Warren Buffett Quotes
"Investors should remember that excitement and expenses are their enemies. And if they insist on trying to time their participation in equities, they should try to be fearful when others are greedy and greedy only when others are fearful."
"An investor should act as though he had a lifetime decision card with just twenty punches on it."
"It's far better to buy a wonderful company at a fair price than a fair company at a wonderful price."
"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!'"
"Wall Street is the only place that people ride to in a Rolls-Royce to get advice from those who take the subway."
"Long ago, Ben Graham taught me that 'Price is what you pay; value is what you get.' Whether we're talking about socks or stocks, I like buying quality merchandise when it is marked down."
"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."
"If you've been playing poker for half an hour and you still don't know who the patsy is, you're the patsy."
"After all, you only find out who is swimming naked when the tide goes out."
"When we own portions of outstanding businesses with outstanding managements, our favorite holding period is forever."
"Our approach is very much profiting from lack of change rather than from change. With Wrigley chewing gum, it's the lack of change that appeals to me. I don't think it is going to be hurt by the Internet. That's the kind of business I like."
"Time is the friend of the wonderful business, the enemy of the mediocre."
"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."
"I try to buy stock in businesses that are so wonderful that an idiot can run them. Because sooner or later, one will."
"Keep all your eggs in one basket, but watch that basket closely."
"Over the long term, the stock market news will be good. In the 20th century, the United States endured two world wars and other traumatic and expensive military conflicts; the Depression; a dozen or so recessions and financial panics; oil shocks; a flu epidemic; and the resignation of a disgraced president. Yet the Dow rose from 66 to 11,497."
"I am a better investor because I am a businessman, and I am a better businessman because I am an investor."
"It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you'll do things differently."
"Someone's sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago."
"It's better to hang out with people better than you. Pick out associates whose behavior is better than yours and you'll drift in that direction."
"Chains of habit are too light to be felt until they are too heavy to be broken."
"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."
"I don't look to jump over 7-foot bars: I look around for 1-foot bars that I can step over."
"In the business world, the rearview mirror is always clearer than the windshield."
"When you combine ignorance and leverage, you get some pretty interesting results."
"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."
"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 five years."
"You only have to do a very few things right in your life so long as you don't do too many things wrong."
"Managers and investors alike must understand that accounting numbers are the beginning, not the end, of business valuation."
"I would never spend a lot of time valuing declining businesses. The same amount of energy and intelligence brought to other businesses is just going to work out better."
"Interest rates are to asset prices what gravity is to the apple. When there are low interest rates, there is a very low gravitational pull on asset prices."
"There is no perfect mathematical formula for pricing a business."
"Four or five times during their lifetimes, [investors will] see incredible opportunities probably in equity markets . . . [they] have to have the mental fortitude to jump in when most are jumping out."
"Equities will do well over time — you just have to avoid getting excited when other people are getting excited."
"When people get fearful, they get fearful en masse. Confidence comes back one at a time. When they get greedy, they get greedy en masse."
"I insist on a lot of time being spent, almost every day, to just sit and think. That is very uncommon in American business. I read and think. So I do more reading and thinking, and make less impulse decisions than most people in business. I do it because I like this kind of life."
"Risk comes from not knowing what you're doing."
"There seems to be some perverse human characteristic that likes to make easy things difficult."
"I could end the deficit in 5 minutes. You just pass a law that says that anytime there is a deficit of more than 3% of GDP all sitting members of Congress are ineligible for reelection."
"No matter how great the talent or efforts, some things just take time. You can't produce a baby in one month by getting nine women pregnant."
"Life is like a snowball. The important thing is finding wet snow and a really long hill. "
"Forecasts may tell you a great deal about the forecaster; they tell you nothing about the future."
"Never ask a barber if you need a haircut."
"What the wise do in the beginning, fools do in the end."
"Investors should be skeptical of history-based models. Constructed by a nerdy-sounding priesthood using esoteric terms such as beta, gamma, sigma, and the like, these models tend to look impressive. Too often, though, investors forget to examine the assumptions behind the models. Beware of geeks bearing formulas."
"Every saint has a past. Every sinner has a future."
"People always ask me where they should go to work, and I always tell them to go to work for whom they admire the most."
"Failing conventionally is the route to go; as a group, lemmings may have a rotten image, but no individual lemming has ever received bad press."
"In some corner of the world they are probably still holding regular meetings of the Flat Earth Society. We derive no comfort because important people, vocal people, or great numbers of people agree with us. Nor do we derive comfort if they don't."
"Diversification is protection against ignorance. It makes little sense if you know what you are doing."
"I have pledged — to you, the rating agencies, and myself — to always run Berkshire with more than ample cash. We never want to count on the kindness of strangers in order to meet tomorrow's obligations. When forced to choose, I will not trade even a night's sleep for the chance of extra profits."
"Long ago, Sir Isaac Newton gave us three laws of motion, which were the work of genius. But Sir Isaac's talents didn't extend to investing: He lost a bundle in the South Sea Bubble, explaining later, 'I can calculate the movement of the stars, but not the madness of men.' If he had not been traumatized by this loss, Sir Isaac might well have gone on to discover the Fourth Law of Motion: For investors as a whole, returns decrease as motion increases."
"The line separating investment and speculation, which is never bright and clear, becomes blurred still further when most market participants have recently enjoyed triumphs. Nothing sedates rationality like large doses of effortless money. After a heady experience of that kind, normally sensible people drift into behavior akin to that of Cinderella at the ball."