HomeInvestment90 Famous Quotes by Warren Buffett

90 Famous Quotes by Warren Buffett

The Oracle of Omaha Investor Guru, Warren Buffett is one of the wealthiest people in the world. Buffett uses extremely easy-to-understand language when referring to business and investments.

Many of his most thoughtful quotes are found in his annual letters to Berkshire Hathaway shareholders, which are worth reading.  But some of his gems come from random interviews, speeches.

warren bufett quotes

I have compiled 90 best quotes from the Oracle of Omaha. If we’ve missed any of your favorites, let us know in the comments.

90 Famous Quotes by Warren Buffett

  1.  ‘Never invest in a business you cannot understand.’
  2. ‘Always invest for the long term.’
  3. ‘Buy a business, don’t rent stocks.’
  4. ‘Someone’s sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago.’
  5. ‘I really like my life. I’ve arranged my life so that I can do what I want.’
  6. ‘We will only do with your money what we would do with our own.’
  7. ‘If you don’t feel comfortable owning something for 10 years, then don’t own it for 10 minutes.’
  8. ‘I am a better investor because I am a businessman and a better businessman because I am an investor.’
  9. ‘Price is what you pay. Value is what you get.’
  10. ‘The Stock Market is designed to transfer money from the Active to the Patient.’
  11. ‘Stop trying to predict the direction of the stock market, the economy, interest rates, or elections.’
  12. ‘I never attempt to make money on the stock market. I buy on the assumption that they could close the market the next day and not reopen it for ten years.’
  13. ‘I don’t look to jump over 7-foot bars: I look around for 1-foot bars that I can step over.’
  14. ‘For some reason, people take their cues from price action rather than from values. What doesn’t work is when you start doing things that you don’t understand or because they worked last week for somebody else. The dumbest reason in the world to buy a stock is because it’s going up.’
  15. ‘We don’t get paid for activity, just for being right. As to how long we will wait, we’ll wait indefinitely.’
  16. ‘As Buffet said in the speech, “He’s not looking at quarterly earnings projections, he’s not looking at next year’s earnings, he’s not thinking about what day of the week it is, he doesn’t care what investment research from any place says, he’s not interested in price momentum, volume or anything. He’s simply asking: What is the business worth?’
  17. ‘Buy companies with strong histories of profitability and with a dominant business franchise.’
  18. ‘Most people get interested in stocks when everyone else is. The time to get interested is when no one else is. You can’t buy what is popular and do well.’
  19. ‘When asked how he became so successful in investing, Buffett answered: ‘we read hundreds and hundreds of annual reports every year.’
  20. ‘When a management team with a reputation for brilliance joins a business with poor fundamental economics, it is the reputation of the business that remains intact.’
  21. ‘Only those who will be sellers of equities in the near future should be happy at seeing stocks rise.  Prospective purchasers should much prefer sinking prices.’
  22. ‘Diversification is a protection against ignorance. It makes very little sense for those who know what they’re doing.’
  23. ‘Wide diversification is only required when investors do not understand what they are doing.’
  24. ‘You’re neither right nor wrong because other people agree with you. You’re right because your facts are right and your reasoning is right – that’s the only thing that makes you right. And if your facts and reasoning are right, you don’t have to worry about anybody else.’
  25. ‘It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently.’
  26. ‘The first rule is not to lose. The second rule is not to forget the first rule.’
  27. ‘Only buy something that you’d be perfectly happy to hold if the market shut down for 10 years.’
  28. ‘I will tell you how to become rich. Close the doors. Be fearful when others are greedy. Be greedy when others are fearful.’
  29. ‘Why not invest your assets in the companies you really like? As Mae West said, ‘Too much of a good thing can be wonderful.’
  30. ‘Our favorite holding period is forever.’
  31. ‘Risk comes from not knowing what you’re doing.’
  32. ‘Time is the friend of the wonderful company, the enemy of the mediocre.’
  33. ‘Unless you can watch your stock holding decline by 50% without becoming panic-stricken, you should not be in the stock market.’
  34. ‘The critical investment factor is determining the intrinsic value of a business and paying a fair or bargain price.’
  35. ‘Investors making purchases in an overheated market need to recognize that it may often take an extended period for the value of even an outstanding company to catch up with the price they paid.’
  36. ‘Risk can be greatly reduced by concentrating on only a few holdings.’
  37. ‘It is not necessary to do extraordinary things to get extraordinary results.’
  38. ‘An investor should ordinarily hold a small piece of an outstanding business with the same tenacity that an owner would exhibit if he owned all of that business.’
  39. ‘Great investment opportunities come around when excellent companies are surrounded by unusual circumstances that cause the stock to be misappraised.’
  40. ‘In the business world, the rearview mirror is always clearer than the windshield.’
  41. ‘If a business does well, the stock eventually follows.’
  42. ‘Cash never makes us happy, but it’s better to have the money burning a hole in Berkshire’s pocket than resting comfortably in someone else’s.’
  43. ‘A public-opinion poll is no substitute for thought.’
  44. ‘I never buy anything unless I can fill out on a piece of paper my reasons. I may be wrong, but I would know the answer to that. “I’m paying $32 billion today for the Coca Cola Company because.” If you can’t answer that question, you shouldn’t buy it. If you can answer that question, and you do it a few times, you’ll make a lot of money.’
  45. ‘The investor of today does not profit from yesterday’s growth.’
  46. ‘You only have to do a very few things right in your life so long as you don’t do too many things wrong.’
  47. ‘It’s far better to buy a wonderful company at a fair price than a fair company at a wonderful price.’
  48. ‘You ought to be able to explain why you’re taking the job you’re taking, why you’re making the investment you’re making, or whatever it may be. And if it can’t stand applying pencil to paper, you’d better think it through some more. And if you can’t write an intelligent answer to those questions, don’t do it.’
  49. ‘Look at market fluctuations as your friend rather than your enemy; profit from folly rather than participate in it.’
  50. ‘An investor needs to do very few things right as long as he or she avoids big mistakes.’
  51. ‘Do a lot of reading’ (On how to determine the value of a business)
  52.  ‘Only when the tide goes out do you discover who’s been swimming naked.’
  53. ‘The fact that people will be full of greed, fear, or folly is predictable. The sequence is not predictable.’
  54. ‘You do things when the opportunities come along. I’ve had periods in my life when I’ve had a bundle of ideas come along, and I’ve had long dry spells. If I get an idea next week, I’ll do something. If not, I won’t do a damn thing.’
  55. ‘I do not like debt and do not like to invest in companies that have too much debt, particularly long-term debt. With long-term debt, increases in interest rates can drastically affect company profits and make future cash flows less predictable.’
  56. ‘We will reject interesting opportunities rather than over-leverage our balance sheet.’
  57. ‘I always knew I was going to be rich. I don’t think I ever doubted it for a minute.’
  58. ‘Turnarounds seldom turn.’
  59. ‘If at first you do succeed, quit trying on investing.’
  60. ‘I don’t measure my life by the money I’ve made. Other people might, but certainly don’t.’
  61. ‘Anything can happen in stock markets and you ought to conduct your affairs so that if the most extraordinary events happen, that you’re still around to play the next day.’
  62. ‘You shouldn’t own common stocks if a 50 per cent decrease in their value in a short period of time would cause you acute distress.’
  63. ‘With few exceptions when a manager with a reputation for brilliance tackles a business with a reputation for poor economics, it is the reputation of the business which remains intact.’
  64. ‘The business schools reward complex behavior more than simple behavior, but simple behavior is more effective.’
  65. ‘It’s not debt per say that overwhelms an individual corporation or country. Rather it is a continuous increase in debt in relation to income that causes trouble.’
  66. ‘A great investment opportunity occurs when a marvelous business encounters a one-time huge, but solvable problem.’
  67. ‘You do not adequately protect yourself by being half awake when other are sleeping.’
  68. ‘We like to buy businesses, but we don’t like to sell them.’
  69. ‘Money to some extent sometimes let you be in more interesting environments. But it can’t change how many people love you or how healthy you are.’
  70. ‘It’s us fun being a gorse when the tractor comes along, or the blacksmith when the car comes along.’
  71. ‘Enjoy your work and work for whom you admire.’
  72. ‘With enough insider information and a million dollars, you can go broke in a year.’
  73. ‘Read Ben Graham and Phil Fisher read annual reports, but don’t do equations with Greek letters in them.’
  74. ‘In a commodity business, it’s very hard to be smarter than your dumbest competitor.’
  75. ‘A hyperactive stock market is the pickpocket of enterprise.’
  76. ‘Valuing a business is part art and part science.’
  77. ‘Chains of habits are too light to be felt until they are too heavy to be broken.’
  78. On Earning: “Never depend on single income. Make investment to create a second source.”
  79. On Spending: “If you buy things you do not need, soon you will have to sell things you need.”
  80. On Saving: “Do not save what is left after spending, but spend what is left after saving.”
  81. On Risk: “Never test the depth of river with both the feet.”
  82. On Investment: “Do not put all your eggs in one basket.”
  83. On Expectation: “Honesty is very expensive gift. Do not expect it from cheap people.”
  84. “Rule No.1: Never lose money. Rule No.2: Never forget rule No.1”
  85. “I try to buy stock in businesses that are so wonderful that an idiot can run them. Because sooner or later, one will.”
  86. “Should you find yourself in a chronically leaking boat, energy devoted to changing vessels is likely to be more productive than energy devoted to patching leaks.”
  87. “Never count on making a good sale. Have the purchase price be so attractive that even a mediocre sale gives good results.”
  88. “The stock market is a no-called-strike game. You don’t have to swing at everything–you can wait for your pitch. The problem when you’re a money manager is that your fans keep yelling, ‘Swing, you bum!'”
  89. “You don’t need to be a rocket scientist. Investing is not a game where the guy with the 160 IQ beats the guy with 130 IQ.”
  90. “The best thing that happens to us is when a great company gets into temporary trouble…We want to buy them when they’re on the operating table.”
Shitanshu Kapadia
Shitanshu Kapadia
Hi, I am Shitanshu founder of moneyexcel.com. I am engaged in blogging & Digital Marketing for 10 years. The purpose of this blog is to share my experience, knowledge and help people in managing money. Please note that the views expressed on this Blog are clarifications meant for reference and guidance of the readers to explore further on the topics. These should not be construed as investment , tax, financial advice or legal opinion. Please consult a qualified financial planner and do your own due diligence before making any investment decision.