Money

Buffett's partner Charlie Munger says the key to wisdom is a habit anyone can form

After dropping out of the University of Michigan, Charlie Munger served as a meteorologist in the U.S. Army Air Corps. Without an undergrad degree, he was accepted into Harvard Law School and graduated magna cum laude.

The Omaha native met Warren Buffett in 1959 and the rest is history. Munger, 93, and Buffett, 86, have been business partners for nearly six decades, established themselves as two of America's most successful investors and created billions in corporate and personal wealth.

In "The Tao of Charlie Munger," author David Clark collected timeless Munger quotes on life, business and building wealth. The key to wisdom, according to Buffett's right-hand-man, boils down to one, simple habit: reading.

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

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

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 started the habit as a kid, he tells Janet Lowe in her book "Damn Right!: Behind the Scenes with Berkshire Hathaway Billionaire Charlie Munger."

"I met the towering intellectuals in books, not in the classroom, which is natural. I can't remember when I first read Ben Franklin. I had Thomas Jefferson over my bed at seven or eight."

Eighty-five years later, Munger is still an avid reader: "My children laugh at me. They think I'm a book with a couple of legs sticking out."

If he were to give young people advice, he'd tell them to pick up a book.

"Look at this generation, with all of its electronic devices and multitasking. I will confidently predict less success than Warren, who just focused on reading. If you want wisdom, you'll get it sitting on your a--. That's the way it comes."

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