Recently my husband and I fulfilled our dream of going to the Daily Journal Corporation Annual Meeting (NASDAQ: DJCO) to see Charlie Munger in person speak in Los Angeles. After going to the Berkshire Hathaway AGM we were hooked on further immersing ourselves in our investing nerd groupie ways.
who is charlie munger?
If you haven’t heard of Charlie Munger, he is considered by many to be Warren Buffett’s ‘ right-hand man’. He was also born in Omaha, Nebraska (who would have thought that billionaires would emerge from a midwestern town?) and worked at the Buffett’s grocery shop. He didn’t get to meet Warren Buffett until much later. He is worth an estimated 1.8 billion dollars. He emerged victorious from the adversity in his life, he married young and then divorced, and one of his sons died of leukemia at age 9. He is a lawyer by trade and studied meterology in school. He is the vice-chairman of Berkshire Hathaway.
berkshire agm vs daily journal agm
We went to the Berkshire Hathaway Annual General Meeting in 2016 and it was one of our best trips ever. For some pictures and detail, you can read my love letter to Warren Buffett here. There are over 35,000 Warren Buffett fans at the Berkshire Hathaway AGM and it is a whole weekend event of fun in Omaha, Nebraska. Most of the people are pretty casual that go to the Berkshire Hathaway AGM. When Charlie Munger and Warren Buffett take questions, it is a few hours.
The Daily Journal Corporation Annual General Meeting, on the other hand, was just 2 hours and it is in a much more intimate setting in Downtown Los Angeles. There were probably about under 300-400 people there. Most of the attendees were quite dressed up with the majority of men wearing blazers and suits. There were a lot of youthful looking faces, perhaps prospective investment bankers, MBA students, or potential hedge fund managers.
there were still not enough seats
Despite moving the venue from the Daily Journal headquarters to Hilton Doubletree in Downtown Los Angeles, it was still a full house with an overflow room as well. Many people were standing for two hours (including me and my husband) to listen to him speak.
Most people who attended were not Daily Journal Corporation shareholders (you have to sign your name and write the number of shares that you hold, but you don’t have to be a shareholder to attend the meeting, unlike the Berkshire Hathaway AGM).
I found it interesting that about 90% of attendees were men. For the first time at any event, there was no line up at the women’s washroom compared to the men’s washroom.
charlie munger’s still got it at 94
At age 94 (he turned 94 on January 1), he’s still got it. Sharp and witty as ever, he entertained the attendees with his jokes and smart humor. He seems to be slowing down physically though and was using a cane to get up on the stage. Everyone was glued to every single word he said. He’s a wise man that doesn’t waste words.
He’s so brilliant and keeps up to date with everything going on in the world.
Some great quotes
This joke that he shared made the whole crowd laugh out loud:
Now I am going to tell you a story. There was a darling little girl with wispy blond hair, beautiful curls, and a charming lisp. She goes into the pet store and asked for ‘wabbits.’ The clerk asked if she preferred black ‘wabbits’ or white or grey ‘wabbits.’ And she said ‘I don’t think my lovely big snake is gonna give a shit.’ One thing that’s nice about the human condition is that people are always doing these utterly ridiculous things, and that gives us laughing material.”
This also made everyone laugh, when a young man went to the DJCO meeting with his 92-year-old grandmother and asked about what to invest in when he takes over managing the family finances:
“Well of course I like any 92 year old person, particularly if she’s a good looking woman and also rich and whose descendants admire her instead of being eager to have her gone. You have a big winner in your family; live your life so you can be a big winner too.”
Charlie Munger’s thoughts on cryptocurrency:
“I regard the bitcoin craze as totally asinine to create some manufactured currency. A different payment system like WeChat in China could happen. Alternatives to gold and currency and to make a big speculative vehicle – I never considered for one second having anything to do with it. I detested it the minute it had been raised. The more popular it got, the more I hated it. I expect the world to do silly things from time to time, because everybody wants easy money. It’s just disgusting that people are taken in by something like this. Who would want one’s children growing up buying things like bitcoin? I hope to god my family doesn’t buy it. It’s noxious poison.
the live stream and transcript is available
For those who could not attend the Daily Journal AGM in Los Angeles, there is usually a live stream and transcript available on the Internet. Thanks to technology we don’t have to miss out on wise words by Charlie Munger. Some notes with transcript are available on Mohnish Probai’s website Chai with Prabai. The audio recording is here thanks to Latticework Investing posting it.
It was a great experience and I am glad I got to hear him speak in person, hopefully there will be many more years of Charlie Munger sharing his wisdom but given that he’s 94 this year I am glad I made the pilgrimage to Los Angeles to represent one of his groupies.
Unfortunately I only got to see the backside of Charlie Munger as I was in the overflow room but on the bright side, we did get to take a picture with Li Lu (the only person that Charlie Munger gives some of his money to invest with, who also has an interesting background story, as he was one of the protestors at Tiananmen Square in China), and my husband saw Mohnish Probai (the author of The Dhandho Investor) in the washroom (but was too chicken to say anything- I guess it’s kind of awkward to approach someone when they are trying to empty their bladder).
Readers, are you a fan of Charlie Munger too? Have you been to the Daily Journal Corporation Annual Meeting?
GYM is a 30 something millennial interested in achieving financial freedom through disciplined saving, dividend and ETF investing, and living a minimalist lifestyle. Before you go, check out my recommendations page of financial tools I use to save and invest money. Don’t forget to subscribe for blog updates, a free dividend yield spreadsheet, and the free Young Money Bootcamp eCourse.