The world according to Munger
By Julia Boorstin

(FORTUNE Magazine) – Usually the hottest reading material of the year among Berkshire Hathaway's famously devoted shareholders is the company's folksy annual report. But this year acolytes are devouring a new book: Poor Charlie's Almanack: The Wit and Wisdom of Charles T. Munger. The hefty coffee-table tome (496 pages, 4.1 pounds) is filled with the Berkshire vice chairman's speeches, stories and sayings (example: "Drive thy business or it will drive thee"). The project came about after Peter Kaufman, a director at conglomerate Wesco (where Munger is chairman), gave Warren Buffett a compilation of Munger's speeches. Impressed, Buffett suggested that Kaufman put together and self-publish a whole book of Mungerisms, which came together in just six months. (Full disclosure: FORTUNE editor-at-large Carol Loomis helped edit the project.)

At the April annual meeting in Omaha, shareholders braved long lines to buy the $49.95 book at half price, and with no publicity it sold more than 8,500 copies in its first month. Available at, online booksellers, and a few Omaha shops, the almanac will of course be sold at annual meetings for years to come. Munger, a man not generally known for his humility, sings the book's highest praises: "If you assimilate everything in that simple book," he said at the shareholder meeting, "you will know a lot more than about 95% of your compatriots." -- Julia Boorstin