The world of investments has lost one of its most emblematic figures. Charlie Munger, vice chairman of Berkshire Hathaway and longtime partner of Warren Buffett, has passed away to 99 years in California, as announced by the company. Munger, born January 1, 1924, in Omaha, Nebraska, was a legendary polymath and investor whose partnership with Buffett at Berkshire Hathaway became one of the most successful and enduring in business history.
Munger's trajectory is a reflection of dedication and vision. He met Buffett at age 35, after a youth spent in Omaha and a stint serving in the U.S. Army Air Corps during World War II. A Caltech meteorology graduate, Munger brought a unique perspective to his partnership with Buffett that helped transform Berkshire, originally a textile manufacturer, into a multinational giant. Under their leadership, the company acquired stakes in major corporations such as Apple and Coca-Cola, as well as owning popular brands such as Dairy Queen and Fruit of the Loom.
Known for his maxims about business and investments, Munger became a charismatic and respected figure. Annually, he attended Berkshire shareholder meetings in Omaha alongside Buffett, answering questions and sharing his wisdom. His direct style and insightful observations were hallmarks, as was his preference for Coca-Cola and See's Candies peanuts during these events.
Charlie Munger and Bitcoin (BTC)
However, Munger was also known for his scathing criticism of Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies. In a recent speech at the 2023 Zoomtopia Conference, he referred to Bitcoin as the “stupidest investment I’ve ever seen,” a statement that resonated throughout the cryptocurrency community. He expressed the opinion that most investments in crypto assets will go “to zero”, a view echoed by other notable figures in the financial world.
Munger's stance on cryptocurrencies is an interesting contrast to market dynamics. While the crypto industry has faced ups and downs, with many projects failing, it has also witnessed resounding successes, defying Munger's prediction. This scenario reflects the volatile and innovative nature of the cryptocurrency sector, which, similar to other emerging sectors, presents both opportunities and risks.
Charlie Munger's death marks the end of an era at Berkshire Hathaway. His legacy, intertwined with lessons of wisdom and prudence, will remain as a beacon for investors and entrepreneurs. While the financial world mourns his loss, his words and actions continue to influence decisions and strategies in the complex universe of finance and investments.