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February 23, 2015 7:30 AM EST

Here are five simple notions, found in Damn Right!: Behind the Scenes with Berkshire Hathaway Billionaire Charlie Munger, that Charlie Munger, the billionaire business partner of Warren Buffett, finds helpful in solving problems.

1. Simplify

2. Numerical Fluency

3. Invert

Inverting the problem won’t always solve it, but it will help you avoid trouble. Call it the avoiding stupidity filter.

4. Study The Basics

The basics are something that keeps coming up. The first of the five elements of effective thinking is understand deeply.

Munger also believes in the basics:

This happens in part because professional advisors are often undone, not by their conscious malfeasance rather by troubles found in their subconscious bias.

5. Lollapalooza Effects

And you need to combine really big things.

Still Curious?

See how Munger applies these in this essay. Learn more about the wit and wisdom of Charlie Munger by picking up a copy of Poor Charlie’s Almanackand Damn Right!: Behind the Scenes with Berkshire Hathaway billionaire Charlie Munger.

This piece originally appeared on Farnam Street.

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