in the world. Charlie Munger

Simplicity has a way of improving performance by enabling us to better understand what we are doing. Charlie Munger

You don’t have to have the ability that quantum mechanics requires. You just have to know a few simple things and really know them. Charlie Munger

It’s the work on your desk. Do well with what you already have and more will come in. Charlie Munger

The secret to happiness is to lower your expectations. Charlie Munger


It’s so simple: you spend less than you earn. Invest shrewdly. Avoid toxic people and toxic activities. Try to keep learning all your life. And do a lot of deferred gratification. If you do all those things, you are almost certain to succeed. And if you don’t, you’ll need a lot of luck. And you don’t want to need a lot of luck. You want to go into a game where you’re very likely to win without having any unusual luck. Charlie Munger

charlie munger quotes wisdom

What was Charlie Munger’s famous quote?

I believe in the discipline of mastering the best that other people have ever figured out. I don’t believe in just sitting down and trying to dream it all up yourself. Nobody’s that smart. Charlie Munger (It seems Charlie loved quotes too…)

Visual With Charlie Munger’s Idea

charlie munger quotes what you know vs what you dont wisdom

Acknowledging what you don’t know is the dawning of wisdom. Charlie Munger

Key Takeaways

  • Read a lot. Charlie was an avid reader, like his billionaire partner Warren Buffett. This helped him have a vast amount of knowledge in many different fields that he could then translate to better decisions for his investments. As Warren Buffett said, “The more you learn, the more you earn.”
  • Thing long-term. Charlie talked often about staying patient and waiting for the right opportunities. He also insisted on deferring gratification, or “pain today, gain tomorrow”.
  • Build mental toughness. Charlie liked the idea of stoicism in which we accept willingly what life throws at us. By living this way, we become more responsible and capable of facing any challenges.
  • Be curious. Charlie was 99 when he died. But he was still curious, asking questions, and reading about psychology, biology, physics, etc. He lived by his words, “I think a life properly lived is just learn, learn, learn all the time.”
  • Use mental models. To make good decisions, Charlie used mental models. For example, he loved inverting. So, instead of asking “How can I become happy?” Ask yourself “How can I become miserable?” Then avoid doing these.

Further Readings

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Author Bio

maxime lagace

Maxime Lagacé started collecting quotes in 2004 after he lost his girlfriend in a car accident.

In search of meaning, he dived in the self-improvement world, psychology and trail running.

Books, blogs, quotes and nature became his guide.

He started journaling, reflecting, writing his thoughts, feelings and quotes.

His goal was to understand his pain, his depression, his fears, his lack of motivation and inspiration.

He finished his software engineering degree in 2007 at the École de Technologie Supérieure de Montréal.

A few years later, he started his first website to share his love of quotes.

Maxime is a father of two, husband, and INFJ.

Other notable interests of Maxime are health (mental and physical), meditation, bananas, SEO, human potential, and education.

You can find him on X, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, YouTube.

Last update

December 4, 2023

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