Tren Griffin+ Your Authors @trengriffin I work for Microsoft. Previously I was a partner at Eagle River, a private equity firm established by Craig McCaw. I am on the board of directors of Kymeta. May. 09, 2020 4 min read + Your Authors

1/ Graduating seniors deserve a Charlie Munger Tweetstorm with appropriate life advice to mark the occasion.

"I want you to learn as much as you can vicariously. It’s too painful to do it by personal hardship. “You don't have to pee on an electric fence to learn not to do it”

2/ “Being a prodigy is hard. I'm not trying to be a prodigy, I'm just trying to avoid the inanities, including the inanities of the prodigies! That enables a person of moderate abilities and moderate work habits to get so much more than their logical deserts.” Charlie Munger

3/ “I'm talking about very simple ideas of just figuring out the standard stupidities and avoiding them. I actually collect them! Some people collect stamps. I collect insanities and absurdities.” And then I avoid them, and it's amazing how well it works." Charlie Munger

4/ "If I had set out to invent more quantum mechanics, I would've been an also-ran. I just set out to avoid the standard stupidities, and I've done a lot better than many people who mastered quantum mechanics."

Charlie Munger on one form of inversion.

5/ "Just avoid all the standard stupidities. There are so many of them. It's a way for mediocre people to get ahead and it's, it's not much of a secret either. We look like people who have found a trick. It’s not brilliance. It’s just avoiding stupidity." Charlie Munger

7/ "It is remarkable how much long-term advantage we have gotten by trying to be consistently not stupid, instead of trying to be very intelligent. I’m really better at determining my level of incompetency and then just avoiding that. I prefer to think in reverse.”

6/ "Johnny Carson in a graduation speech said he couldn’t tell the class how to be happy, but he could tell them from personal experience how to guarantee misery. Carson’s prescriptions 1) Ingesting chemicals in an effort to alter mood or perception; 2) Envy; and 3) Resentment."

8/ "What Johnny Carson did was to approach the study of how to create X by turning the question backward, that is, by studying how to create non-X. Just avoid things like racing trains to the crossing, doing cocaine, an early death, a bad marriage, etc.” Charlie Munger

9/ "The great Algebra pioneer Jacobi knew that it is in the nature of things that many hard problems are best solved when they are addressed backward. In life, unless you’re more gifted than Einstein, inversion will help you solve problems.” Charlie Munget

10/ "It's dangerous to think you know too much and have your ego all involved in showing how smart you are and all that. It’s not an accident we use all of this self-deprecatory humor at Berkshire. It’s required for sanity. It really is." Charlie Munger

11/ "Good morals and a reputation for good morals are enormously valuable, and it’s just so simple…. The right way to go through life is win-win. Just anything else is crazy. To be all take and no give is just an absolute disaster." Charlie Munger

12/ "You only get a few opportunities, and you have to grab them aggressively when they come because even in the most favored life, they’re really rare. Anyone who has any sense ought to know this at the start of life, and practically nobody does." Charlie Munger

13/ "People who say they are rational should know how things work, what works and what doesn’t, and why. That’s rationality. It doesn’t help if you just know what’s worked before, because if you know why, then you’ll be better at it." Charlie Munger

14/ "Rationality is: Across a broad range of disciplines, you know what works and what doesn’t and why.

A woman at a party told me she couldn't understand why I was successful. She asked: 'What one word accounts for your remarkable success in life?’ I told her I was rational.”

15/ "What I found very early in life was that I could figure out almost anything I wanted better from the written material than from having some professor tell it to me, because he’d be going too fast or too slow or telling me something I already knew or didn’t want to know."

16/ "There's no such thing in investment where you can just learn it and it will always work. There are times when it works well and times when it doesn’t, and there’s good fishing grounds and bad fishing grounds and there’s all kinds of things. That isn’t the way they teach it."

17/ "We don’t fit the models. We’re disrespectful of conventional wisdom. Now, of course, people don’t like it, but since we’re polite and humorous, they don’t hate us, but they don’t really like it."

Charlie Munger's 2020 Graduation Tweetstorm

Remix of 

Want more Charlie Munger?

A Lesson on Elementary, Worldly Wisdom, USC 1994 

Psychology of Human Misjudgement, Harvard 1995 

Commencement, USC 2007 

Commencement, Harvard School 1986 

19/ People are asking me for more Charlie Munger material. These are videos

Stanford 2010 



Try this on a run or walk ride (at Harvard: audio only in his own voice) 

You can follow @trengriffin.


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