The wisdom in books

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The wisdom in books

“If I wanted to become a tramp, I would seek information and advice from the most successful tramp I could find. If I wanted to become a failure, I would seek advice from men who had never succeeded. If I wanted to succeed in all things, I would look around me for those who are succeeding and do as they have done.”

– Joseph Marshall Wade.

Perhaps the most remarkable thing about Berkshire Hathaway is not the extraordinary wealth that the business has created for its shareholders, although those fortunes are certainly remarkable. What is perhaps most impressive about Warren Buffett and his right-hand man, Charlie Munger, is that they have made no secret about what they do and why they do it. Buffett tends to attract most of the credit, but it is his friend and associate Charlie Munger who is arguably the more cerebral and articulate of the pair. Munger is especially fond of reading. While we can learn from our own experience, he points out, it is a far more efficient use of our time to learn from the hard-won experiences of others. Reading assists that process. Reading books, he observes, is like conversation with the finest minds of past centuries. And he’s typically self-deprecating about it:

“You’d be amazed at how much Warren reads – at how much I read. My children laugh at me. They think I’m a book with a couple of legs sticking out.”

The most insightful things I’ve come across during the course of my career in the City were not taught to me, but then I never read Economics. I encountered them in books, under my own steam….

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