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Notes to Myself

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Pearls of Wisdom

CNBC’s Warren Buffett Archive

Yesterday I posted a short blog post with link to 2018 Annual General Meeting of Berkshire Hathaway.

I watched the Live telecast of the AGM till very late night (as per India Time). Some days back I posted a blog on Charlie Munger and shared some of his videos. Few days later I wrote another blog on my idol and his mental models.

Warren Buffett is (almost) 88 years old and Charlie Munger completed 94 years on 1st  January 2018. Since the time I have discovered the duo I have been trying to read everything written or spoken by them. But video adds one more dimension – it also shows the body language and composure. I have not wasted any opportunity to find and watch any video where either on them has featured. There are plenty of videos of Warren Buffet. But there are very few of Charlie Munger. I think I have watched all…

Since last 2 years Berkshire Hathaway started live streaming of their AGM – first in 2016 and then in 2017.  And I watched it again yesterday. It has been a wonderful experience watching the two holding marathon meetings.

One sad feeling I get is that both these great people are slowly approaching the inevitable – the end of life. They themselves talk about it often and that too in light, humorous tone. When you know that someone who you are close to is about to vanish forever you tend to spend every possible minute with that person, collect as many memories as possible. (This is also true of the person who is about to leave your life and become stranger after spending precious few years with you)

So with that feeling I try to read/listen to / watch everything featuring Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger – even though at times it becomes repetitive and predictable. I always wondered that Berkshire started Live streaming of their AGM very late, only 3 years. I have read all previous Letters To Shareholders since 1965 (you can download them here). I have also read some interesting quotes and discussion from some of the AGMs. But I always wished I could watch those AGMs or listen to the audio recording.

And my wish came true today!

I found out that CNBC has released definite collection of Warren Buffet – 24 years of Berkshire Hathaway videos, over 120 hours of videos and 2600 pages of transcripts!

This is amazing! To borrow Warren Buffett’s analogy, I felt like a kid in a candy store…

Here is the link to the Warren Buffett Archive: The Warren Buffet Archive (since 1994)

Check out the 1994 AGM clip where WB quoted “You don’t fin who’s swimming naked until the tide goes out”. Or, when asked “What is your next goal in life now that you are the richest man in the country?” Buffett’s instant reply was: “That’s easy. To be the oldest man in the country” 🙂

Well, I hope he and Charlie go on to become the oldest men alive…by a huge margin!

 

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Seneca on The Shortness of Life

Read this before you sleep tonight, and think about this when you wake up tomorrow

(Source – Seneca on The Shortness of Life)

Good Read: People Who Have “Too Many Interests” Are More Likely To Be Successful According To Research

Here is a very interesting article! You may have to register first, but it is worth doing so…just for this article!

People Who Have “Too Many Interests” Are More Likely To Be Successful According To Research

Charlie Munger and Mental Models

Who are your idols? Who have had profound impact on your thinking? Who have contributed a lot in shaping up your personality, your philosophy? Who have inspired you and motivated you?

Every person would have some “idols” or influencers. That could be a single person or many people for various aspects/qualities. They could be your parents, family, friends or public figures (including “eminent dead”). How do you discover them? At what stage you “realize” that they have caused deep impact on you?

These are the questions that often fascinate me. Someone said to the effect” “Tell me what songs your youth sing and I’ll tell you future of your nation”. On similar lines I feel that one can get great insights about future by seeing who the society idolizes. If Kim Kardashian is the person you idolize, well, you are headed towards fast extinction.

And the person you idolize may change over the years, because you change and grow or the person changes and is no more relevant. The so-called “eternal” idols, or thoughts only mean that they sustain for longer period – maybe decades or even centuries.

So who are my idols – as of today? Well, I want to write about them  in detail, so won’t list all the names. But I’ll begin with the first one today.

His name is Charles T Munger, also known as “Charlie Munger” – the longtime partner of Warren Buffett and Berkshire Hathaway Vice-Chairman.

Warren Buffett is well known for his wealth and wit. But not everybody would know that one of the biggest influencers in Warren’s life is Charlie. Warren is very outspoken and you can find hundreds of interviews, books and articles on Warren. But there is not much material available about Charlie Munger. Or, it wasn’t until recently. There are four well-known books about Charlie Munger, and I possess and have read all of them.

CM_Books

There is another book I discovered recently, “On Success by Charlie Munger” which I am yet to read.

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And then there are few interviews and speeches of Charlie on Youtube which I highly recommend. I will share some links at the end.

I “discovered” Charlie Munger very late in my life – when I was 31 years old. I knew Warran Buffett for few years before that and had read everything about him. I had also known Charlie as his partner, through speeches and Shareholder Letters of Buffett, but I had not “followed” Charlie much.

In general, Charlie was not very popular till 2000s (I maybe wrong on this. Maybe I am speaking only about India). But the more you read about him and listen to him, the more you crave for his worldly wisdom.

Charlie is 94 years old and still very active. Warren Buffett is 6 years younger – 88 and again, very active. The duo has now achieved a cult status (Warren had achieved it many decades ago) and people queue up whenever these two make a public appearance and talk.

What I like about Charlie and the reason I consider him as idol are two excellent qualities:

  • Charlie Munger is extremely well-read and has indulged in lifelong passion of accumulating knowledge and learning multidisciplinary skills. He quotes Confucius and Ben Franklin and Seneca and many others. To quote Charlie: “That sounds funny, making friends among the eminent dead, but if you go through life making friends with the eminent deadwho had the right ideas, I think it will work better in life and work better in education”. He also quotes contemporary thinkers and even people who were born 30-40 years after him. So he has no qualms on giving credit to whom it is due. In fact, Charlie is like a window to many other great thinkers. I got to know about many other people through Charlie’s citations, examples, quotes and then pursued these people further. In nutshell. Charlie is like an “aggregator” of all good things, knowledge, wisdom etc. You follow him as the first step and then you can follow others
  • The second reason is that Charlie has also developed his own thinking over the years. He often talks about “Mental Models” – frameworks for thinking and decision making which he has developed or compiled over the decades, and he keeps on updating and improvising them. Mental Models is a unique contribution of Charlie Munger because of which many people in investing community now rate Charlie Munger above Warren Buffett (and I don’t think Buffett would mind that. He acknowledges that often)

 

Here is an excellent article/blog on compilation of Mental Models of Charlie Munger (113 models as of today).

Mental Models: The Best Way to Make Intelligent Decisions (113 Models Explained)

I also stumbled upon a document consisting of “The Best of Charlie Munger from 1994 to 2011”. Whoever has compiled it needs a big applause! Here is the 349 page document.

The-Best-of-Charlie-Munger-1994-2011

Lastly, I will end this post by sharing few Youtube videos which I particularly liked:

 

 

 

Good Read: the beauty of the ellipsis

I had read this blog post “the beauty of the ellipsis” long back, in 2011, and had liked it a lot!

The website (now defunct) was called “mnmlist” and was all about “minimalism” and extreme simplicity. Ever the blog/website template emphasizes minimalism with no clutter, sidebars, widgets and simple plain text on white background. Even the titles of blog posts are all in lower-case, signifying simplicity and equality.

The website design and contents have Zen-like spiritual touch and it accentuates the core idea of minimalism.

I am reproducing the blog here with credits. You can also go through other write-ups on this blog.


mnmlistthe beauty of the ellipsis

On Twitter recently, I wrote: ‘The purest beauty in life is in the ellipsis.’

Someone then asked: ‘How is an omission the purest form of beauty?’

This is the essence of minimalism. The ellipsis is the punctuation mark (…) that indicates an intentional omission. From Wikipedia: “An ellipsis can also be used to indicate a pause in speech, an unfinished thought, or, at the end of a sentence, a trailing off into silence.”

If that description doesn’t inspire thoughts of beauty in you, you might not be a minimalist.

A pause in speech is silence. Silence is one of the most profound ways to connect with your inner voice, with nature. Silence is the best part of speech.

An unfinished thought is any thought, really — if a thought is “finished” it’s dead. We are all of us in transition, all the time, and our thoughts can be no exception.

Trailing off into silence implies that there is much left unsaid … that what is said is only the start.

Intentional omission is the foundation of minimalism: we leave things out because they are unnecessary, and retain only what we need or use or love. Omitting the unnecessary is a thing of pure beauty.

Say less, and hear more.

Do less, and have a greater impact.

Make less noise, and appreciate the silence.

Send out fewer emails, and make each one count.

Tweet less, and each one becomes more meaningful.

Have fewer possessions, and enjoy the space.

Have fewer “friends”, but make each relationship stronger.

Appreciate the spaces between everything.

Source: http://mnmlist.com/the-ellipsis/


 

Peter Drucker said…

Peter Drucker said:

“Culture eats strategy for breakfast”

culture-eats-strategy-for-breakfast

Corporate-culture-vs-strategy

Charlie Munger

I am not sure if you follow Charlie Munger – partner of Warren Buffett and Vice-Chairman of Berkshire Hathaway. If you don’t start following right now! He is one of those living legends who continues to shine even at the age of 93!

Here are a few Youtube videos of Charlie. Will post more soon…

Video – 1

Video – 2

Video – 3

Video – 4

Video – 5

Video – 6

Video – 7

 

 

 

Pearls of Wisdom

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Understand your Circle of Competence

Bertrand Russell in his essay “In Praise of Idleness” IMG_20170317_075535

 

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Idi Amin might have said this explicitly but many other world leaders (democratic or otherwise) practice similar philosophy. They just don’t acknowledge – knowingly or unknowingly.
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Multiple ways you can look at this. Either creativity is a con game (one can also create an elephant using same dots) or making sense or just chance event. However, it is definitely different than what experience produces (good or bad)
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Found this on Twitter. Liked it a lot…
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This is so true…and yet I cannot stop myself from refuting. May be some day I will… 
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This is profound! Are we asking the right questions? Are we solving right problems?
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Happy (belated) “Pi Day” – 14th March (3/14)
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Common sense – and yet so difficult to grasp. Would you rather prefer to be a normal healthy person with all organs working properly, or a very powerful person with few disabled organs?

 

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