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Collection: Charlie Munger - #197 'Great Opportunities in Life are Few'



I will say something about life. Generally, I was very lucky and I had an ancestor that I never met.

He had this theory looking back at his long life was unusual success. And he owned a bunch of farms at the end that he leased to Germans. You couldn't lose money leasing a farm to a German in Iowa, naturally was successful.

And but what he said over and over again to his grandchildren including my mother was that real opportunities that come to you are few. It's a very fortunate life that is just bathed an opportunity all the way. Most people just get a few times when they can make a huge difference by seizing a huge activity.

And he said, when you find one, my dear grandchildren, you can clearly recognize it, he says seize it boldly and don't do it small. My mother who wasn't interested in finance but like to talk – (Inaudible) – transmitted the family quirks. But of course this guy was my soul mate, the great-grandfather I never knew. And of course, I totally adopted his point of view and I must say this worked wonderfully.

And so I would claim my great-grandfather Eames rule to you;

Assume that your really major opportunities in life are going to be few, and when you get a lollapalooza, for god sakes, don't hang by like a timid little rabbit. Don't hang back. There aren't that many of the really big good ones.

If you take the whole history of Berkshire Hathaway, if you take out the 20 best transactions, our record is a joke. (Laughter) Our 20 best transactions over 40 some years, that's one every two years and we work at it all the time.

Life is not just bathing you unlimited opportunities, even if you work at being able to find them and seize them.



[YAPSS Takeaway]

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