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Charlie Munger touts Apple, slams crypto, and rings the inflation alarm at Daily Journal’s annual meeting

Charlie Munger.

Lane Hickenbottom/Reuters

  • Charlie Munger tackled a slew of subjects during Daily Journal’s annual meeting on Wednesday.
  • Warren Buffett’s business partner touted Apple, blasted cryptocurrencies, and praised China.
  • The 98-year-old investor is famously outspoken and unafraid of causing controversy.

Charlie Munger touted Apple, blasted cryptocurrencies, and rang the inflation alarm during Daily Journal’s annual shareholder meeting on Wednesday. Yahoo Finance tweeted some clips of the meeting earlier in the day; we’ll be following along with the platform’s delayed livestream of the event.

Munger, best known as Warren Buffett’s business partner and the vice-chairman of Berkshire Hathaway, has also served as Daily Journal’s chairman since 1977, and continues to manages the company’s investment portfolio.

The 98-year-old investor, polymath, and amateur architect is notoriously blunt; his most memorable comments include dismissing bitcoin as “rat poison” and calling Robinhood a “gambling parlor” that’s “beneath contempt.”

Investors tuning into the Daily Journal meeting will be hoping to learn more about the publisher’s recently revealed portfolio changes. Munger and his team cashed out $50 million of stock in December, realizing a 15-fold return on a $3.3 million investment. They took the sale proceeds, surprisingly tapped Daily Journal’s margin-loan account for another $37 million, and plowed the combined $87 million into other securities last quarter.

Munger’s other key trades include a $40 million bet on American Depositary Shares (ADS) of Alibaba in the first quarter of 2021, marking the first known addition to Daily Journal’s US stock portfolio since at least 2013. The investor boosted the Alibaba stake by 83% in the third quarter of 2021, then nearly doubled it last quarter.

The Alibaba bet has attracted attention as the e-commerce stock nearly halved in value in 2021, reflecting mounting concerns about Chinese authorities cracking down on technology companies. Daily Journal also owned Bank of America, Wells Fargo, and US Bancorp stock as of December 31, as well as ADRs of Posco, a South Korean steelmaker.

Here’s our live coverage of the meeting:

Munger was asked to reveal the security which Daily Journal purchased with margin debt. He declined to reveal it, noting both Berkshire and Daily Journal only disclose what they have to so other investors don’t know what their buying.

The Daily Journal chairman was asked why he’s happy to invest in China, whereas other top investors such as Jeff Gundlach are wary of doing so. Munger highlighted China’s huge population and technological advances, and explained that he invested in the country because he could get better value.

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