Warren Buffett Speaks: 25 Best Warren Buffett Quotes on His Strategies, Investments, and Cheap Suits

by Andy H on May 7, 2009

He’s called the Oracle of Omaha, and for good reason: not only is he one of the best investors of all time, but he’s also a witty communicator. If you read one of Berkshire Hathaway’s annual shareholder letters (BTW–I love their Web site design!), you’ll feel like Warren Buffett is one of the Good Guys–someone you can trust, someone who will tell it like it is, and someone who’s always willing to laugh with you at mistakes.

Warren BuffettHere are twenty-five awesome quotes from the man himself. I find these quotes to be especially comforting when you’re ‘financially depressed’–after all, he views a market slump as a good thing!–so I hope these can remind everyone that we just need to do the basics, and we”ll be OK. Be a consistent net saver, buy the market through ups and downs, be a decent human being, and rest easy.

On Investing

  1. “Rule No.1: Never lose money. Rule No.2: Never forget rule No.1.”
  2. “It’s far better to buy a wonderful company at a fair price than a fair company at a wonderful price.”
  3. “Only buy something that you’d be perfectly happy to hold if the market shut down for 10 years.”
  4. “We simply attempt to be fearful when others are greedy and to be greedy only when others are fearful.”
  5. “Why not invest your assets in the companies you really like? As Mae West said, “Too much of a good thing can be wonderful”.”

On Success

  1. “Of the billionaires I have known, money just brings out the basic traits in them. If they were jerks before they had money, they are simply jerks with a billion dollars.”
  2. “The business schools reward difficult complex behavior more than simple behavior, but simple behavior is more effective.”
  3. “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.”
  4. “Can you really explain to a fish what it’s like to walk on land? One day on land is worth a thousand years of talking about it, and one day running a business has exactly the same kind of value.”
  5. “You only have to do a very few things right in your life so long as you don’t do too many things wrong.”

On Helping Others

  1. “If you’re in the luckiest 1 per cent of humanity, you owe it to the rest of humanity to think about the other 99 per cent.”
  2. “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently.”
  3. “I don’t have a problem with guilt about money. The way I see it is that my money represents an enormous number of claim checks on society. It’s like I have these little pieces of paper that I can turn into consumption. If I wanted to, I could hire 10,000 people to do nothing but paint my picture every day for the rest of my life. And the GNP would go up. But the utility of the product would be zilch, and I would be keeping those 10,000 people from doing AIDS research, or teaching, or nursing. I don’t do that though. I don’t use very many of those claim checks. There’s nothing material I want very much. And I’m going to give virtually all of those claim checks to charity when my wife and I die.”
  4. “It’s class warfare, my class is winning, but they shouldn’t be.”
  5. “My family won’t receive huge amounts of my net worth. That doesn’t mean they’ll get nothing. My children have already received some money from me and Susie and will receive more. I still believe in the philosophy – FORTUNE quoted me saying this 20 years ago – that a very rich person should leave his kids enough to do anything but not enough to do nothing.”

On Life

  1. “Chains of habit are too light to be felt until they are too heavy to be broken.”
  2. “We enjoy the process far more than the proceeds.”
  3. “You only find out who is swimming naked when the tide goes out.”
  4. “Someone’s sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago.”
  5. “A public-opinion poll is no substitute for thought.”

Funny Ones

  1. “A girl in a convertible is worth five in the phonebook.”
  2. “When they open that envelope, the first instruction is to take my pulse again.”
  3. “We believe that according the name ‘investors’ to institutions that trade actively is like calling someone who repeatedly engages in one-night stands a ‘romantic.’”
  4. “When a management with a reputation for brilliance tackles a business with a reputation for bad economics, it is the reputation of the business that remains intact.”
  5. “In the insurance business, there is no statute of limitation on stupidity.”

More good sources for Warren Buffet quotes:

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{ 1 comment }

1 Glenn 05.11.09 at 3:22 PM

You forgot the one where he said that he thought that Obama had all the right ideas and would be great for the economy. Oh, well, I guess he can’t be right all the time and he certainly blew that one.

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