The first weekend in May each year the shareholders of Berkshire Hathaway make a pilgrimage to Omaha, Nebraska.  This annual rite is as much to pay homage to Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger, Chairman and Vice-Chairman, as it is a shareholder meeting. This week’s articles shine a light on the habits that helped Buffett and Munger acquire their business acumen.


The Buffett Formula—How to Get Smarter.  Read a lot.  Be a continuous learner.  Buffett estimates he spends 80% of his working day reading and thinking.  Charlie Munger does the same.  Knowledge builds up like compound interest.  Munger sees his knowledge accumulation as an acquired, rather than natural, genius.  But, reading itself isn’t enough—you have to have a temperament to grab ideas and do sensible things with them.  You need to be critical and always thinking.  Munger once told a reporter that neither he nor Warren is smart enough to make decisions with no time to think.  They make actual decisions very rapidly, but that’s because they’ve spent so much time preparing themselves by quietly sitting and reading and thinking.  Click here to read the full article


The Munger Operating System:   How to Live a Life That Really Works.  In 2007, Charlie Munger delivered the commencement address at USC Law School.  By following this operating system, one can find trust, success and admiration—all which are earned.   Munger identifies personal attributes necessary for success:  acquire wisdom and fluency in the big ideas of the world; be reliable; get rid of self-serving bias, envy, resentment, and self-pity; use setbacks to become a bigger and better person; be diligent and persistent.  He counsels how to think:  learn to think through problems backwards as well as forward; avoid intense ideologies; learn to maintain objectivity.  He offers further advice on how to thrive:  learn to love and admire the right people; concentrate your time where you’re most intensely interested; work with and under people you admire; avoid being part of a system with perverse incentives.  Click here to read the full article


The Three Things I look for in a Person.  For Buffett, the most useful qualities have nothing to do with IQ, grades, or family connections.  As important as the first two qualities—intelligence and energy—are, they are of no consequence without integrity.  Integrity is a choice.  “You decide to be dishonest, stingy, uncharitable and egotistical—all the things people don’t like in other people; integrity is up to you.”Click here to read the full article


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Disclosure – The articles mentioned in This Week with J. Mark Nickell & Co. are for information and educational purposes only. They represent a sample of the numerous articles that the firm reads each week to stay current on financial and economic topics. The articles are linked to websites separate from the J. Mark Nickell & Co. website. The opinions expressed in these articles are the opinions of the author and not J. Mark Nickell & Co. This is not an offer to buy or sell any security.  J. Mark Nickell & Co. is under no obligation to update any of the information in these articles. We cannot attest to the accuracy of the data in the articles.