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Charlie Munger explains the best career strategy 'for the great mass of humanity'

During the 2019 Berkshire Hathaway Annual Shareholders Meeting, Vice Chairman Charlie Munger shared advice on how most people should approach obtaining success in their careers.

“I think the right strategy for the great mass of humanity is to specialize,” Munger said. “Nobody wants to go to a doctor that’s half proctologist and half dentist, you know? So, the ordinary way to succeed is to narrowly specialize.”

“Warren and I didn’t really do that,” he continued. “We prefer the other type of activity. But I don’t think we can recommend it to other people.”

Berkshire Hathaway Vice Chairman Charlie Munger. (Photo: AP Photo/Nati Harnik)
Berkshire Hathaway Vice Chairman Charlie Munger. (Photo: AP Photo/Nati Harnik)

While some companies tend to focus on investing in stocks that fall under the same sector, Berkshire Hathaway has shied away from that. Some of their biggest investments include Apple (AAPL), a tech company, Bank of America (BAC), a financial services company, and Coca-Cola (KO), a company in the consumer defensive sector. Other investments include ones in energy, industrials, and communications.

“Yeah, a little more treasure hunting in our day,” Berkshire CEO Warren Buffett said. “And it was easy to spot the treasure.”

However, Munger stressed that this approach isn’t for everyone, because they might not be as lucky as him and Buffett. Berkshire Hathaway reported a net income of $21.7 billion for the first quarter of 2019 — $13,209 per Class A (BRK-A) share or $8.81 per Class B (BRK-B) share.

Apple is Berkshire's biggest investment. (Graphic: David Foster/Yahoo Finance)
Apple is Berkshire's biggest investment. (Graphic: David Foster/Yahoo Finance)

“We made it work, but it was kind of a lucky thing,” Munger said. “It’s not the standard way to go.”

The Berkshire chairman referred to a mantra from Singapore’s first prime minister, Lee Kuan Yew: “Figure out what works and do it. You just go at life with that simple philosophy from your own national group. You will find it works wonderfully well. Figure out what works and do it.”

Check out all of Yahoo Finance’s coverage of Berkshire 2019 >

Adriana is an associate editor for Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter @adrianambells.


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