‘I’m not going to find another guy like this’
Before Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger became known as iconic business partners, ruling the Berkshire Hathaway Empire, they were just two guys from Omaha, Nebraska, who apparently looked a lot alike.
They found out that thanks to a well-known city doctor, Dr Edwin Davis, who told Buffett at a 1957 meeting that he trusted him to handle the money because the investor reminded him of someone. one by the name of Charlie Munger.
“Well, I don’t know who Charlie Munger is, but I like him,” Buffett replied to Davis, the investing legend recalled in an interview with CNBC’s Becky Quick, which aired Tuesday as part of ‘a special, “Buffett & Munger: A Wealth of Wisdom.”
Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett (left) and Vice Chairman Charlie Munger attend the 2019 annual meeting of shareholders in Omaha, Nebraska on May 3, 2019.
Johannes Eisele | AFP | Getty Images
Davis and his wife, Dorothy, have made it their goal to finally connect Buffett and Munger, Buffett said. It happened over dinner two years later, in 1959, when Munger, then a lawyer in Los Angeles, was back in Omaha after the death of his father, Alfred.
“After about five minutes Charlie was sort of rolling on the floor laughing at his own jokes, which is exactly the same as I am,” said Buffett, 90. “I was like, ‘I’m not going to find another guy like this.’ And we get along well. “
“We got along well,” said Munger, 97, adding, “What I love about Warren is disrespect. We don’t have automatic respect for the pompous heads of any civilization.”
Their friendship and business relationship blossomed from there, as Buffett continued to build his investment firm and Munger worked in law.
In the early 1960s, Munger said he finally heeded Buffett’s advice regarding his career path. “It took me a long time to understand that [Buffett] had a better way of earning a living than I did. But he finally convinced me that I was wasting my time. “
Munger started his own investment firm, which would post an average annual compound rate of 19.8% between 1962 and 1975, far better than the 5% Dow Jones Industrial Average over that period, according to Buffett’s famous essay from 1984, “The Graham-and-Doddsville Super-Investors.”
Buffett said he remembers having long phone conversations with Munger at the time. Munger added, “We had fun at first because it was like hunting expeditions.”
Buffett began buying shares in Berkshire Hathaway in 1962, eventually taking control of the company three years later and making it the influential conglomerate it is today. He is Chairman and Chief Executive Officer.
In 1978, Munger became Vice President of Berkshire Hathaway, a position he still holds.
“I knew right away that Charlie was the kind of guy I was going to love, and I was going to learn from him,” Buffett said, reflecting on their first meeting. “You know, it was nothing calculated, a decision or something. It was natural. And we had only fun.”