Charles Munger – opinionated with no self doubt

Charlie Munger, Warren Buffet’s famously frugal long-time business partner, has died aged 99. His net worth was an estimated $2.2 billion, decreasing over the years as he donated much of his money to universities. In a partnership that spanned six decades, the two men grew Berkshire into a colossus valued at about $785 billion (£617 billion), with 383,000 employees at the end of 2022. While Buffett became a household name, Munger shunned the spotlight. He was reportedly taciturn, held firm opinions and was unmolested by self-doubt.

 He was born 1 January 1924, 6.55am Pottstown, Pennsylvania, and from square one dreamed of being rich, honing his number skills playing poker in the army during the war, followed by a Harvard Law degree.

  He had an inflated 1st house Capricorn Sun which was the driving planet of a Water Grand Trine/Kite of Pluto in Cancer trine Mars in Scorpio trine Uranus in Pisces, with Pluto opposition Sun. Ruthless and ego-centric.  His Pluto was also on the focal point of a yod inconjunct Jupiter sextile Venus – power was what drove him on.

  He also had Neptune in the 8th house of business finances which perhaps gave him strong hunches and a magician’s touch when it came to gold. He had a well-organised and stubborn Moon Saturn in Scorpio in his career 10th house.

  There are several placings which don’t appear to work as they might be expected to. An ego-centric 1st house Sun isn’t usually retiring. Venus in the 2nd can be spendthrift on luxury items which he clearly was not. Neptune in the 8th can be slippery in financial dealings or impractical.  He wasn’t any of those things apparently. Maybe the Water Grand Trine made him retreat within his own bubble plus three planets in secretive Scorpio. And Saturn in Scorpio damped down any spendthrift tendencies.

  His partnership with Buffett was not exactly a soulmate connection. Though Buffett’s Jupiter conjunct Munger’s pumped-up Pluto would add a magic touch to his power-ambitions. Buffett’s Sun Neptune was conjunct his North Node in Virgo. And Buffett’s Venus South Node in Libra were conjunct his Midheaven – arguably not a bond that did much for Buffett’s spiritual development.

  Their relationship chart did have a lucky, risk-taking composite Jupiter opposition Uranus square North Node – putting them in the centre of the zeitgeist for luck and prosperity.

Interesting that Neptune is highlighted in both charts – and indeed appears counter-intuitively often in top class mathematicians’ charts.

  Interesting chart though I suspect not an altogether pleasant human being.

6 thoughts on “Charles Munger – opinionated with no self doubt

  1. Great portrait. Thank you so much!

    “… was unmolested by self-doubt” – wow, wow, wow. Blessed may he be and rest in piece. To have that at this point looks like such a whop of a blessing you can only dream of having. But then a crack begins to appear… Everyone remembers King Midas, and many similar stories, where you get what you want and it ends up costing you dearly. Or, in other words, beware of what you wish for (wishing for lack of self-doubt, I mean).

    So he is yet another person who was not motivated by having money, even though you say from a young age he taught himself how to get it, but it seems to have been a by-product of him wanting, subconsciously or consciously, power.

    I think I’ve read somewhere in a post about statistics of planets and signs of the world’s richest people, and it seemed that Neptune did have a prominent role is extremely rich businessmen. To use one of your formulations, perhaps that was the magician’s touch.

    Misplacings, Venus in 2nd and not being spendthrift, I cannot explain now, but I knew or, better, sensed that his relationship with Buffett was just a thin glaze of a deliciously looking cake that was infested with cockroaches on the inside, as so many relationships of all sorts can be.

    “Interesting chart though I suspect not an altogether pleasant human being.” – unpleasant, but blessed (rich)? Though, yes, for some there might be a long road before they put an equivalency between those two concepts. It might be just appearance, though he really seems to have been blessed, at least materialistically, in life. I was thinking about a theory I once encountered that said wealth had to do with spiritual development. I don’t know what to think anymore. I can’t explain certain things in human existence.

    And I wonder what was this immense wealth for? Kudos if he invested it in education for future generations, but what kind of joy and experiences did it bring him? Did he know how to spend it? Did he at all know how to afford any sort of pleasure for himself?

    • Even the generosity was a power play. After years of protests including key people at the university quitting, UCSB abandoned his offer of $200 million for a new dorm – but only if built EXACTLY to his design, with tiny windowless cubicles as home to thousands of students.

  2. Charlie Munger was born in Omaha, Nebraska.

    He would have been five when the stock market crashed in 1929 and would have spent his formative years during the Great Depression, witnessing (and quite possibly experiencing) a great deal of severe poverty. Like many young people of the time, he began working while still in his teens, in his case, fortuitously, at Warren Buffet’s father’s grocery store.

    The Depression created an entire generation of extremely thrifty people who were absolutely determined never to be poor again, and many of them were also hoarders; childhood poverty left indelible scars that they tried to cover up in later life through hard work and discipline. His natural tendency toward discipline and thrift must surely have received a big boost from his childhood experiences.

    He was also of the generation that was trained from Day One to keep calm and carry on, so any tendency to emote would have been suppressed from an early age, and the energy transmuted into forward momentum.

  3. Interesting about Munger’s thriftiness. I would put it down to Capricorn being on the 2nd. Capricorn likes the accumulation of wealth and power but is not keen on waste. Venus in Aquarius in my view is not particularly self-indulgent either, not as Venus is in, say, Taurus. The second house cusp is square Saturn and the moon in Scorpio, both of which are square Mercury. That’s someone who keeps a very tight control of his feelings and any emotional needs; on top of that he doesn’t give much away in conversation. I would imagine with that he was a “keep it short and to the point” sort of conversationalist.
    I don’t suppose he was exactly fun to be with, but one has to give it to him, he was a smart businessman and very perceptive. And he has given away a lot to charity.

  4. In his 50s, after a failed eye cataract surgery that rendered his left eye blind, Munger had his left eye removed due to severe pain. When doctors told him that he had developed a condition that may cause his remaining eye to fill up with blood and become blind too, Munger started taking braille lessons. The eye condition eventually receded and he kept eyesight in his right eye for the rest of his life.

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