While Warren Buffett’s business partner and right-hand man Charlie Munger is worth an estimated $1.7 billion, he has also made his fair share of mistakes. But Munger argues that failing is a sign that you’re doing something right.
When a shareholder asked the Berkshire Hathaway vice chairman about how to recover from a big missed opportunity during an annual meeting of the Wesco Financial Corporation, Munger quoted the late Nobel Prize-winning poet Rudyard Kipling. “You know what Kipling said? Treat those two impostors just the same — success and failure,” Munger said, paraphrasing a line from the poem “If.”
“Of course, there's going to be some failure in making the correct decisions. Nobody bats a thousand,” Munger said. “I think it's important to review your past stupidities so you are less likely to repeat them, but I'm not gnashing my teeth over it or suffering or enduring it.”
“I think the tragedy in life is to be so timid that you don't play hard enough so you have some reverses,” he added.