Charles (a.k.a. Charlie) Munger is a lawyer turned businessman and investor. He is Warren Buffet’s right-hand man and Vice Chairman of Berkshire Hathaway. From 1984 through 2011, Munger was Chairman of Wesco Financial Corporation (an 80% owned subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway). He is currently the Chairman of Daily Journal Corporation (a publishing company and provider of case management software systems).
Charlie Munger is from Omaha, Nebraska. He attended the University of Michigan where he studied mathematics, and then served as a meteorologist in the U.S. Army Air Corps. While he never earned an undergraduate degree, he was accepted to Harvard Law School — and graduated in 1948.
Shortly after he graduated from Harvard Law, he moved to California. He worked at the Wright & Garrett law firm until 1962, when he founded Munger, Tolles & Olson LLP with Leroy Tolles and Ronald Olson.
After a period of time, Mr. Munger left the practice of law and began pursuing other business interests. He worked as a real estate developer with Otis Booth and Al Marshall, and worked as an investment manager with Jack Wheeler at Wheeler, Munger and Company. Mr. Munger achieved a good deal of success in these business endeavors. In fact, Warren Buffett identified him as a superinvestor in his essay entitled “The Superinvestors of Graham-and-Doddsville.” From 1962 to 1975, Munger’s overall partnership achieved an average annual compounded rate of 19.8% (with the limited partners achieving a rate of 13.7%), compared to the Dow’s 5.0%.
After closing the doors at Wheeler, Munger and Company, Munger continued to discuss investments and work with with Warren Buffett. Mr. Munger is generally considered the person who helped Buffett better understand how buying great businesses at reasonable prices (e.g., See’s Candy) can be a superior investment strategy. Mr. Munger is also an advocate of running a concentrated portfolio, as long as an investor knows the underlying companies very well and the investments have superior return potential.
Charlie Munger’s Letters to Wesco Shareholders