Charlie Munger, the vice chairman of Berkshire Hathaway and Warren Buffett’s right hand man, is not a fan of derivatives.
Speaking at the annual meeting of Daily Journal Corporation, a newspaper publisher at which Munger serves as chairman, Munger said, “What do you think a derivatives trading desk is? It’s a casino in drag. They make the witch doctors look good.”
Derivatives are securities whose value is tied to the value of another asset or index, like a futures or options contract.
Munger and Buffett famously preach the idea that investors are best served buying businesses, not stocks, with Buffett writing 30 years ago that the key to investing is searching for discrepancies between the value of a business and the price of small pieces of that business in the market.
In Berkshire’s latest letter to shareholders, Munger outlined four things he think made Berkshire so successful over the last 50 years:
- The constructive peculiarities of Buffett.
- The constructive peculiarities of the Berkshire system.
- Good luck.
- The weirdly intense, contagious devotion of some shareholders and other admirers, including some in the press.
Munger also spoke at the Daily Journal meeting about the situation in Greece and the deal announced earlier on Wednesday for Heinz — which Berkshire owns along with 3G Capital — to merge with Kraft Foods.