Charlie Munger’s first marriage ended in divorce after eight years; his second endured for 54 years until Nancy Barry Munger’s death in 2010. But his most famous partnership is with Warren Buffett, chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, where Munger has served as vice chairman since 1978.
Both men have spoken frequently about the value of choosing quality associates, be they friends, business colleagues, or spouses. At the annual meeting of the Daily Journal Corporation—held in Los Angeles on what happened to be Valentine’s Day—Munger, the publishing and technology company’s 95-year-old chairman, offered additional thoughts on the felicity of picking the right person.
“We all know people who are outmarried—their spouses are so much better. Think what a good decision that was for them, and what a lucky decision. Way more important than money. And a lot of them did it when they were young. Just stumbled into it. Now—you don’t have to stumble into it. You can be very careful. A lot of people are wearing signs: Danger, Danger, do not touch. And people just charge right ahead. That’s a mistake,” Munger said, to chuckles from the audience. “Well, you can laugh, but it’s still a horrible mistake.”
So, noted: Avoid bad humans. But how is a person supposed to know when they’ve found a quality one? Asked what makes for a thriving partnership, given his 70-year friendship with Buffett, Munger said only, “Two talented people.”