Contributor, Benzinga
April 18, 2019

Charles Munger is one of the most recognized names in finance. Currently, he is Vice Chairman to Chairman Warren Buffett at Berkshire Hathaway.

This American businessman, investor and philosopher is celebrated for his many insightful thoughts. And they don’t just apply to the world of finance, either. Find out more about this intriguing self-made billionaire. Whether you’re new to the world of finance or a veteran investor, Munger may have the advice you need for any stage.

Quick Look: The Best Charles Munger Books

  • Poor Charlie’s Almanack: The Wit and Wisdom of Charles T. Munger, 3rd Ed. Expanded by Charles Munger - Buy it now
  • On Success by Charles Munger - Buy it now
  • Damn Right! Behind the Scenes with Berkshire Hathaway Billionaire Charlie Munger by Janet Lowe - Buy it now
  • University of Berkshire Hathaway by Daniel Pecaut - Buy it now
  • Tao of Charlie Munger by David Clark - Buy it now
  • Charlie Munger: The Complete Investor by Tren Griffin - Buy it now

What to Look for in a Charles Munger Book

Generally, finance books and investor books can give you a variety of financial information. You can usually find information on the stock market, savings, and investment strategies from general investment books.

But, as you might imagine, Charles Munger books are a little different. While he may cover some of these general topics, he also talks about so much more.

Subject Matter

Munger’s books are usually centered around collections of his speeches, commentaries, and talks. As such, he speaks about a variety of topics that may be applicable to your professional as well as personal life. They may include:

  • Decision-making models
  • Confluences of multiple biases
  • The importance of reading
  • Multidisciplinary approach
  • Cognitive biases

Charlie Munger is known for his wit and humor. So his books are filled with profound advice sprinkled with wit.

Actionable Ideas

Reading about philosophies and strategies may help you devise your own. However, you need to know what you can do. Actionable ideas can help with that.

For example, Munger talks about decision-making models. But you need to know how to apply them in your own life. Keep in mind, though, that Charlie Munger believes in making the mind “reach out to the idea.” Therefore, the steps you need to take may not be laid out in a conventional style.

Our Top Charles Munger Books

Are you ready to dive into the world of Charlie Munger? Find out more about what goes on in the mind of this investor guru. Take a look at the recommendations below.

Poor Charlie’s Almanack: The Wit and Wisdom of Charles T. Munger, 3rd Ed. Expanded by Charles Munger

If you’re a fan of Charlie Munger’s philosophy or admire his investment savvy, this is the ultimate volume to own. The expanded 3rd Edition of Poor Charlie’s Almanack: The Wit and Wisdom of Charles T. Munger features all of his lectures, talks, and public commentaries in one complete volume.

Unlike other books about Charlie Munger, this was written and compiled by Peter D. Kaufman with both Buffett and Munger’s cooperation and encouragement. Warren Buffett even created the foreword for this edition.

In this book, you can read all about Charlie Munger’s ideas and views about investing, business and life in general. And, of course, the text is sprinkled with Munger’s unique brand of humor.

The book is divided into 4 main sections:

  • Biography
  • Philosophy about life and decision-making
  • “Mungerisms”
  • Talks

Furthermore, the volume also includes an appendix that includes standard causes of misjudgment, multi-disciplinary models, and recommended reading. You’ll also find opinion pieces, editorials, and articles by Munger.

On Success by Charles Munger

For people short on time, this volume is a very abbreviated copy of Poor Charlie’s Almanack. Specifically, On Success contains 3 of Charles Munger’s speeches:

  • Talk at Harvard, 1986
  • Talk at USC Commencement, 2007
  • “The Psychology of Human Misjudgment” talk, 2006

These 3 speeches are arguably some of the greatest of Munger’s extensive talks. In them, he covers decision-making, business, and business ethics. And while both commencement speeches are noteworthy, the talk about Human Misjudgment may make this book worth purchasing.

Keep in mind, however, this short volume is out of print and used books are being sold at collectible prices. Unless you’re a collector, you may find that buying Poor Charlie’s Almanack a better deal as it includes more of Charlie Munger’s work, including these 3 talks.

Damn Right! Behind the Scenes with Berkshire Hathaway Billionaire Charlie Munger by Janet Lowe

Value investing author Janet Lowe takes on this legendary investor in this biography. Damn Right! Behind the Scenes with Berkshire Hathaway Billionaire Charlie Munger is a result of the author’s 3 intensive years of learning all about Munger’s life and work. And it was done with full cooperation and access to Munger’s network.

The narrative the author creates is intriguing. She recreates Munger’s development from a lawyer to an investor in exhaustive detail. Learn some valuable life and investment lessons through Munger’s own life.

University of Berkshire Hathaway by Daniel Pecaut

If you ever wondered what went on behind closed door meetings at Berkshire Hathaway, then the University of Berkshire Hathaway is the volume for you. Take a peek at 30 years of lessons, advice, and investment strategies handed down from Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger.

Some topics covered in this book include:

  • Insight into the strategies, decisions, and thinking of these infamous investors
  • Critical reasoning to purchasing a company and methods for assigning a value
  • Buffett’s central tenets of value investing

This book gives relevant insight into what it took to build their wealth each year. And it makes for a good companion to Berkshire’s annual financial reports and meeting notes.

Tao of Charlie Munger by David Clark

Unlike many other book formats, this one doesn’t build to a final message. This means that you can simply pick up Tao of Charlie Munger and go to the section you need. The simple and concise style is easy to understand and makes it a great option for investor beginners.

The book is divided into 3 sections:

  • Investing
  • Business, Banking, and the Economy
  • Life and Education

Keep in mind that this is simply one author’s interpretations of Charlie Munger’s quotes. So you may not necessarily agree with the interpretations presented. However, it’s an interesting read, especially for someone new to the financial or business world.

Charlie Munger: The Complete Investor by Tren Griffin

Can’t get enough of Charlie Munger’s teachings? This author offers more lessons from the billionaire investor. In this book, you’ll find a series of lessons, anecdotes, and instructions for different parts of your life.

Yes, Charlie Munger: The Complete Investor is for investors. However, you may also apply many of Munger’s insights into other areas as well. The author takes public quotes and expounds on them to make them relevant to today’s investment world.

Final Thoughts

There are many business books to choose from. But very few give the insight into business ethics, investing, and decision-making like legendary investor Charles Munger.

Charlie Munger is an intensely private person. So, unfortunately, he hasn’t penned an extensive library of books. However, he does have many talks and lectures to draw from. And that is exactly what many authors did when writing about this investment icon.

Lastly, if you want to learn directly from Charlie Munger, one of the best options is to go directly to the source. In this case, Poor Charlie’s Almanack should be your go-to volume to learn everything you need to about his investing and life philosophies, psychology, and strategies.