Daily Journal Corporation Annual Meeting: A Charlie Munger Groupie Recap

Charlie Munger and Daily Journal Corporation

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?

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19 thoughts on “Daily Journal Corporation Annual Meeting: A Charlie Munger Groupie Recap”

  1. Wow GYM!

    Just lowered my six degrees of separation between me and Charlie Munger knowing that you attended this meeting! That is awesome!

    This would be such an inspiring event to go to with a lot of takeaways. Thanks for sharing the quotes and stories.

    And hopefully they’ll be an opportunity for your husband to visit with Mohnish outside the men’s restroom next time!

    • @Mrs. DS- Lol! I think Mohnish did a charity dinner of his own for $10,000 (he paid a large sum of money to talk with Warren Buffett over a meal and it was well worth it in his opinion). Maybe one day- he lives in Irvine California so it would have been fun to stalk him too just like we did with Mr. Buffett lol!

  2. Oh wow!! That’s awesome that you went!

    You and your husbands are huge fans of Charlie Munger! I didn’t know his birthday was on New Years lol.

    I laughed when you mentioned your husband bumped into Probai. I think I remember you saying you just finished his book and it was a good read, right?

    Are you going to go to the Berkshire AGM this year?? ?

    • @fin$avvypanda- Yes it was a good read! We also embarrassed ourselves when we saw the staff person at Best Western and saw his last name was Patel and we asked if he knew Mohnish Probai (and he said no haha). No, not going to Berkshire AGM, are you? I will continue to have my beautiful memories from 2016.

  3. I heard about Charlie Munger, but didn’t know much about him. It’s cool to see him mentally that sharp. Those jokes he told are funny. I’m very impressed by the plain and simple table they were sitting at on the stage: no decorations, no flowers, no big banners, just normal business.

    • @Helen- No decorations, flowers, and big banners is Charlie Munger and Warren Buffett style 🙂 Less shareholder money wasted on extravagance.

  4. I am so impressed you actually go to the AGMs!
    That’s definitely not something that appeals to me but glad I get to read your summary:)

  5. So jealous!!! must have been inspiring to attend.

    While I did hear about this appearance at the time, I didn’t know that the event was the Daily Journal Corporation AGM so thank you!

    • @RichestManInLondon- It was super inspiring! It was hard to hear him since we were in overflow room but nice to catch it all on the transcript thanks to groupier Charlier Munger groupies!


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