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10 insights on living a rich life from Buffett's right-hand-man Charlie Munger

Warren Buffett's longtime business partner Charlie Munger never took a college course in economics or finance. The Omaha-native studied meteorology at Caltech Pasadena before attending Harvard Law School, where he graduated magna cum laude.

Munger, who is vice chairman of Berkshire Hathaway and worth an estimated $1.5 billion, has established himself as one of today's most successful investors.

In "The Tao of Charlie Munger," author David Clark collected timeless Munger quotes from interviews, speeches, annual Berkshire Hathaway meetings, books and blogs. Here are 10 of our favorite Munger insights on living a rich and successful life.

"The desire to get rich fast is pretty dangerous."

Not surprisingly, Buffett has a similar opinion: "It's pretty easy to get well-to-do slowly. But it's not easy to get rich quick."

When it comes to investing, don't rush. Buy-and-hold for the long term, the business partners advise.

"Spend each day trying to be a little wiser than you were when you woke up."

The wealthiest, most successful people tend to push themselves out of their comfort zones and continually look for ways to educate themselves.

Munger is no exception.

"In Charlie's own life, when he was practicing law, he implemented a self-education regime for one hour a day to learn such things as real estate development and stock investing," writes Clark. "He has often said that he is a much better investor at 90 than he was at 50, a fact he attributes to the compounding effect of knowledge."

"Three rules for a career: 1) Don't sell anything you wouldn't buy yourself. 2) Don't work for anyone you don't respect and admire. 3) Work only with people you enjoy."

"Knowing what you don't know is more useful than being brilliant."

Warren Buffett (L) and Berkshire-Hathaway partner Charlie Munger
Eric Francis | Getty Images
Warren Buffett (L) and Berkshire-Hathaway partner Charlie Munger

If you know what you don't know, you can steer clear of companies you don't understand.

Buffett and Munger only invest in companies that are within their "circle of competence," a concept Buffett first described in his 1996 shareholder letter: "You don't have to be an expert on every company, or even many. You only have to be able to evaluate companies within your circle of competence. The size of that circle is not very important; knowing its boundaries, however, is vital."

"I like people admitting they were complete stupid horses' a----. I know I'll perform better if I rub my nose in my mistakes. This is a wonderful trick to learn."

Charlie Munger, Berkshire Hathaway
Lacy O’ Toole | CNBC
Charlie Munger, Berkshire Hathaway

He's not the only billionaire to embrace failure: Both Richard Branson and Sara Blakely credit much of their success to learning quickly from mistakes.

"I try to get rid of people who always confidently answer questions about which they don't have any real knowledge."

Charlie Munger, Bill Gates, and Warren Buffett
CNBC | Getty Images
Charlie Munger, Bill Gates, and Warren Buffett

The same way he surrounds himself with those willing to admit and move on from mistakes, Munger avoids know-it-alls.

And who you hang out with matters: Some experts even claim that it can affect your net worth.

"I have never succeeded very much in anything in which I was not very interested."

Charles Munger, vice chairman of Berkshire Hathaway Inc., left, and Warren Buffett, chairman of Berkshire Hathaway Inc.
Nelson Ching | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Charles Munger, vice chairman of Berkshire Hathaway Inc., left, and Warren Buffett, chairman of Berkshire Hathaway Inc.

"If you can't somehow find yourself very interested in something, I don't think you'll succeed very much, even if you're fairly smart," Munger says.

Buffett agrees that passion pays off. "Being successful at almost anything means having a passion for it," he said during a recent conversation with Bill Gates.

"I eat whatever I want to eat. ... I've never done any exercise I didn't want to do. If any success has come to me, it came because I insisted on thinking things through."

This lifestyle works for Munger, who, at 93, is still in good physical and mental shape. Buffett also seems to be going strong despite not paying much attention to what he eats: The 86-year-old drinks five Cokes a day and is a regular at McDonald's.

"One of the great defenses — if you're worried about inflation — is not to have a lot of silly needs in your life."

Despite their success, Munger and Buffett are notably frugal.

"Both Charlie and Warren have lived in upper-middle-class homes and driven older-model cars most of their lives," writes Clark. "Why? To keep their expenses low, so that they could accumulate lots of cash to invest."

"In my whole life, I have known no wise people who didn't read all the time — none, zero."

Take the richest man in the world, Bill Gates, who reads 50 books a year, or Buffett, who spends as much as 80 percent of his day reading.

As for Munger, he's been an avid reader since he was a kid, says Clark: "By age eight both Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin had permanent places on the bookshelf above his bed."

Munger hasn't slowed down since. "My children laugh at me," he says. "They think I'm a book with a couple of legs sticking out."

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