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Poor Charlie's Almanack


CassiusKing1
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I'm not sure if I have the most recent copy, as its from a few years ago(~4yrs).  However, I did enjoy it very much.  I think of it as a coffee table book for Munger fans.  I read it cover to cover, but its really written like a bunch of shorter snippets. 

 

If you are a Munger fan, I am sure you will enjoy it.

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[amazonsearch]Poor Charlie's Almanack[/amazonsearch]

 

I'm very intrigued by this book and want to pick it up.

 

To those who have read it, did it fulfill your expectations, and what, if any, are the differences between the various releases?

 

Thanks.

 

It not only fulfilled my expectation, it actually more than fulfilled my expectation.  I actually bought more than 20 copies of the Chinese version and gave them to the engineers who work for me.

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  • 1 month later...
  • 1 year later...
  • 1 year later...

Which one should I get Seeking Wisdom by Peter Bevelin or Poor Charlie's Almanack?

 

Both

 

Pebble's of Perception is good as well, might be kindle only.

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Which one should I get Seeking Wisdom by Peter Bevelin or Poor Charlie's Almanack?

 

If you don't buy and read, cover to cover, Poor Charlie's Almanack, Seeking Wisdom, and Damn Right! by Janet Lowe, you are doing yourself a disservice as an investor.  And as a human being. You won't be disappointed.  I would personally buy all three books from you if you don't find them worthy of your bookshelf. 

 

I think Charlie said somewhere, and I'm paraphrasing, "If you don't like Poor Charlie's Almanack, give it to someone more intelligent". 

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Which one should I get Seeking Wisdom by Peter Bevelin or Poor Charlie's Almanack?

 

If you don't buy and read, cover to cover, Poor Charlie's Almanack, Seeking Wisdom, and Damn Right! by Janet Lowe, you are doing yourself a disservice as an investor.  And as a human being. You won't be disappointed.  I would personally buy all three books from you if you don't find them worthy of your bookshelf. 

 

I think Charlie said somewhere, and I'm paraphrasing, "If you don't like Poor Charlie's Almanack, give it to someone more intelligent".

 

I started Poor Charlie's Almanack. It was unfocused and boring. I might get back to it or try to find someone more intelligent.  ::)

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Which one should I get Seeking Wisdom by Peter Bevelin or Poor Charlie's Almanack?

 

If you don't buy and read, cover to cover, Poor Charlie's Almanack, Seeking Wisdom, and Damn Right! by Janet Lowe, you are doing yourself a disservice as an investor.  And as a human being. You won't be disappointed.  I would personally buy all three books from you if you don't find them worthy of your bookshelf. 

 

I think Charlie said somewhere, and I'm paraphrasing, "If you don't like Poor Charlie's Almanack, give it to someone more intelligent".

 

I started Poor Charlie's Almanack. It was unfocused and boring. I might get back to it or try to find someone more intelligent.  ::)

 

 

Jurgis, I'd highly recommend giving it another try.  It's not supposed to be a book per se, such as a novel read cover to cover with even flow.  Rather it's a collection of Charlie's speeches, sayings, etc. over time.  There's an enormous amount to be learned from him in terms of approaching investing and life.  Munger has a rather "rough" façade, which might explain why people either love him or are turned away.  I'm, of course, in the former category.

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Jurgis, I'd highly recommend giving it another try.  It's not supposed to be a book per se, such as a novel read cover to cover with even flow.  Rather it's a collection of Charlie's speeches, sayings, etc. over time.  There's an enormous amount to be learned from him in terms of approaching investing and life.  Munger has a rather "rough" façade, which might explain why people either love him or are turned away.  I'm, of course, in the former category.

 

I took a look at it yesterday again.

It's not Munger I object to. I agree that

is great. (I would have liked if he expanded on some portions of it though - he clearly ran out of time and some of the points are just one sentence soundbytes without elaboration).

It's the filler material. The third person anecdotes are very uneven quality. There are are tons of only vaguely related inserts, etc, some of which even break the underlying text.

This book would have benefited a lot from someone like Alice Schroeder going through the material and making it into a real book.

 

IMO, loving Munger and loving "Poor Charlie's Almanack" are possibly quite uncorrelated. ;)

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I own the almanack and think it is great but let me be the devil's advocate: it is probably overrated among value investors. Sure, Munger is a cool guy and a self-made billionaire but nothing in his book is earth-shattering. Basically it's just a collection of smart stuff other people came up with, nice proverbs and some common sense your grandfather could've taught you too. If you already are infected with the 'value investing' mindset and watched one or two Munger speeches on YouTube then there's not much you didn't already know. In other words, the advice Munger gives is mostly important to those who never heard of him in the first place (and probably never will).

 

The almanack is a nice coffee table book and gives a light introduction of several interesting subjects but if you are truly interested in them I would recommend other literature. For example, if you are really interested in human biases read Kahneman. Checkists: Gawande. Investing: Graham.

 

If you have to choose between the Almanack and the Bevelin book I'd take the Almanack. Far better written. I found the Bevelin book disorganised and a bit too pedantic given its introduction-level content.

 

An unrelated remark: there are many good books about value investing (Charlie's almanack, Intelligent investor, Security analysis, Margin of safety, The most important thing, You can be a stock market genius, etc. etc.) but after a few books the added value of each additional one is steeply declining in my opinion. At some point you understand the concepts and while these reading these books is enjoyable, to get better you just have to get in the trenches and do the dirty work, i.e. analyzing companies and burning your savings :) .

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I own the almanack and think it is great but let me be the devil's advocate: it is probably overrated among value investors. Sure, Munger is a cool guy and a self-made billionaire but nothing in his book is earth-shattering. Basically it's just a collection of smart stuff other people came up with, nice proverbs and some common sense your grandfather could've taught you too. If you already are infected with the 'value investing' mindset and watched one or two Munger speeches on YouTube then there's not much you didn't already know. In other words, the advice Munger gives is mostly important to those who never heard of him in the first place (and probably never will).

 

The almanack is a nice coffee table book and gives a light introduction of several interesting subjects but if you are truly interested in them I would recommend other literature. For example, if you are really interested in human biases read Kahneman. Checkists: Gawande. Investing: Graham.

 

If you have to choose between the Almanack and the Bevelin book I'd take the Almanack. Far better written. I found the Bevelin book disorganised and a bit too pedantic given its introduction-level content.

 

An unrelated remark: there are many good books about value investing (Charlie's almanack, Intelligent investor, Security analysis, Margin of safety, The most important thing, You can be a stock market genius, etc. etc.) but after a few books the added value of each additional one is steeply declining in my opinion. At some point you understand the concepts and while these reading these books is enjoyable, to get better you just have to get in the trenches and do the dirty work, i.e. analyzing companies and burning your savings :) .

 

Again, full disclosure, totally biased here...I think people often dismiss a lot of what is said or written by Charlie and sometimes Warren, because it sounds too simple.  They think, 'oh there must be more'. While true that they have thought tremendously on many subjects and have a deep understanding of business, what they come back to are often simple principles.  It really is really hard to apply simple concepts and proven ideas. 

 

My all-time favorite Munger quote is this:

 

“It is occasionally possible for a tortoise, content to assimilate proven insights of his best predecessor, to outrun hares which seek originality or don’t wish to be left out of some crowd folly which ignores the best work of the past.  This happens as the tortoise stumbles on some particularly effective way to apply the best previous work, or simply avoids standard calamities. Anyway, we hope so.”

 

 

– Charlie Munger, 1987 Chairman’s Letter to Wesco Shareholders

 

 

Charlie just plods along, looking for the best work of the past.  The man was broke at age 30, tragically lost a 9 year old son, and still managed to become worth billions and highly respected.  That, to me, is worth investigating thoroughly. 

 

As an aside, and probably excluding everyone on this site, I simply cannot understand people who follow the get rich quick schemes and day trader crowd over proven ability. I once asked a guy who day traded how many day traders were on the Fortune 500.  I got a blank stare. 

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  • 8 months later...

I own the almanack and think it is great but let me be the devil's advocate: it is probably overrated among value investors. Sure, Munger is a cool guy and a self-made billionaire but nothing in his book is earth-shattering. Basically it's just a collection of smart stuff other people came up with, nice proverbs and some common sense your grandfather could've taught you too. If you already are infected with the 'value investing' mindset and watched one or two Munger speeches on YouTube then there's not much you didn't already know. In other words, the advice Munger gives is mostly important to those who never heard of him in the first place (and probably never will).

 

The almanack is a nice coffee table book and gives a light introduction of several interesting subjects but if you are truly interested in them I would recommend other literature. For example, if you are really interested in human biases read Kahneman. Checkists: Gawande. Investing: Graham.

 

If you have to choose between the Almanack and the Bevelin book I'd take the Almanack. Far better written. I found the Bevelin book disorganised and a bit too pedantic given its introduction-level content.

 

An unrelated remark: there are many good books about value investing (Charlie's almanack, Intelligent investor, Security analysis, Margin of safety, The most important thing, You can be a stock market genius, etc. etc.) but after a few books the added value of each additional one is steeply declining in my opinion. At some point you understand the concepts and while these reading these books is enjoyable, to get better you just have to get in the trenches and do the dirty work, i.e. analyzing companies and burning your savings :) .

 

Again, full disclosure, totally biased here...I think people often dismiss a lot of what is said or written by Charlie and sometimes Warren, because it sounds too simple.  They think, 'oh there must be more'. While true that they have thought tremendously on many subjects and have a deep understanding of business, what they come back to are often simple principles.  It really is really hard to apply simple concepts and proven ideas. 

 

My all-time favorite Munger quote is this:

 

“It is occasionally possible for a tortoise, content to assimilate proven insights of his best predecessor, to outrun hares which seek originality or don’t wish to be left out of some crowd folly which ignores the best work of the past.  This happens as the tortoise stumbles on some particularly effective way to apply the best previous work, or simply avoids standard calamities. Anyway, we hope so.”

 

 

– Charlie Munger, 1987 Chairman’s Letter to Wesco Shareholders

 

 

Charlie just plods along, looking for the best work of the past.  The man was broke at age 30, tragically lost a 9 year old son, and still managed to become worth billions and highly respected.  That, to me, is worth investigating thoroughly. 

 

As an aside, and probably excluding everyone on this site, I simply cannot understand people who follow the get rich quick schemes and day trader crowd over proven ability. I once asked a guy who day traded how many day traders were on the Fortune 500.  I got a blank stare.

+1

There're not a large number of people who have applied the simple truths. To me the hardest thing is ignorance removal that Munger talks about. Not fooling yourself that is. Most are enamored by the math, probability etc. but behavioural economics?

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I wonder how rich Munger would have been if he never met Buffett? Still well off, I'm sure but not any where close to where he is now.

 

I wonder how rich would I be if I was the one introduced to Buffet back then and we hit it off? Much richer for sure. LOL

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