If you asked individuals who the most famous investor in the world is right now, the majority would probably say “Warren Buffett.” And for a good reason. Boasting a current market cap of $606.08 billion, what the “Oracle of Omaha” has achieved at Berkshire Hathaway is extraordinary.
Yet every superhero has his sidekick. And in Warren Buffett’s case, he goes by the name of Charlie Munger.
The 98-year-old Vice Chair of Berkshire Hathaway, Munger, is Buffett’s close friend, second-in-command, and right-hand man. These two giants of finance have worked together for decades, during which Munger has earned an impeccable reputation for not just his investing pedigree but also his wise and philanthropic ways. The partnership has let Charlie Munger grow his net worth and become a billionaire.
In this article, we’re going to look at just how successful he’s become. But, first, read on to discover how much is Charlie Munger worth.
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Charlie Munger’s Background
It’s hard to have a discussion about Munger without bringing Buffett into the mix. But, of course, they’ve been part of each other’s lives since 1959, when they had dinner together and became fast friends. Interestingly, though, their paths could have crossed much earlier.
Both born in Omaha, a teenaged Munger actually worked at a grocery store owned by Buffett’s grandfather. There he worked long, ten-hour shifts that earned him a grand total of $2…per day. Buffett also worked at that same store in his youth, just never during the same time.
Munger wasn’t always destined for investment fame either. During World War II, he dropped out of college to join the Army Air Corps (AAC) at 19 years old, where he served between 1943 and 1946. Munger trained as a meteorologist during his time in the military but went on to become a real estate attorney. He took several courses from nearby universities using the GI Bill but did not earn an undergraduate degree. Instead, he graduated magna cum laude with a law degree from Harvard in 1948 – despite never earning an undergraduate degree.
His transition to investing began in the 1960s at the suggestion of Buffett, with whom he’d stayed in contact after that fateful first dinner in ’59. Munger took to the work with gusto and set up his own investment partnership with a man named Jack Wheeler in 1962. The company was called Wheeler, Munger & Co, and it outperformed the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) by a staggering 17.9% per annum in the years between its inception and 1970.
Skip ahead another eight years, and in 1978, Munger officially stepped into the role for which he’s best known and still holds: Vice Chair of Berkshire Hathaway. As a result, Munger grew his net worth into billions of dollars.
Charlie Munger’s Current Net Worth
There aren’t many billionaires who are almost 100 years old. Yet, according to Forbes, Charlie Munger’s one of them. His current net worth is about $2.1 billion, which makes him one of the oldest billionaires on the planet. However, Munger’s age isn’t the only point of note here.
The actual size of his net worth is interesting too. Indeed, at the time of writing, the same source from Forbes puts Munger at number 1,384 on their list of billionaires. Now, look at Buffett. He’s number five, with a whopping personal fortune of almost $100 billion. Those numbers make Munger’s net worth seem paltry by comparison.
So why the discrepancy? Why is Buffett’s right-hand man and a longstanding friend worth so much less than him?
After all, they’re both nonagenarians who’ve held senior positions at Berkshire Hathaway for decades. Furthermore, that isn’t his only source of wealth. Charlie Munger also owns shares in Costco (COST), where he still serves as director, and the Daily Journal Corp (DJCO), where he recently stepped down as Chairman after 45 years in the position.
Charle Munger vs. Warren Buffett Net Worth
It’s most likely a combination of factors. First off, Buffett’s investment journey began much earlier than Munger’s did – both at Berkshire Hathaway and in general. Indeed, by the time Munger joined as Vice Chair, Buffett had been Chair and CEO for approximately 13 years.
That means he’s had far longer to benefit from the magic of compound interest, which makes a vast difference – especially in these latter years when the snowball effect has really gathered pace. Throw in Buffett’s much greater stake in the firm, plus Munger’s long history of philanthropy and his relative “lack” of wealth, is easier to understand.
A final note on the philanthropic part. Buffett’s renowned for his charitable gestures as well, of course. The main difference to Munger is that the bulk of his fortune will likely go to philanthropic causes after his death, not before it.
Now You Know Charlie Munger’s Net Worth
Charlie Munger’s name might not be at the tip of peoples’ tongues as readily as Buffett’s, but there’s no denying his long list of investing accolades. Moreover, without Munger’s influence, it’s questionable whether Berkshire Hathaway would have prospered as it has done. In fact, Buffett himself credits Munger for his input.
“It’s far better to buy a wonderful company at a fair price than a fair company at a wonderful price. Charlie understood this early; I was a slow learner.”
All things considered, it’s no wonder Charlie Munger’s net worth became so sizable, even if it pales in comparison to Buffett’s.
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