Brilliance vs Rationality

Just now catching up on highlights from last week’s Berkshire Hathaway annual meeting, which is always full of wit and wisdom from Buffett and Munger. The above quote is my favorite from this year’s meeting and is pretty consistent with what Munger and Buffett have been saying for years about the importance of intelligence versus sober thinking.

On IQ:

“You don’t need to be a rocket scientist. Investing is not a game where the guy with the 160 IQ beats the guy with 130 IQ.” -Warren Buffett (via Wiley)


“Success in investing doesn’t correlate with I.Q. once you’re above the level of 125. Once you have ordinary intelligence, what you need is the temperament to control the urges that get other people into trouble in investing.” -Warren Buffett (via Pensions & Investments Online)

On Rationality:

“It is remarkable how much long-term advantage people like [Warren Buffett and myself] have gotten by trying to be consistently not stupid, instead of trying to be very intelligent.” – Charlie Munger (via 25iq)

Lastly, one of my favorite Munger stories (via WSJ):

“In the late 1980s, [Munger] recalled in a magazine interview, a guest at a dinner party asked him, “Tell me, what one quality accounts for your enormous success?”

Mr. Munger’s reply: “I’m rational. That’s the answer. I’m rational.”