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Li Lu's foreword to Poor Charlie's Almanack (translated to English)


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Thanks for sharing.

 

A beautiful lady once insisted that Charlie use one word to sum up the source of his

success. Charlie said it was “rationality.” However, he has a more stringent definition of

rationality. It is his kind of “rationality” that grants him sensitive and unique vision and

insight. Even in completely unfamiliar territory, with just one look, he can see through to

the essence of the subject. Buffett calls this characteristic of Charlie the “two-minute

effect”—he said that Charlie could, in the shortest time possible, unravel the nature of a

complex business and understand it better than anyone else. The process of

Berkshire’s investment in BYD Auto is an example. I remember when I first discussed

BYD with Charlie in 2003. He had never met Wang Chuanfu (Chairman of BYD), never

visited BYD’s factory, and was relatively unfamiliar with the Chinese market and culture.

Yet the questions and comments he made at that time remain to this day the most

pertinent questions to investing in BYD.

 

Does someone know the questions? I've read the book a few times. There are few parts in the book that I wish Munger would've included the answers instead of making me guess (without ever knowing the 'right' answer).

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I especially like these parts:

I asked Charlie, “You have your own private jet and so does Berkshire. Why do you

bother going through the hassles of flying commercial?”

 

Charlie replied, “Firstly, it is a waste of fuel for me to fly in my private jet. Secondly, I feel

safer flying in a commercial aircraft.” However, Charlie’s third reason is the real one: “I

want to live an engaged life. I don’t want to be isolated.”

 

...

 

He is still living in the same ordinary house he bought several

decades ago, only flies economy on trips, always arrives 45 minutes early for meetings,

and will specially apologize on the few occasions when he is late.

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I especially like these parts:

I asked Charlie, “You have your own private jet and so does Berkshire. Why do you

bother going through the hassles of flying commercial?”

 

Charlie replied, “Firstly, it is a waste of fuel for me to fly in my private jet. Secondly, I feel

safer flying in a commercial aircraft.” However, Charlie’s third reason is the real one: “I

want to live an engaged life. I don’t want to be isolated.”

 

 

I wonder how many stories there are where the passenger next to Munger (or whichever economy flying business/investor leader) realizes it's Charlie Munger next to him/her.

 

 

 

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I wonder how many stories there are where the passenger next to Munger (or whichever economy flying business/investor leader) realizes it's Charlie Munger next to him/her.

 

Yeah, talk about a memorable flight!

 

I'd imagine it would go down as something like this-

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I wonder how many stories there are where the passenger next to Munger (or whichever economy flying business/investor leader) realizes it's Charlie Munger next to him/her.

 

Yeah, talk about a memorable flight!

 

I'd imagine it would go down as something like this-

 

Hey, I think I sat next to that guy on a flight once.

 

 

 

But then all these old white guys look alike...  8)

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