William Green Interview

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William Green On What It Takes To Have A Richer Wiser Happier Life

It felt like a dream come true when I landed this interview with William Green. I’ve been a long-time fan of his work, especially his international bestseller, Richer, Wiser, Happier. The book has had a profound impact on me, not just in investing but also in life, giving me the wisdom and stability I need to become a better investor. 

I first saw William at Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway AGM in 2023. I got to take a photo with him and eventually connected with him on LinkedIn. It was a huge honour to finally invite him onto my channel for this three-part interview series, where he delved into different investing mindsets, principles, and life values that can help anyone become richer, wiser, and happier. 

Part 1 – Biggest Lesson From Charlie Munger

The first episode celebrates the interview with William Green and what he learned from Charlie Munger, Warren Buffett’s best friend, partner, and mentor. Here are the few key learning points:  

  • Compounding of Goodwill and Kindness: William Green highlights the importance of being nice, conscientious, and enthusiastic, as these traits compound over time and contribute to success. William Green emphasizes the power of compounding not just in terms of money, but also in terms of goodwill and relationships. 
  • Charlie Munger’s Memorable Lesson: The most memorable lesson from Charlie Munger, as shared by William Green, is Munger’s kindness, love towards his disciples, and his generosity in giving and compounding goodwill. Munger’s approval and acknowledgment of Green’s book as one of the best investment books ever written had a significant impact on Green. 
  • Continual Growth and Improvement: The interview underscores the importance of continuing to work on oneself and improve, even in old age. Both Buffett and Munger are examples of individuals who continued to change and grow, inspiring others to do the same. 
  • Investing in Relationships and Mental Health: The script emphasizes the importance of investing not only in one’s financial future but also in relationships, mental health, and peace of mind. Acts of kindness and love, as demonstrated by Munger and other successful individuals, are highlighted as crucial elements of a rich and abundant life. 

Part 2 – Clone This To Lead A Richer, Wiser, Happier Life

Many investors may have financial success but lead unhappy personal lives. William emphasizes that true success is not just about accumulating wealth.  It involves rationality in decision-making, emotional control, kindness, and focusing on meaningful relationships and personal growth. 

  • Arnold Vandenberg’s Life Journey: Arnold Vandenberg is presented as an example of a successful human being in the investing world. Despite facing tremendous odds, including surviving the Holocaust and dealing with anger and rage, he transformed himself into a kind and loving person. 
  • Controlling Your Inner Landscape: The importance of taking control of your inner thoughts and emotions is discussed. Techniques like self-hypnosis and positive affirmations are mentioned as ways to replace negative thoughts with positive ones. 
  • Cloning the Right Qualities: The concept of cloning is explored, not just in terms of replicating investment strategies, but also in adopting habits and qualities that lead to a richer life in the broadest sense. This includes living within your means, investing for the long term, and focusing on relationships and peace of mind. 

“Who you spend your time with is probably the most important thing in life.” — William Green

Part 3 – Get Rich With This!

In part 3, William emphasizes the importance of continuous learning, maintaining rich relationships, being open-minded, and adopting habits that compound over time to create a successful and fulfilling life. 

  • Continuous Learning and Relationships: The importance of continuous learning and maintaining rich relationships is emphasized. Charlie Munger, despite being 98 years old, structured his life to stay engaged and energized by surrounding himself with smart and interesting friends, showing that it’s not just about wealth maximization but also about lifelong learning and meaningful connections. 
  • Perception and Reality: The discussion touches on the concept of perception and how it shapes our reality. This is illustrated through literature, such as Marcel Proust’s “In Search of Lost Time,” and investing, where the ability to perceive reality more clearly can lead to successful investment decisions, as demonstrated by Bill Miller’s bet on Amazon. 
  • Open-Mindedness and Challenging Biases: The importance of being open-minded and actively looking for disconfirming evidence to challenge one’s own biases is highlighted. This approach is exemplified by Munger’s willingness to change his views on fundamental issues like abortion and by the partnership between Munger and Warren Buffett, where they challenged each other’s views. 
  • Power of Choice and Humility: William also discusses the power of choice in becoming a better person and the role of humility in acknowledging that we don’t know everything. It suggests that adopting a mindset of continuous learning and being open to questioning our beliefs can lead to a richer life.   
  • Aggregation of Marginal Gains: The concept of aggregating marginal gains is introduced, where small improvements in various aspects of life can compound over time to create significant positive outcomes. This is related to the idea of tilting the odds in favor of a successful and happy life by controlling our behavior and adopting habits that promote growth and well-being. 

I hope you enjoy learning from William Green as much as I have. To further your learning, check out his podcast and grab a copy of his book, Richer, Wiser, Happier!

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