Jump to content

Is Warren Buffett or Charlie Munger Smarter?


nickenumbers
 Share

Recommended Posts

I know that this is a chicken or the egg questions, but I would still enjoy hearing the groups thoughts and spins on it.

 

 

If we start with WEB when he sits across the table from Charlie for the first time.  WEB knows that he/himself is the smartest guy in the room in a lot of ways, but along comes Charlie and WEB, stops, listens and says....WAIT A MINUTE!!!!  This Charlie guy is special, he is different.

 

Plus, the fact that WEB and Charlie were able to put their egos aside and work together.  That is very uncommon.  Humans are competitive.  It is a 2nd small miracle that the two of them were willing to collaborate.

 

Related.  At every Annual BRK Shareholders meeting, WEB does 90 or 95% of the talking.  And he turns to Charlie to see if he has anything to add..  We can all tell that they are both equal, different and brilliant.  Plus, they honor and respect one another despite their disagreement.

 

Thoughts?

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Why do you assume that WEB knows that he is the smartest in the room?

 

To me, if you assume that you are the smartest, you have stopped listening, learning. He keeps talking about humility and the need to learn, read, etc.

 

Cardboard

 

He can be the smartest guy in the room and a good listener at the same time right.  He doesn't have to be one or the other.  Perhaps I should have said ONE OF the smartest guys in the room..

 

It is like an alligator that likes to have his back rubbed doesn't make him your pal, and it doesn't mean that you can kiss the alligator on the mouth.  Just rub his back..  [My comparison kinda broke down there, but it was too much fun to stop..  "Pull up Goose"]

 

Thanks for the link, Cardboard!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This is a pretty stupid question.

 

1. We can never know.

 

2. Why does it matter? In my view as long as they do what they do well I don't care if they're in the Forest Gump league much less who's ahead of the other.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sorry, but what a stupid question.

 

Impossible to quantify.

 

Who's more athletic.....MJ or Lebron, Kobe or Shaq, Antonio Brown or Julio Jones....

 

Nope, general intelligence is extremely easy to quantify. And furthermore, something doesn't have to be quantifiable to be determinable.

 

Your follow-up questions are also easy to determine through empirical testing (it might not be easy for you to get that specific testing done though).

 

That being said, I agree with the suggestion that there are probably more productive things to ponder.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Intelligence is extremely easy to quantify.....ok.

 

I believe it can be quantified to a degree, definitively....no.

 

People can’t even agree to a definition of athleticism, much less quantify it. To some people it’s speed and jumping, others stamina, still others acceleration and deceleration (aka changing direction/agility). For others it’s a combination of the above. Even considering a combination of those “athletic” components, how much of each makes one more “athletic” than the other.

 

They are like valuation to me....a spectrum, a range. Not precise.

 

For intelligence and athleticism, I know it when I see it and when I don’t.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Intelligence is extremely easy to quantify.....ok.

 

I believe it can be quantified to a degree, definitively....no.

 

People can’t even agree to a definition of athleticism, much less quantify it. To some people it’s speed and jumping, others stamina, still others acceleration and deceleration (aka changing direction/agility). For others it’s a combination of the above. Even considering a combination of those “athletic” components, how much of each makes one more “athletic” than the other.

 

They are like valuation to me....a spectrum, a range. Not precise.

 

For intelligence and athleticism, I know it when I see it and when I don’t.

 

In addition you hear about a player whose basketball IQ makes them a better performer than a more athletically gifted player. Like Wayne Gretzky knowing where the puck was going to be.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Intelligence is extremely easy to quantify.....ok.

 

I believe it can be quantified to a degree, definitively....no.

 

People can’t even agree to a definition of athleticism, much less quantify it. To some people it’s speed and jumping, others stamina, still others acceleration and deceleration (aka changing direction/agility). For others it’s a combination of the above. Even considering a combination of those “athletic” components, how much of each makes one more “athletic” than the other.

 

They are like valuation to me....a spectrum, a range. Not precise.

 

For intelligence and athleticism, I know it when I see it and when I don’t.

 

Yes, it's called IQ testing and it's one of the best/most robust findings in the science of psychology.

 

You realise, of course, that basically every elite sports team in the world, in every possible sport, test their players regularly (in ways that are quantifiable) to measure their progress and/or take stock of possible recruits? From what I gather most testing is also highly standardised and not even attempted to be kept secret (i.e. people pretty much agree on what makes players athletic). Why do you think they do that? Their idea of sunday afternoon fun?

 

I must say it's a bit surprising to me that you don't think valuation is an exercise that lends itself to quantification. To each his own, I guess.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I love them both and they are both extremely intelligent, however, as a mental exercise, if you imagine a word where Charlie didn't exist and Warren was doing this on this own, Warren would still be a billionaire. I can't say the same about Charlie since without Warren and the opportunity to invest in and work at Berkshire, his net worth would have been considerably less. He would still be a millionaire but not a billionaire.

 

Granted we're talking about intelligence here but it takes a highly intelligent person like Warren to have been able to recognise the talent in Charlie, get Charlie on-board, give him is unique niche in California, create a cult around him, without ever jeopardising the relationship or stepping on his ego.

 

Having said all of the above, I would personally still prefer to have Charlie's life since he seems well rounded, multi-dimensional, having created a great family and involved in multiple causes and also, back in the day at least, pretty anonymous in terms of being able to go out and live life with no one recognising him.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I love them both and they are both extremely intelligent, however, as a mental exercise, if you imagine a word where Charlie didn't exist and Warren was doing this on this own, Warren would still be a billionaire. I can't say the same about Charlie since without Warren and the opportunity to invest in and work at Berkshire, his net worth would have been considerably less. He would still be a millionaire but not a billionaire.

 

Granted we're talking about intelligence here but it takes a highly intelligent person like Warren to have been able to recognise the talent in Charlie, get Charlie on-board, give him is unique niche in California, create a cult around him, without ever jeopardising the relationship or stepping on his ego.

 

Having said all of the above, I would personally still prefer to have Charlie's life since he seems well rounded, multi-dimensional, having created a great family and involved in multiple causes and also, back in the day at least, pretty anonymous in terms of being able to go out and live life with no one recognising him.

 

[Mind Blown]!!!!! ;D ;D ;D ;)

 

That was an outstanding thought experiment and amazingly effective way to demonstrate your idea/perspective.  Very well thought out and illustrated.

 

WELL DONE!  Thank you for sharing that with us. 

 

GOLD STAR!!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

 

If you listened to Charlie and Warren over the years you know the answer to your question of who is smarter. The answers being given other than the last one refer to investing smarts and networth.

 

They are not correlated. Buffett has told you that high IQ has nothing to do with investing success.

 

Bill Gates and Warren Buffett played a game with Bill’s dad by writing down one word on piece of paper that was the reason for their success...they both chose one word. “Focus”

 

Munger is smarter because he wants to be rounded and is interested and curious of the world. Buffett is focused on being the best investor in history and making money.

 

Buffett is the better investor.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Intelligence is extremely easy to quantify.....ok.

 

I believe it can be quantified to a degree, definitively....no.

 

People can’t even agree to a definition of athleticism, much less quantify it. To some people it’s speed and jumping, others stamina, still others acceleration and deceleration (aka changing direction/agility). For others it’s a combination of the above. Even considering a combination of those “athletic” components, how much of each makes one more “athletic” than the other.

 

They are like valuation to me....a spectrum, a range. Not precise.

 

For intelligence and athleticism, I know it when I see it and when I don’t.

 

Yes, it's called IQ testing and it's one of the best/most robust findings in the science of psychology.

 

You realise, of course, that basically every elite sports team in the world, in every possible sport, test their players regularly (in ways that are quantifiable) to measure their progress and/or take stock of possible recruits? From what I gather most testing is also highly standardised and not even attempted to be kept secret (i.e. people pretty much agree on what makes players athletic). Why do you think they do that? Their idea of sunday afternoon fun?

 

I must say it's a bit surprising to me that you don't think valuation is an exercise that lends itself to quantification. To each his own, I guess.

 

 

Didn't say valuation wasn't quantifiable.

 

"they are like valuation to me....a spectrum, a range. Not precise." - valuation is not precisely quantifiable. Hell, Warren and Charlie, the tow people we are talking about, say the EXACT same thing.

 

Re. Atheticism. Yeah sports teams test runs, jumps, etc. That still doesn't say who is the more "athletic". No one can agree on that.

 

One guy runs a 4.5 40, and has a vert of 38"

Next guy runs 4.45 40, and has a vert of 34.5"

 

Both clearly athletic and elite. But who's more "athletic"...? No one can say.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

 

If you listened to Charlie and Warren over the years you know the answer to your question of who is smarter. The answers being given other than the last one refer to investing smarts and networth.

 

They are not correlated. Buffett has told you that high IQ has nothing to do with investing success.

 

Bill Gates and Warren Buffett played a game with Bill’s dad by writing down one word on piece of paper that was the reason for their success...they both chose one word. “Focus”

 

Munger is smarter because he wants to be rounded and is interested and curious of the world. Buffett is focused on being the best investor in history and making money.

 

Buffett is the better investor.

 

I've been hearing forever that Buffett says you don't need a high iq. I'm pretty sure he says the exact opposite. My buddy and I talked about this a month ago after he read one of his bio's. Buffett plays a little trick knowingly or not, by framing it in such a way to confuse.

 

"You don't need to be a rocket scientist. Investing is not a game where the guy with the 160 IQ beats the guy with a 130 IQ. Rationality is essential," Buffett is quoted saying in the book, "Warren Buffett Speaks."

 

"HomeMarket Warren Buffett says sell your IQ points; they are of no use in stock market

Warren Buffett says sell your IQ points; they are of no use in stock market

Warren Buffett says that one doesn't need to be super intelligent to make money in stock market, in fact he advises selling away IQ points beyond a certain level.

By: Sushruth Sunder | Updated: November 25, 2017 11:49 AM

Warren Buffett says that investors with IQ over 150 may be better off selling 30 points away. (Image: AP)

Even as many investors may want to believe that high IQ may lead to better investing, legendary billionaire investor Warren Buffett says that investors with IQ over 150 may be better off selling 30 points away. “If you have a 150 IQ, sell 30 points to someone else. You need to be smart, but not a genius,” Warren Buffett is often quoted as saying. In fact, Warren Buffett places more emphasis on rationality and emotional stability.  “Investing is not a game where the guy with the 160 IQ beats the guy with a 130 IQ. Rationality is essential,” says the Oracle of Omaha. In the preface to the ‘Intelligent Investor’ penned by his mentor Benjamin Graham, Warren Buffett notes, “To invest successfully does not require a stratospheric IQ, unusual business insights, or inside information. What’s needed is a sound intellectual framework for making decisions and the ability to keep emotions from corroding the framework.”

 

So he IS saying you need a 120-130 IQ. This is WAY above average/median.

 

120 iq is 91st percentile ish and 130 iq is 98th percentile ish.

 

 

No doubt there are many on this forum with iqs above 120 but many who assume they are well above are over estimating. Dunning kruger blah blah

 

If he had instead framed it accurately saying "you've got to be in the top ten percent of IQ's to compete in investing but not a genius" people would have came out with a different impression.

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Good point!

 

I would wager a large sum that there are very very few people on this site that are not in that 120 IQ and above.

 

I just don't think the "average" person is interested enough or capable enough to research and pursue these ideas, so they probably aren't even on here.

 

Your 100 IQ guy isn't considering these things, he/she probably isn't even investing.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've been hearing forever that Buffett says you don't need a high iq. I'm pretty sure he says the exact opposite. My buddy and I talked about this a month ago after he read one of his bio's. Buffett plays a little trick knowingly or not, by framing it in such a way to confuse.

 

"You don't need to be a rocket scientist. Investing is not a game where the guy with the 160 IQ beats the guy with a 130 IQ. Rationality is essential," Buffett is quoted saying in the book, "Warren Buffett Speaks."

 

....

 

If he had instead framed it accurately saying "you've got to be in the top ten percent of IQ's to compete in investing but not a genius" people would have came out with a different impression.

 

Yes.

 

Also IMO Buffett undercounts (knowingly or not) what is essential. He says "rationality" and "temperament" (or some synonym of that). But IMO you have to have great memory, attention to details, attention/memory for numbers, possibly also business sense in various aspects. Some of which is likely not captured by 120 IQ and "rationality"/"temperament".

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Good point!

 

I would wager a large sum that there are very very few people on this site that are not in that 120 IQ and above.

 

I just don't think the "average" person is interested enough or capable enough to research and pursue these ideas, so they probably aren't even on here.

 

Your 100 IQ guy isn't considering these things, he/she probably isn't even investing.

 

So smart to spend three pages arguing which geezer is smarter and why. They were good for their day but they are both hopelessly outclassed by modern investors.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Good point!

 

I would wager a large sum that there are very very few people on this site that are not in that 120 IQ and above.

 

I just don't think the "average" person is interested enough or capable enough to research and pursue these ideas, so they probably aren't even on here.

 

Your 100 IQ guy isn't considering these things, he/she probably isn't even investing.

 

So smart to spend three pages arguing which geezer is smarter and why. They were good for their day but they are both hopelessly outclassed by modern investors.

 

Now that's funny. Can you list these modern investors?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

So smart to spend three pages arguing which geezer is smarter and why. They were good for their day but they are both hopelessly outclassed by modern investors.

 

Cognitive biases here, Scott? [The study of fading of geriatrics is actually fascinating - and depressing.]

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...