Elon Musk is shooting for the moon. Buffett and Munger want fewer mistakes.

Elon Musk.
Patrick Pleul/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

  • Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger weighed in on Elon Musk at Berkshire Hathaway̵[ads1]7;s annual meeting.
  • The Tesla CEO tackles complex issues, resulting in big wins and losses, they said.
  • “We don’t want as much failure,” Munger said, explaining why they take less risk than Musk.

Elon Musk dreams bigger and tackles far more daunting problems than Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger, meaning he sometimes achieves great things but often falls short, the investment duo have said.

“He wouldn’t have achieved what he has in life if he hadn’t tried for unreasonably extreme goals,” Munger, vice chairman of Berkshire Hathaway, said during the company’s annual meeting on Saturday.

“He likes to take on the impossible job and do it,” Munger continued. “We’re different. Warren and I are looking for the easy job.”

“We don’t want so much failure,” added the 99-year-old investor.

Buffett, Berkshire’s 92-year-old CEO, agreed that Musk is focusing on much tougher challenges than he or Munger want to take on.

“There’s a dedication to solving the impossible, and every now and then he’ll do it,” Buffett said. “But that would be torturous for me or Charlie.”

The Berkshire boss said Musk’s all-consuming lifestyle doesn’t appeal to him, but the Tesla boss “wouldn’t like to be in my shoes either.”

Musk welcomed the comments of the two legendary stock pickers. “Appreciate the kind words from Warren & Charlie,” he tweeted.

Buffett and Munger have both credited Musk with successfully scaling Tesla into a major automaker in the brutally competitive auto industry. Musk, who dreams of colonizing Mars, has also pioneered reusable rocket technology at SpaceX, experiencing high-profile failures and spectacular explosions in the process.

Musk has distanced himself from Buffett in recent years, describing himself as a builder of businesses and products as opposed to an investor. He has acknowledged Buffett’s expertise, but described the Berkshire boss’s job of studying companies and allocating capital as “super boring”.

Still, the tech billionaire recently said Buffett would make an ideal US Treasury secretary, as the Berkshire boss could do the job in less than an hour a week.

Musk has also countered Buffett and Munger for passing on the opportunity to invest in Tesla at a value of $200 million in 2008. The automaker now has a market value north of $500 billion.

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