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Poor Charlie's Almanack: The Wit and Wisdom of Charles T. Munger

4.43  ·  Rating details ·  8,346 ratings  ·  495 reviews
EXPANDED THIRD EDITION includes Charlie's 2007 USC Law School Commencement address. Edited by Peter D. Kaufman. Brand New. ...more
Hardcover, Expanded Second Edition, 512 pages
Published January 1st 2006 by Donning Company Publishers (first published January 1st 2005)
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Average rating 4.43  · 
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 ·  8,346 ratings  ·  495 reviews


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Max Nova
Poor Charlie got on my list because Drew Houston of Dropbox said it was one of the best books he had ever read. After blasting through it, I can understand why he said so, but I’m not sure I agree with him.

This is a book that talks a lot about how great and wise Charlie Munger is, but comes up a bit short in the actual wisdom-dispensing department. The one-liner for this book is basically “Be wise, don’t fool yourself, and make the right decisions.” Thanks Charlie. I’ll get right on that.

There w
...more
Ian Robertson
Mar 30, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviews
Best known as Warren Buffett’s long-time and media-shy investment partner, and as the progenitor of pithy wisdom at Berkshire Hathaway’s AGMs, “Poor Charlie’s Almanack - The Collected Wit and Wisdom of Charles T. Munger” is an entertaining, gorgeous and worthwhile coffee table book for finance philosophers and biography aficionados alike. The title is drawn from Ben Franklin’s similarly titled Poor Richard’s Almanack, whom Mr. Munger references liberally.

The early pages cover Munger’s family his
...more
Franco Arda
Oct 03, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm not gonna praise Munger's wisdom again. Other reviewers did the job very well. After having read both books, Poor Charlie's Almanack and Seeking Wisdom, I highly recommend starting with Seeking Wisdom. It's shorter without lacking depth nor scope, but gives a great 'introduction' into Munger's (and Buffet's) way of thinking. Straight to the point. After reading Seeking Wisdom you probably long for more Munger wisdom. Then go for Poor Charlie's Almanack. Enjoy reading, re-reading ... and soak ...more
Jonna Gjevre
Nov 28, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
Munger's book is called an almanack for a reason, since it's not really an autobiography of the legendary investor, not really an investment guide, not really anything easy to categorize. I would call it a portrait of a remarkable mind.

As Munger sees it, we could do worse than to emulate Albert Einstein, who once said his successful theories came from "curiosity, concentration, perseverance, and self-criticism." Consequently, many of the stories in Poor Charlie's Amanack focus on the cultivation
...more
Jessel Badal
Feb 22, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Things that stood out to me from Charlie Munger:


"Spend each day trying to be a little wiser than you were when you woke up. Discharge your duties faithfully and well. Step by step you get ahead, but not necessarily in fast spurts. But you build discipline by preparing for fast spurts. Slug it out one inch at a time, day by day. At the end of the day - if you live long enough - most people get what they deserve."


"In my whole life, I have known no wise people who didn't read all the time -- none,
...more
Simon Eskildsen
Sep 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reread
This is likely the most important book I've read to date. Ultimately, this is a book about how one of the most successful investors in history has structured his way of thinking. His approach of adopting the best mental models from all disciplines applies to anyone.

Charlie is simply brilliant, and this book is a fantastic summary of his views. What he preaches is to understand the big ideas in all the big disciplines, instead of becoming yet another "man with a hammer". The book is filled with r
...more
Ajay
Mar 10, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thought
Most people seem to like this book a lot more than I did. I don't deny that there is wisdom (as well as wit) within this book, but Munger's basic points could be distilled into:

1. Be honest
2. Be patient
3. Be reliable
4. Don't fool yourself.
5. Don't be a slave of one discipline, use multiple models.

He keeps returning to these themes, which is fair enough, it's mostly a compilation of his speeches, not his fault someone decided to put these together into a book, but why would the editor of the boo
...more
Eugene
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Henrik Haapala
2021-06-18 update:

“What are the core ideas that helped me? Well, luckily I had the idea at a very early age that the safest way to try to get what you want is to try to deserve what you want. It’s such a simple idea. It’s the golden rule. You want to deliver to the world what you would buy if you were on the other end.” 422 expanded third edition

How to get rich:

“Spend each day trying to be a little wiser than you were when you woke up. Discharge your duties faithfully and well. Step by step you
...more
Mari
May 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: business
I had no idea how much I would love this book. It's a monster - huge, unwieldily to hold and read, but a truly valuable and insightful book.

This is not a book about finance, or how to beat the market -- nothing so narrow in scope. It is a book about how to think. How to analyze any situation. How to make wise decisions. In particular, he teaches how to build a flexibility of the mind by developing mental models through which to filter information we take in.

We tend, as human beings, to be rathe
...more
Jason
Jun 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This could have been pompous, self-congratulating and littered with saccharin hero-worship in the vein of a 'Big' Lebowski, but in the spirit of the man himself (the eponymous Charlie) was a chocolate bar wrapped in a golden ticket to the inner workings and concerns of a very accomplished, (very) intelligent & (very) humble man. Every page a treat with an avuncular and wise friend. Much the modern Ben Franklin. ...more
Ilya Mrz
Sep 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
AMAZING. If you're human and you doing something on this planet or even on the other.. Read it.

Thanks. That's it.
...more
Vitalijus Sostak
Five stars, no doubt.
It's extremely rare (and generous!) to read a book written by successful businessman with his life&business decision-making framework openly laid out before reader's eyes. Even rarer still is to see that author is also a pure intellectual, striving for science-like clarity and validity of his ideas.

Nevertheless, the book has two flaws that distract from overall superb impression and could be remedied with simple editing:
- a lot of praise and self-praise given to author. It a
...more
Brahm
Feb 07, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: coffee-table, finance
Poor Charlie's Almanack is modeled after Ben Franklin's Poor Richard's Almanack; a collection of history, talks and wisdom of Charlie Munger, Warren Buffet's #2 man at Berkshire Hathaway.

I really enjoyed all of the content. There is some history, some content around Charlie's decision-making framework, a bunch of random "Mungerisms" (Charlie quotes), and transcripts of eleven talks he's given to different audiences, reproduced with a brief, updated reflection after each. Charlie is erudite; sel
...more
Rishabh Srivastava
Aug 22, 2021 rated it really liked it
A lot of wisdom in this book — though it’s often buried as a throwaway comment instead of being an in your face insight.

Some key takeaways were:

- Learn when a technological change benefits you and when it doesn't. “There are all kinds of wonderful inventions that give you as owners nothing except the opportunity to spend a lot more money on business that’s still lousy. Often, all the savings from a new technology will flow through to consumers because of industry dynamics”

- On the price of stock
...more
Jose
Jan 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An impressive tome from the relatively obscure Charlie Munger, Managing Partner at Berkshire Hathaway--Warren Buffett's company.

Charlie is a polymath. And he fashions himself a modern day Benjamin Franklin, hence the title of the book. A reference to Franklin's Poor Richard's Almanac.

Munger, like Franklin before him, has varied interests and is insanely curious. He uses that curiosity to be a deep generalist in business. He finds that in order to be effective in life we must embrace learning fr
...more
Sagar Acharya
Jul 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Munger is a wisdom god. This book just replaced "The Complete Sherlock Holmes" as the best book I've ever read.

Charlie's life has been described in the prior part of the book with various stories from him about his childhood, his marriage, his lost son to leukemia and many more. Following these, are the speeches delivered by Munger through the years of which the last one is just too good, on psychological tendencies (and mistendencies).

Colorful Charlie as Warren describes him speaks his mind and
...more
Steven
Jan 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I feel like I rate every book 5 stars these days, but there are just so many great books. Maybe I'm just getting lucky at picking books or maybe I'm easy to please when it comes to books.

I will say this book is now added to my favorite list. It is filled with grandfatherly common-sense wisdom. Some of it on business and investing, but most of it is applicable to any aspect of life. He talks at length about psychology and how important it is and how it can be improved, along with lots of other b
...more
Shalaj Lawania
I'm going to apply Munger's inversion principle to ask not what makes an excellent book, but what ruins an excellent book?

1) Unnecessary new editions that add nothing
2) Hundreds of introductory pages that add nothing
3) Glorified accounts from family members that add nothing
4) Excessive repetition of the core ideas (which in itself are great, but the redundancy makes it tedious)

It's frustrating because the core ideas are so powerful that this is a book I would recommend to everyone. However, ther
...more
Albert
Jan 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Must read and must study book. A bible for deep analysis and wisdom of one who proved his superior intelligence in real world business investments and helped build one of the most profitable businesses in the world. But it is not just relevant for business objectives but for philosophical thinking and the deep understanding of things. So for all who love mental models, frameworks and behavioral phenomenons in general.
Seth
Dec 25, 2014 rated it liked it
Definitely worth a flip through, but mostly just to read a few of Charlie's talks and his 40 page bit at the end on his psychological models. He's a wise, straightforward man, but not that good of a writer. To take his thinking to the next level, I recommend Thinking, Fast and Slow. I wonder if he's read it. ...more
Douglas
May 27, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: business, biographies
Charlie Munger is Warren Buffets partner at Berkshire Hathaway. Extremely smart guy. I was very curious to read what he had to say.

This book is so friggin big. Its like the size of a photoalbum!
Gabriel Pinkus
Jul 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
A validation of sanity
Constantin Minov
Sep 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing
A life lesson I've learned: Have a sense of humor. Restrict yourself to your own garden, live in the present moment, lower your expectations, surround yourself with the love of friends and family and you will be happy.
An outstanding book! It will help you develop a multidisciplinary mental model approach needed to solve problems using different perspectives from different disciplines. The best part was the introduction into 25 biases with a detailed description of some antidotes to errors of m
...more
Alexej Gerstmaier
Sep 09, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Excellent windsom.

I've generated pages of notes from this book, it's worth it's weight in gold at least.

A must-read
...more
Vikrama Dhiman
May 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
Torn between 3 and 4, but giving a generous 3.
Maybe I read the book a little later than I should have. There are excellent quotes through out the book. Some of the advise is timeless and useful. However, I have 2 main issues with the book:
- It repeats the theme again and again without using enough examples that bring out the theory
- The book can't decide between being a eulogy to one of the greats of the last century or investigating his methods

Having said that, I'd still recommend you check th
...more
David
Jan 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a compilation of Munger's addresses, comments at investors' meetings, and personal comments from friends, business associates, and his family, interlarded with quotations Charlie used from ancients and moderns extracted from over two thousand years of wisdom and errors. Munger admires most highly Ben Franklin - an ideal to Munger.

The format and size make this book very unusual - very heavy to read, requiring a table or pillow on which to rest this tome. The design is good, with lots of i
...more
Nicholas Teague
Nov 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing
While reading through these talks I kept seeing Munger refer back to psychological factors and psychological checklists. He talked of his personal studies into psychology and how valuable it has been in his decision-making. And i grew frustrated because in all of the Munger book recommendation blog posts I found online, there was very little in the way of psychology. And then I got to the 11th (final) talk in this book and found why. Munger was so dissatisfied with psychology reference texts tha ...more
Erik Rostad
Jun 05, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018-books
A large book. I mean, enormous. And expensive ($60+). Worth it.

I was very surprised by Charlie Munger's interest in psychology. He writes and speaks quite a bit about it in this book, and it was very interesting to read after reading Kahneman and Taleb earlier this year.

Munger is Warren Buffett's right-hand man and investment partner. Munger is a bright guy with interests in a variety of fields. This book is a collection of his speeches, articles, and wisdom.

In an age where most people suggest f
...more
Amir
Apr 25, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Charles Munger is Warren Buffett decade’s long business partner, and his investment filter, jokingly called by Mr. Buffett - the abominable no man. The book is a collection of Mr. Munger’s lectures and some tidbits about him. This is not an investment book per se; however, it is a book about wisdom and human follies, and it provides great insights into the thoughts of one of the greatest investors, Warren Buffett’s partner Charles Munger.
I have found Chapter (or Lecture) Ten regarding the psych
...more
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Charles Thomas Munger is an American business magnate, lawyer, investor, and philanthropist. He is Vice-Chairman of Berkshire Hathaway Corporation, the diversified investment corporation chaired by Warren Buffett; in this capacity, Buffett describes Charlie Munger as "my partner." Munger served as chairman of Wesco Financial Corporation from 1984 through 2011 (Wesco was approximately 80%-owned by ...more

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“In my whole life, I have known no wise people (over a broad subject matter area) who didn't read all the time -- none, zero. 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.” 298 likes
“Spend each day trying to be a little wiser than you were when you woke up. Day by day, and at the end of the day-if you live long enough-like most people, you will get out of life what you deserve.” 146 likes
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