Poor Charlie’s Almanac has been on my reading list for the last couple of years. It took me a six-month sabbatical (and then some) to get through it. This is a testament to the information, lessons, references and stories from Charlie Munger. Fundamentally, this book is an encyclopedia of information on what it takes to be successful and to achieve greatness in what it is you want to do in life; all from a very successful and extremely well read (and connected) 90-ish year old billionaire!
Let’s be clear, this is not a book that you can quickly skim through, but rather a book you spend quality time with every day; for a good couple of months. This way you’re giving yourself the best change of retaining all of Charlie’s tidbits of wisdom. One of the great things about this book is the plethora of quotes from successful entrepreneurs, historians, philosophers alike whose ideas and writings have survived the test of time.
Suffice to say, this is one of those books I’m going to re-read, reference and quote for the rest of my life. Well worth a purchase!
Three Key Takeaways from the book:
1. Charlie knows no wise people who didn’t read all the time. It is more than just reading though, one has to grab ideas and do sensible things. Most people do not identify ideas, and if they do, they do not know what to do with them
2. Diversification in investing is something that Charlie doesn’t believe in. His recommendation is to choose three good company stocks and invest accordingly. Interesting approach given most financial advisors typically recommend the opposite
3. Self-pity is always counter-productive, It’s the wrong way to think. And when you avoid it you get a great advantage over everybody else or almost everybody else, because self-pity is a standard response. And you can train yourself out of it