8) Charles Munger (side arrow)
Residence: Los Angeles
Source of Wealth: Investments
Net Worth: $1.6 billion
Last Year's Rank: 6
Background: The Harvard-educated lawyer is sometimes called the alter ego of Warren Buffett. A native of Omaha, Munger was an early partner and investor in Berkshire Hathaway who moved to Los Angeles in the '50s. Still very much in the investing game. Annual meetings of his investment firm Wesco Financial draw hundreds of investors hungry for tips. Nameplate partner in the downtown law firm Munger Tolles & Olson. Owns a 36 percent stake in Daily Journal Corp., which produces 18 publications, including legal newspapers Los Angeles Daily Journal and San Francisco Daily Journal.
Money Track: Made his smartest investment move 30 years ago when he put his money on Buffett. The 18,000 shares he owns in Berkshire Hathaway are now worth more than $1.5 billion. But share prices of both Berkshire Hathaway and Daily Journal Corp. have remained relatively flat over the past year.
Buzz: At a recent meeting of Berkshire Hathaway shareholders, Buffett facetiously introduced his vice chairman as "this hyperkinetic bundle of energy on my left." He has a point; Munger is not the life of the party. He can be found many mornings at the downtown California Club poring over the newspapers and paying little attention to his tablemates. Has little to do with reporters, most of whom he disregards as hacks. On Munger's skill at macroeconomics, Buffett once told shareholders: "I handle Omaha and Charlie handles the rest of the country." Said to spend a good deal of time traveling, boating and fishing. Active philanthropist, giving as much as $10 million over the years to Harvard Westlake School.
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