Tributes pour in for investment guru Charlie Munger

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Warren Buffett, CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, and vice chairman Charlie Munger.IMAGE SOURCE,GETTY IMAGES
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Charles Munger had been described as the alter ego, sidekick and foil to Warren Buffett for almost 60 years

Tributes have poured in for veteran investor Warren Buffett’s trusted confidante Charlie Munger who has died at the age of 99.

“Berkshire Hathaway could not have been built to its present status without Charlie’s inspiration, wisdom and participation,” said Mr Buffett.

Munger, who would have turned 100 on 1 January, had been a vice chairman at Berkshire since 1978.

The company has said he died peacefully at a hospital in California.

Mr Buffett has built Berkshire Hathaway from a failing textile maker into a investment juggernaut which has a stock market valuation of $785bn (£618bn).

Munger worked closely with Mr Buffett on allocating its capital and he was known not to mince words when he thought his business partner was making a mistake.

Apple’s boss, Tim Cook, described Munger as “a titan of business and keen observer of the world around him” who has “helped build an American institution” in his post on X, formerly Twitter.

Berkshire owns hundreds of billions of dollars of stocks in various companies, led by Apple.

Munger had been credited with steering Mr Buffett away from buying what they called “cigar butts” – mediocre companies that had a puff of smoke left and could be bought for very cheap prices.

“Charlie Munger was a legendary figure in the investment community,” said Brian Moynihan, the CEO of Bank of America, adding that “there are many who benefited greatly from his wisdom”.

In early 2023 Munger’s fortune was estimated at $2.3bn, vastly smaller than Mr Buffett’s fortune which is estimated at more than $100bn.

Munger’s passing comes one week after Mr Buffett donated about $866m of Berkshire stock to four family charities.

At the time, Mr Buffett also issued a rare letter in which he acknowledged that at the age of 93, whilst he has not signalled a desire to step down, that he is “playing in extra innings”.

Berkshire has two other chairmen, Greg Abel and Ajit Jain, who oversee its day-to-day businesses and Mr Abel was named by Mr Buffett as his successor in 2021.

Munger was known for his colourful quotes which often contained swear words but shareholders who gathered at Berkshire’s annual gathering enjoyed his candid comments which they will be missing at the next meeting in May.