April 19, 2024

“Waiting helps you as an investor and a lot of people just can’t stand to wait. If you didn’t get the deferred-gratification gene, you’ve got to work very hard to overcome that.” - Charlie Munger

Charlie Munger refers to delayed gratification, which is the ability to resist the temptation of an immediate reward in favor of a later, potentially larger reward. In investing, waiting refers to having the patience to hold onto an investment for an extended period, even when there may be fluctuations or downturns in the market.

Munger emphasizes that waiting or having patience as an investor is a valuable trait. It allows investors to stay calm during market volatility, avoid impulsive decisions, and realize greater returns over time. However, Munger acknowledges that not everyone naturally possesses this trait. He suggests that some individuals may struggle with delayed gratification, meaning they are more inclined to seek immediate rewards rather than patiently waiting for future benefits.

By mentioning the "deferred-gratification gene," Munger metaphorically alludes to the idea that some people may have a natural disposition towards patience and long-term thinking. In contrast, others may find it more challenging. He suggests that those who lack this innate trait must consciously work to cultivate patience and discipline in their investment approach if they want to succeed.

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