Unbelievable...He didn't blame the doctor who made him blind

Unbelievable...He didn't blame the doctor who made him blind

By FireRun | FireRun | 17 Jun 2020

This is a book that documents the life of Charlie Munger and his principles.

Charlie is well known to be Buffett's partner at Berkshire Hathaway. For those who don't know how amazing Charlie is, this is what Buffett says about Charlie. "To me, however, what makes Charlie special is his character. It's true that his mind is breathtaking: He's as bright as any person I've ever met and, at 76, still has a memory I would kill for. He was born, though, with these abilities. It's how he has elected to use them that makes me regard him so highly." I was through Chapter 13 when I read something INSANE. In 1978, Charlie Munger developed Cataracts in his eye and went for a surgery.

After the surgery, he developed some complication in his eyes and that caused him to lose total vision. The complication was causing him so much pain and nausea that he had no choice but to get the doctors to scoop out the innards of his left eye and cover the eyeball with a glass eye. Many were curious how he felt about the surgery and if he blamed the doctor. This was Charlie's reply. "This all happened 25 years ago. A new and better operation had been invented, but I didn't pay attention- I just went along with the doctor that recommended the old one that he knew how to do. The new type of surgery had a complication rate of no more than 2% while the surgery I had had a 5% complication rate. The man who did the first operation? I won't tell you his name. A perfectly nice guy, our family eye doctor. I made the mistake-the fault was mine." I just want to be really honest right here. If I was Charlie, I wouldn't know if I would be as calm as him. I would probably be blaming the doctor. There is something we can learn here from Charlie. That is, he takes extreme ownership over the choices that he makes.

To Charlie, any decision he makes is on him. He feels responsible for any failures even if it was recommended by someone else. And I think this is the reason why he succeeds in investing so well. When you have such high ownership over the decisions you make, you tend to do more due diligence because there is no one to blame if you fail. You know that whatever stock returns you get, it is on you. This comes to my next point which is conviction. When you take higher ownership of the decisions you make, you tend to have more conviction when buying companies. Rather than buying a company because someone else says its good, you start to buy because you truly know the reasons why a company is such a good buy.

This is just a short reflection after reading a small part of the book. For those of you who are keen to understand how Charlie Munger succeeded, this is a pretty good book to read! Wishing you success in your investing journey!


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