Investment Wisdom

48. Charlie Munger Lesson For The Day: Part 2: “Keep your eyes wide open before marriage and half shut thereafter” or “See it like it is and love anyway.” Sound advice, either way.

There are people who says ignorance is bliss. Actually, ignorance is not bliss; it is costly.

However, “conscious ignorance” may sometimes be a good thing. On this note, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Supreme Court Judge once said: ”Another often-asked question when I speak in public: “Do you have some good advice you might share with us?” Yes, I do. It comes from my savvy mother-in-law, advice she gave me on my wedding day. “In every good marriage,” she counseled, “it helps sometimes to be a little deaf.” I have followed that advice assiduously, and not only at home through 56 years of a marital partnership nonpareil. I have employed it as well in every workplace, including the Supreme Court. When a thoughtless or unkind word is spoken, best tune out. Reacting in anger or annoyance will not advance one’s ability to persuade.”

Both Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger are for life-long learning. Basically, keep your eyes open, learn and learn some more.

Warren Buffett said this about his good friend Charlie Munger: “People think it’s Charlie’s eyes that cause him to miss seeing things (Charlie lost his vision in one eye many years ago due to complications from cataract surgery). Bu it’s not his eys, it’s his head. I once sat through three sets of traffic lights, and plenty of honking behind us, as Charlie discussed some complex problem at an intersection.”  (Charlie Munger was blind in the left eye after an unsuccessful cataract surgery in 1980. )

There’s an old saying which goes “There are none so blind as those who will not see.” Charlie Munger is blind in one eye but he sees so much better than us all.

“I can see, he can hear. We make a great combination”, said Warren Buffett, on his long-time friend and business partner Charlie Munger  Well, Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger keep their eyes and ears open. So should all of us.

Charlie Munger: “Our experience in shifting from savings and loan operation to ownership of Freddie Mac shares tends to confirm a long-held notion that being prepared, on a few occasions in a lifetime, to act promptly in scale, in doing some simple and logical things, will often dramatically improve the financial results of that lifetime.” “A few major opportunities clearly recognizable as such, will usually come to one who continuously searches and waits, with a curious mind, loving diagnosis involving multiple variables. And then all that is required is a willingness to bet heavily when the odds are extremely favorable, using resources available as a result of prudence and patience in the past.”   In other words, learn, work hard, search and keep your eyes and ears open for opportunities.

There are exceptions to keeping your eyes open all the time.

Charlie Munger: People disagree about how much blindness should accompany the association called love. In Poor Richard’s Almanack Franklin counseled: “Keep your eyes wide open before marriage and half shut thereafter.” Perhaps this “eyes half-shut” solution is about right, but I favor a tougher prescription: “See it like it is and love anyway.”