Charlie Munger’s Iron Prescription

I’m reading All I Want to Know Is Where I'm Going to Die So I'll Never Go There: Buffett & Munger—A Study in Simplicity and Uncommon, Common Sense by Peter Bevelin. I’ve never read a book structured like this one. It takes old quotes from various letters and interviews that Charlie Munger and Warren Buffett gave and structures the quotes as if they were part of a conversation with someone seeking their wisdom.

I’m not done with the book yet, but one quote from Charlie Munger caught my attention today:

I have what I call an ‘iron prescription’ that helps me keep sane when I naturally drift toward preferring one ideology over another. I feel that I’m not entitled to have an opinion unless I can state the arguments against my position better than the people who are in opposition. I think that I am qualified to speak only when I’ve reached that state.

A few days ago, I shared that Henry Ford had a similar view of the importance of understanding other people’s perspectives. Ford and Munger are two credible people who achieved outsize business success. Ford died in 1947; Munger, in 2023. Since they reached the same conclusion although their professional careers occurred at different times, it’s probably timeless wisdom. I want to work toward mastering it.