Keep the Ambition, Lower Your Ego. How to Thrive as a No. 2 Like Charlie Munger.
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    HOUSE MEDIAN ASKING PRICES AND WEEKLY CHANGE     Sydney $1,613,207 (-0.60%)       Melbourne $969,484 (-0.54%)       Brisbane $991,125 (-0.15%)       Adelaide $906,278 (+1.12%)       Perth $892,773 (+0.03%)       Hobart $726,294 (-0.04%)       Darwin $657,141 (-1.18%)       Canberra $1,003,818 (-0.83%)       National $1,045,092 (-0.37%)                UNIT MEDIAN ASKING PRICES AND WEEKLY CHANGE     Sydney $754,460 (+0.43%)       Melbourne $495,941 (+0.11%)       Brisbane $587,365 (+0.63%)       Adelaide $442,425 (-2.43%)       Perth $461,417 (+0.53%)       Hobart $511,031 (+0.36%)       Darwin $373,250 (+2.98%)       Canberra $492,184 (-1.10%)       National $537,029 (+0.15%)                HOUSES FOR SALE AND WEEKLY CHANGE     Sydney 9,787 (-116)       Melbourne 14,236 (+55)       Brisbane 8,139 (+64)       Adelaide 2,166 (-18)       Perth 5,782 (+59)       Hobart 1,221 (+5)       Darwin 279 (+4)       Canberra 924 (+36)       National 42,534 (+89)                UNITS FOR SALE AND WEEKLY CHANGE     Sydney 8,638 (-81)       Melbourne 8,327 (-30)       Brisbane 1,728 (-19)       Adelaide 415 (+10)       Perth 1,444 (+2)       Hobart 201 (-10)       Darwin 392 (-7)       Canberra 1,004 (-14)       National 22,149 (-149)                HOUSE MEDIAN ASKING RENTS AND WEEKLY CHANGE     Sydney $820 (+$20)       Melbourne $620 ($0)       Brisbane $630 (-$5)       Adelaide $615 (+$5)       Perth $675 ($0)       Hobart $560 (+$10)       Darwin $700 ($0)       Canberra $680 ($0)       National $670 (+$4)                UNIT MEDIAN ASKING RENTS AND WEEKLY CHANGE     Sydney $750 ($0)       Melbourne $590 (-$5)       Brisbane $630 (+$5)       Adelaide $505 (-$5)       Perth $620 (-$10)       Hobart $460 (-$10)       Darwin $580 (+$20)       Canberra $550 ($0)       National $597 (-$)                HOUSES FOR RENT AND WEEKLY CHANGE     Sydney 6,197 (+313)       Melbourne 6,580 (-5)       Brisbane 4,403 (-85)       Adelaide 1,545 (-44)       Perth 2,951 (+71)       Hobart 398 (-13)       Darwin 97 (+4)       Canberra 643 (+11)       National 22,814 (+252)                UNITS FOR RENT AND WEEKLY CHANGE     Sydney 10,884 (-22)       Melbourne 6,312 (0)       Brisbane 2,285 (-54)       Adelaide 357 (-14)       Perth 783 (-14)       Hobart 129 (-14)       Darwin 132 (+6)       Canberra 831 (+15)       National 21,713 (-97)                HOUSE ANNUAL GROSS YIELDS AND TREND       Sydney 2.64% (↑)      Melbourne 3.33% (↑)        Brisbane 3.31% (↓)       Adelaide 3.53% (↓)       Perth 3.93% (↓)     Hobart 4.01% (↑)      Darwin 5.54% (↑)      Canberra 3.52% (↑)      National 3.34% (↑)             UNIT ANNUAL GROSS YIELDS AND TREND         Sydney 5.17% (↓)       Melbourne 6.19% (↓)     Brisbane 5.58% (↑)      Adelaide 5.94% (↑)        Perth 6.99% (↓)       Hobart 4.68% (↓)     Darwin 8.08% (↑)      Canberra 5.81% (↑)        National 5.78% (↓)            HOUSE RENTAL VACANCY RATES AND TREND       Sydney 0.8% (↑)      Melbourne 0.7% (↑)      Brisbane 0.7% (↑)      Adelaide 0.4% (↑)      Perth 0.4% (↑)      Hobart 0.9% (↑)      Darwin 0.8% (↑)      Canberra 1.0% (↑)      National 0.7% (↑)             UNIT RENTAL VACANCY RATES AND TREND       Sydney 0.9% (↑)      Melbourne 1.1% (↑)      Brisbane 1.0% (↑)      Adelaide 0.5% (↑)      Perth 0.5% (↑)      Hobart 1.4% (↑)      Darwin 1.7% (↑)      Canberra 1.4% (↑)      National 1.1% (↑)             AVERAGE DAYS TO SELL HOUSES AND TREND         Sydney 29.8 (↓)     Melbourne 31.7 (↑)      Brisbane 30.6 (↑)        Adelaide 25.2 (↓)       Perth 35.2 (↓)     Hobart 35.1 (↑)      Darwin 44.2 (↑)        Canberra 31.5 (↓)     National 32.9 (↑)             AVERAGE DAYS TO SELL UNITS AND TREND         Sydney 29.7 (↓)       Melbourne 30.5 (↓)     Brisbane 27.8 (↑)        Adelaide 22.8 (↓)     Perth 38.4 (↑)        Hobart 37.5 (↓)       Darwin 37.3 (↓)       Canberra 40.5 (↓)       National 33.1 (↓)           
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Keep the Ambition, Lower Your Ego. How to Thrive as a No. 2 Like Charlie Munger.

Warren Buffett’s longtime deputy showed that rising to the top isn’t everything

By CALLUM BORCHERS
Fri, Dec 1, 2023 8:15amGrey Clock 3 min

Charlie Munger was Robin to Warren Buffett’s Batman, a business equivalent of the Edge rocking with the Bono of investing.

Munger, who died Tuesday at age 99, played one of the toughest roles in the corporate (or any) world: No. 2.

Succeeding as second in command takes a rare blend of confidence and humility, say people who’ve done it. The consummate right-hand person must be devoted to organizational success while accepting that someone else’s star will always shine brighter.

At a time when many American workers are reconsidering whether the race to the top is worth running at all, Munger’s apparent satisfaction with being the ultimate sidekick could be a model.

It helped that Warren and Charlie, as the duo was known, shared a personal friendship. And being a wingman is presumably more fun when you’re a billionaire, as Munger was. Most important, say those who knew him: Munger knew he was respected and appreciated.

Buffett made sure of it.

Harry Kraemer, former chief executive of the healthcare company Baxter International, recalls a conversation with Buffett at a CEO gathering around the year 2000: “I said, ‘Boy, you’ve got an amazing track record.’ And he goes, ‘It isn’t just me. Never mention my name without Charlie’s.’”

In a recent annual letter, Buffett wrote: “I never have a phone call with Charlie without learning something.”

There aren’t many pairs like Buffett and Munger. An analog might be the late Canadian telecom mogul Ted Rogers and his longtime lieutenant, Phil Lind, who died in August at age 80. Robert Brehl, who co-wrote Lind’s 2018 memoir, “Right Hand Man,” says loyalty is essential to a relationship like Rogers-Lind or Buffett-Munger.

Having complementary strengths and interests helps ward off resentment, Brehl adds.

“You have to have the yin and yang,” he says. “Ted wouldn’t have been as effective without Phil, and the same thing with Warren and Charlie.”

Before meeting Buffett, Munger was already a professional success. He served in World War II, went to Harvard Law School and co-founded a law firm, Munger, Tolles & Olson, where his name was first on the door.

Even though his results as an investor were strong, over time, he realised he could be more successful—and happier—in a partnership. Understanding his own shortcomings contributed to his willingness to become Buffett’s running mate, he has said. He rejected Buffett’s initial overtures before agreeing to come aboard.

“It took me a long time to wise up that [Buffett] had a better way of making a living than I did,” Munger told CNBC in 2021. “But he finally convinced me that I was wasting my time.”

Not that it was easy to set aside his ego to take the No. 2 role and play to what his No. 1 needed. Buffett was Berkshire Hathaway’s public face and larger-than-life persona. Munger seemed to relish his freedom from talking to reporters and investors. In the background, he could be sharper, more direct and funnier.

The durability of the Buffett-and-Munger duo act stemmed, in part, from a shared intellectual curiosity, a measure of humility—for billionaires, anyway—and willingness to learn from their mistakes.

“I constantly see people rise in life who are not the smartest, sometimes not even the most diligent, but they are learning machines,” Munger said in his commencement address to the University of Southern California’s law school in 2007. “They go to bed every night a little wiser than they were when they got up and, boy, does that help, particularly when you have a long run ahead of you.”

Savvy runners also know it can be best to let someone else take the lead to break the wind. A certain type of person prefers to run second, says social psychologist Tessa West, who is studying people she calls “runners up” for a forthcoming book.

“Once you get to a certain level of power, you realise that that top position doesn’t necessarily come with more influence—it just comes with more publicity and a lot more reputational risk,” she says. “The way I see it, Munger got to have his cake and eat it too. He had status without all the headaches.”

He also had a life outside of Berkshire and Buffett. One of Munger’s pet projects was a quest to design the perfect college dormitory.

He’ll be remembered as the consummate consigliere, but that wasn’t his whole identity.

—Geoffrey Rogow contributed to this article.



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The Top 10 highest paid CEOs of the ASX 200 revealed

Along with pay rates, the latest report from the ACSI shows bonuses are no longer based on exceptional results

By Bronwyn Allen
Tue, Jul 23, 2024 2 min

The CEOs of the ASX 200 were paid a little less in FY23 compared to the year before, but bonuses appear to have become the norm rather than a reward for outstanding results, according to the Australia Council of Superannuation Investors (ACSI). ACSI has released its 23rd annual report documenting the CEOs’ realised pay, which combines base salaries, bonuses and other incentives.

The highest-paid CEO among Australian-domiciled ASX 200 companies in FY23 was Greg Goodman of Goodman Group, with realised pay of $27.34 million. Goodman Group is the ASX 200’s largest real estate investment trust (REIT) with a global portfolio of $80.5 billion in assets. The highest-paid CEO among foreign-domiciled ASX 200 companies was Mick Farrell of ResMed with realised pay of $47.58 million. ResMed manufactures CPAP machines to treat sleep apnoea.

The realised pay for the CEOs of the largest 100 companies by market capitalisation fell marginally from a median of $3.93 million in FY22 to $3.87 million in FY23. This is the lowest median in the 10 years since ACSI began basing its report on realised pay data. The median realised pay for the CEOs of the next largest 100 companies also fell from $2.1million to $1.95 million.

However, 192 of the ASX 200 CEOs took home a bonus, and Ed John, ACSI’s executive manager of stewardship, is concerned that bonuses are becoming “a given”.

“At a time when companies are focused on productivity and performance, it is critical that bonuses are only paid for exceptional outcomes,” Mr John said. He added that boards should set performance thresholds for CEO bonuses at appropriate levels.

ACSI said the slightly lower median realised pay of ASX 200 CEOs indicated greater scrutiny from shareholders was having an impact. There was a record 41 strike votes against executive pay at ASX 300 annual general meetings (AGMs) in 2023. This indicated an increasing number of shareholders were feeling unhappy with the executive pay levels at the companies in which they were invested.

A strike vote means 25 percent or more of shareholders voted against a company’s remuneration report. If a second strike vote is recorded at the next AGM, shareholders can vote to force the directors to stand for re-election.

10 highest-paid ASX 200 CEOs in FY23

1. Mick Farrell, ResMed, $47.58 million*
2. Robert Thomson, News Corporation, $41.53 million*
3. Greg Goodman, Goodman Group, $27.34 million
4. Shemara Wikramanayake, Macquarie Group, $25.32 million
5. Mike Henry, BHP Group, $19.68 million
6. Matt Comyn, Commonwealth Bank, $10.52 million
7. Jakob Stausholm, Rio Tinto, $10.47 million
8. Rob Scott, Wesfarmers, $9.57 million
9. Ron Delia, Amcor, $9.33 million*
10. Colin Goldschmidt, Sonic Healthcare, $8.35 million

Source: ACSI. Foreign-domiciled ASX 200 companies*

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