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The Entrepreneurs’ Guide to Conquering Economic Volatility: Wisdom from the Trenches. Part 1 – Investment Strategy

In the trenches of entrepreneurial warfare, where every decision can lead to victory or defeat, there exists a tome of wisdom, a guidepost for those brave souls willing to chart a course through the treacherous waters of economic uncertainty.


In the trenches of entrepreneurial warfare, where every decision can lead to victory or defeat, there exists a tome of wisdom, a guidepost for those brave souls willing to chart a course through the treacherous waters of economic uncertainty. 

Inspired by the life and lessons of the great Charlie Munger, we crafted this piece to echo the wisdom and resilience he has exemplified throughout his career and life. 

Munger’s philosophy, deeply rooted in the importance of adaptability, long-term thinking, and ethical stewardship, has not only shaped the foundation of Berkshire Hathaway but also left an indelible mark on the countless individuals and entrepreneurs who look to him for inspiration and steadfastness in business. 

With gratitude to Charlie, we gladly and humbly include ourselves among them. 

Through the highs and lows of economic cycles, Munger’s insights have taught us the value of seeing beyond immediate challenges, approaching difficulties with courage, and always striving for improvement. 

His life’s work serves as a beacon for all who aspire to make a meaningful impact in their endeavors and society at large.

Like a battle-tested veteran, this article extends its hand to those who stand on the frontline of innovation and commerce, small business owners and entrepreneurs who, by their very nature, are the embodiment of resilience and creativity.

You, the entrepreneur, are engaged in a higher calling. 

Beyond the mere pursuit of profit, you are the architects of dreams and the stewards of society’s progress. 

This document before you is not merely a collection of words, but a clarion call to elevate your sight beyond the horizon, to perceive every economic downturn as a battlefield laden with opportunities for growth.

Berkshire Hathaway’s Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger, knights of the financial realm, serve not merely as investors but as philosophers of prosperity. 

Their candid revelations and pragmatic wisdom, offered with the uncompromising honesty of true sages, illuminate the path of business responsibility for those who dare to lead in times of turmoil.

This is an ode to the indomitable spirit of the entrepreneur. 

It challenges the conventional, comfort-seeking mindset, advocating instead for a philosophy of antifragility, where adversity breeds strength and innovation. 

It beckons you to adopt a long-term perspective, urging patience and strategic foresight as you navigate the vicissitudes of the market.

To the entrepreneurs and small business owners who find themselves in the throes of uncertainty, this article is your war banner. It is a testament to the enduring power of resilience, creativity, and moral leadership. 

Here, within these few pages, lies a call to arms for a pledge to not merely weather the storm but to emerge from it with a stronger foundation and a brighter vision for the future.

Engage with this content not as passive observers, but as active participants in the shaping of our collective destiny. 

For in the heart of every entrepreneur beats the pulse of change, of progress, and of undying hope.

Investment Strategy

In the realms of investing, clarity and simplicity reign supreme. We’ve always believed that if an investment cannot be explained simply, it’s not worth the bother.

The essence of a sound investment strategy hinges on understanding what you’re investing in—picking businesses that not only have solid, enduring economics but are also run by competent folks who can reinvest capital at attractive rates of return.

Think of investing as buying a piece of a business, not a slip of paper. You want businesses so good that an idiot can run them because, sooner or later, one will.

This strategy is about favoring companies with the potential to deploy additional capital at high returns in the future.

It’s about recognizing the tremendous power of compounding wealth over time, which requires a patient and long-term perspective. Imagine planting a tree. Initially, the growth is slow, and it’s hard to see progress day to day.

However, give it time, and that tree can grow into a stalwart giant, providing shade for generations.

Similarly, investment compounding works quietly in the background, turning modest investments into significant assets.

Good, enduring economics

When it comes to the pursuit of investment, there’s an old saying that tickles my fancy—something along the lines of, “Only invest in a business that is so wonderful that an idiot can run it because sooner or later, an idiot probably will.” 

That nugget of wisdom, often shared over a Cherry Coke and a chuckle, is more profound than it first appears. It speaks to the heart of investing in businesses with good, enduring economics.

Imagine, if you will, a bakery down the lane that’s been churning out the town’s favorite sourdough for generations. 

What makes it withstand the taste test of time isn’t just the secret recipe but a combination of factors—loyal customers, the timeless demand for bread, and a knack for kneading dough that outlasts fleeting dietary trends. 

This bakery has what Charlie and Warren like to call a “moat”—a durable competitive advantage that keeps the competition at bay while ensuring the business flourishes through thick and thin.

Now, you might be thinking, “But Warren, how do I find such a business?” 

Well, it’s something like finding a needle in a haystack, but here’s the catch—you don’t need a fancy apparatus. Just a keen eye, patience, and a bit of common sense. 

It involves understanding the basics: Is the company you’re eyeing capable of increasing its prices without driving customers away? 

Does it require constant injections of capital to stay afloat, or is it like our sourdough bakery, churning profits with the magic of yeast and time?

In the grand tapestry that is investing, it’s easy to get lost in the allure of complex derivatives, high-frequency trading, and stocks that soar and plummet faster than a yo-yo on a sugar rush. 

However, Charlie and Warren prefer a simpler route—investing in businesses as if we were buying them outright, focusing on their future potential to turn a tidy profit over the long haul.

Now, we’ve had our fair share of blunders—oh, have we ever!

But each misstep has been a lesson in the importance of humility, patience, and sticking to what we understand. 

This down-to-earth approach, sprinkled with a bit of humor and a lot of reflection on both triumphs and spills, is what has guided us through the maze of Wall Street.

As we sift through potential investments, we look for those rare gems—a business with a solid foundation, easy to understand, and with a moat wide enough for a duck to paddle comfortably. 

And remember, in the end, it’s not about winning the race quickly but making sure you’re on the right path, slow and steady, ready to withstand the storms and bask in the sunshine that follows.

Deploying Additional Capital at High Returns

Charlie and Warren have long cherished the notion of paddling in the pond of companies capable not just of surviving but thriving by deploying additional capital at high returns. 

It’s similar to spotting a talented magician who can turn a dollar into two, then four, eight, and so on, without the trick losing its magic. 

These types of companies are the golden geese, laying eggs not just during spring but through every season, including the harsh winters of economic downturns.

Suppose you’re strolling down the road and stumble upon a lemonade stand run by a bright-eyed, entrepreneurial kid whose lemonade isn’t just good; it’s fantastic. 

This young entrepreneur understands that by reinvesting the day’s earnings into more cups, lemons, and a flashy sign, tomorrow’s profits can double. 

That’s the kind of simple, yet profound, business model we find absolutely exhilarating. 

It’s not about the complexity of the formula but the elegance of its simplicity and repeatability.

Here’s a nugget of wisdom from the Oracle (Warren) and the Philosopher (Charlie) – not all companies capable of redeploying capital do so wisely. 

We’ve seen businesses flush with cash, launching into ventures as ill-conceived as a chocolate teapot. 

The key is not just the ability to reinvest but to do so sensibly, carving out moats wider than the Grand Canyon, making it formidable for competitors to cross.

Charlie often muses, quite candidly, that investing haphazardly is akin to throwing darts blindfolded; you might hit the bullseye once, but it’s luck, not skill. We search for managers who treat capital as a precious resource, investing in areas that not only ensure growth but fortify the castle walls against the siege engines of competition.

We’ve had our share of foibles. Not every swing has made contact. 

Reflecting on missteps is as crucial as celebrating victories, possibly even more enlightening. These experiences act as the compass guiding our investment philosophy, underscored by a steadfast conviction in favoring companies with the acumen to deploy capital judiciously, ensuring high returns.

In the grand chess game of investing, the queen is the company that can wield its capital to not only sustain its realm but expand it, ensuring prosperity for its shareholders. It’s about the patience to watch that queen move, step by step, conquering the board. 

Remember, in the orchestra of wealth creation, capital allocation is the conductor’s baton, and we’re always in search of maestros.

Investment Horizon and the Power of Compounding

Charlie and Warren have long championed the virtue of viewing investment through the lens of decades, not days. 

“When we invest,” Warren often says, “it’s as though we’re planting a tree. At first, it seems like your effort dwarfs the outcome—a tiny sapling barely casting a shadow. But, give it time, and that sapling can grow into a mighty oak, a testament to patience and the power of compounding.”

Their philosophy eschews the frenetic pace of Wall Street’s latest fads, focusing instead on the slow, steady accrual of value. They liken it to “watching paint dry or grass grow. Not thrilling, but oh, how the landscape changes with time.”

To demystify the complex world of finance, they employ metaphors that resonate universally. “Think of compounding as a snowball,” Warren quips. “The longer it rolls down the hill, the bigger it gets. It’s not rocket science—it’s just snow and gravity.” 

Their disarmingly simple analogies mask a profound understanding of wealth accumulation.

Charlie, with a twinkle, often addresses the allure of short-term gains, “Chasing the latest ‘hot tip’ is like trying to catch a leprechaun. Even if you succeed, what you catch won’t be worth much. True wealth,” he counsels, “is found in the compounding forest, not at the end of the rainbow.”

Their candid discussions extend to their miscues, an honest ledger of what has and hasn’t worked. Warren admits, “We’ve made more than our share of blunders. But each was a tuition fee paid to the university of investing.” 

The importance of learning from mistakes underpins their strategy.

What truly sets them apart is their steadfast belief in the power of patience. “It’s not about timing the market,” Warren sagely notes, “but time in the market. Our greatest investments weren’t spectacular at first glance, but given time, they’ve grown beyond our wildest expectations.”

In their teachings, Charlie and Warren merge the wisdom of the ages with homespun humor, bringing Wall Street to Main Street. 

Their narrative weaves through the complex tapestry of finance with ease and grace, advocating for a long-term perspective in an age of instant gratification. “After all,” Warren muses, “the most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time—with patience.”


  • Investing is akin to a chess game where capital deployment determines success.
  • Search for companies with:
    • Consistent profitability through economic cycles.
    • Simple and effective business models leading to exponential growth.
    • Wise reinvestment strategies enhancing competitive advantage.
    • Avoidance of unprofitable or harmful ventures.
  • Management should view capital as a scarce, strategically deployed resource.
  • Recognize the inevitability of investment failures; learning from them is key.
  • Seek companies capable of effective capital deployment for market expansion.
  • Uphold a long-term view emphasizing the power of compounding wealth.
  • Acknowledge the significance of investment quality over quick gains.
  • Focus on building wealth sustainably over the long term, valuing patience and discipline.


Considering this valuable collection of wisdom centered on strategic investment principles, two books beyond the typical investing realm could enhance the comprehension of a budding investor. These books mirror Buffett and Munger’s sophisticated strategies in allocating capital, assessing businesses, and emphasizing the significance of a disciplined, long-term outlook.

The Art of Strategy: A Game Theorist’s Guide to Success in Business and Life” by Avinash K. Dixit and Barry J. Nalebuff: This book delves into game theory, the study of strategic decision-making, and its application to real-world scenarios such as business and personal choices. It stresses the importance of anticipating multiple moves in advance, akin to chess, a comparison Buffett and Munger draw in relation to investing. Understanding game theory can empower investors to enhance decision-making by assessing potential competitor and market moves, aligning with strategic capital deployment, and identifying companies with prudent reinvestment strategies.

Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap…and Others Don’t” by Jim Collins: Collins’ research into what makes companies perform exceptionally well over the long term offers invaluable insights into the qualities Buffett and Munger advise seeking in investments. The book highlights the importance of simple yet effective business models, disciplined management, and a focus on core competencies, mirroring the criteria for consistent profitability and the ability for effective capital deployment. It also reinforces the idea of valuing long-term success over short-term gains, emphasizing the cultivation of a disciplined approach to growth and investment.

These picks complement the investment insights from Buffett and Munger, providing diverse views on decision-making, strategy, and the elements that drive ongoing business success. They lay the groundwork for grasping not only investment tactics but also the strategic, principled approach to thinking about investing and business.