Investment Wisdom

23. What Would Charlie Munger Recommend For Chinese (Lunar) New Year Resolutions?

This is the start of the lunar new year. So, Happy Chinese New Year to our Chinese Friends and Lunar New Year To All. New year days are significant days across cultures for renewal, starting afresh, choice of good over the evil and resolutions. (Please visit/join https://www.facebook.com/groups/charliemungersays/)

So, for Charlie Munger disciples (or otherwise), here’s ten resolutions for the lunar new year which is likely to be good for you:

  1. Learn Simplicity and Focus on Matters That Matter

 

“Keep things simple and remember what you set out to do.”

2. Don’t Regret and Dwell On Bygones

“I don’t spend much time regretting, once I’ve taken my lesson from it. I don’t dwell on it.

3. Face Up To Your Serious Problems Now and Don’t Jump From A Tall Building

“Warren gave a very optimistic prognosis. Some people seem to think there’s no trouble just because it hasn’t happened yet. If you jump out the window at the 42nd floor and you’re still doing fine as you pass the 27th floor, that doesn’t mean you don’t have a serious problem. I would want to address the problem right now. They’d better face it.”

4. Think of Mental Models and Think of Your Neighbors Too

“You have to realize the truth of biologist Julian Huxley’s idea that ‘Life is just one damn relatedness after another. So you must have the models, and you must see the relatedness and the effects from the relatedness.”

5. Destroy Your Own Best Loved Ideas When They Are Wrong, Especially When They Are Wrong

“If Berkshire has made a modest progress, a good deal of it is because Warren and I are very good at destroying our own best loved ideas. Any year that you don’t destroy one of your best-loved ideas is probably a wasted year.”

6. Sometimes You Have To Be The Little Red Hen: Do It Yourself

“When my friend Buffet and I left our respective graduate schools, we found huge predictable patterns of obvious extreme irrationality in the business world. This irrationality was grossly important in what we were trying to do, yet it had never been mentioned by our professors. Our solution, one we learned at a very early age in the nursery: ‘”Then I’ll do it myself,” said the Little Red Hen.’

7. Let Terrible Blows In Life Blow In The Wind

“Life will have terrible blows in it, horrible blows, unfair blows. It doesn’t matter.  And some people recover and others don’t. And there I think the attitude of Epictetus is the best. He thought that every missed chance in life was an opportunity to behave well. Every missed chance in life was an opportunity to learn something and that your duty was not to be submerged in self-pity.  But instead to utilize the terrible blow in constructive fashion. That is a very good idea.”

8. Practise Two-Track Analysis To Avoid Errors In Decisions

“Personally, I’ve gotten so that I now use a kind of two-track analysis. First, what are the factors that really govern the interests involved, rationally considered? And second, what are the subconscious influences where the brain at a subconscious level is automatically conclusions in various ways — which, by and large, are useful — but which often malfunction? One approach is rationality. And the other is to evaluate the psychological factors that cause subconscious conclusions — many of which are wrong.”

9. Be Careful Of The Good Idea When It’s Reached A Paradox

“It’s not the bad ideas that’ll do you in, it’s the good ideas.  And you may say, “That can’t be so. That’s paradoxical.” What he (Benjamin Graham) meant was that if a thing is a bad idea, it’s hard to overdo. But where there is a good idea with a core of essential and important truth, you can’t ignore it. And then it’s so easy to overdo it. So the good ideas are a wonderful way to suffer terribly if you overdo them.”

10. Move Your Ass Only When You Have An Advantage In Investing (And In Many Other Things)

“The number one idea is to view a stock as an ownership of the business and to judge the staying quality of the business in terms of its competitive advantage. Look for more value in terms of discounted future cash-flow than you are paying for. Move only when you have an advantage. It’s very basic. You have to understand the odds and have the discipline to bet only when the odds are in your favor. We just keep our heads down and handle the headwinds and tailwinds as best we can, and take the result after a period of years.”