Buffett pays tribute to Munger: Forever Berkshire Hathaway Architect Provided by Zhitong Finance

2024-02-24 14:06:00

Buffett pays tribute to Munger: Forever the architect of Berkshire Hathaway

Zhitong Finance APP learned that on the evening of February 24, Berkshire Hathaway released its 2023 fiscal year annual report and Buffett’s annual shareholder letter. Unlike previous years, Buffett’s old partner Charlie Munger passed away in November last year. Therefore, this year’s annual report begins with a letter from Buffett in memory of his old friend.

The original text of Buffett’s handwritten letter is as follows:

Charlie Munger – Architect of Berkshire Hathaway

Charlie Munger died on November 28, just 33 days before his 100th birthday.

Although he was born and raised in Omaha, Nebraska, he lived elsewhere for 80% of his life. Therefore, it was not until 1959, when he was 35 years old, that I first met him. By 1962, he decided he should get into money management.

Three years later, he told me—and it was the right thing to do—that I had been foolish to buy Berkshire. However, he assured me that now that I had taken action, he would tell me how to correct my mistake.

In the narrative that follows, please remember that Charlie and his family did not invest a penny in the small investment partnership that I was managing at the time, and it was those funds that I used to purchase Berkshire. Moreover, none of us imagined that Charlie would own shares of Berkshire.

However, Charlie promptly advised me in 1965: “Warren, forget about buying other companies like Berkshire. But now that you control Berkshire, go ahead and add those great companies that you buy at fair prices.” businesses, abandon the practice of buying average businesses at great prices. In other words, throw out everything you learned from your hero Ben Graham. This approach works, but only on a small scale.” I’m at After looking back many times, I finally followed his guidance.

Many years later, Charlie became my partner in running Berkshire and repeatedly brought me back to my senses when I fell into old habits. He remained in this role until his death, and together with those who invested with us early on, we ended up accomplishing far more than Charlie and I had ever imagined possible.

In effect, Charlie is the “architect” of what is now Berkshire, and I play the role of “general contractor,” bringing his vision to life day in and day out.

Charlie never tried to take credit for his role as creator, leaving it to me to accept the applause and credit. In a sense, his relationship with me was that of an older brother and a loving father. Even when he knew he was right, he relinquished control to me, and when I (eventually realized) made a mistake, he never—never—repeated the mistake I made.

In the physical world, great buildings are associated with their architects, and those who poured the concrete or installed the windows are quickly forgotten. Berkshire has grown into a great company. Although I have long been in charge of the construction crew, Charlie should always be considered the architect.

The original English text is as follows:

Charlie Munger — The Architect of Berkshire Hathaway

Charlie Munger died on November 28, just 33 days before his 100th
birthday.

Though born and raised in Omaha, he spent 80% of his life domiciled
elsewhere. Consequently, it was not until 1959 when he was 35 that I first met
him. In 1962, he decided that he should take up money management.

Three years later he told me — correctly! — that I had made a dumb decision
in buying control of Berkshire. But, he assured me, since I had already made the
move, he would tell me how to correct my mistake.

In what I next relate, bear in mind that Charlie and his family did not have
a dime invested in the small investing partnership that I was then managing and
whose money I had used for the Berkshire purchase. Moreover, neither of us
expected that Charlie would ever own a share of Berkshire stock.

Nevertheless, Charlie, in 1965, promptly advised me: “Warren, forget about
ever buying another company like Berkshire. But now that you control Berkshire,
add to it wonderful businesses purchased at fair prices and give up buying fair
businesses at wonderful prices. In other words, abandon everything you learned
from your hero, Ben Graham. It works but only when practiced at small scale.”
With much back-sliding I subsequently followed his instructions.

Many years later, Charlie became my partner in running Berkshire and,
repeatedly, jerked me back to sanity when my old habits surfaced. Until his
death, he continued in this role and together we, along with those who early on
invested with us, ended up far better off than Charlie and I had ever dreamed
possible.

In reality, Charlie was the “architect” of the present Berkshire, and I acted
as the “general contractor” to carry out the day-by-day construction of his
vision.

Charlie never sought to take credit for his role as creator but instead let
me take the bows and receive the accolades. In a way his relationship with me
was part older brother, part loving father. Even when he knew he was right, he
gave me the reins, and when I blundered he never — never — reminded me of my
mistake.

In the physical world, great buildings are linked to their architect while
those who had poured the concrete or installed the windows are soon forgotten.
Berkshire has become a great company. Though I have long been in charge of the
construction crew; Charlie should forever be credited with being the
architect.

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