101 “Hand-picked” Warren Buffett Quotes On Investing

Warren Buffett

Image Credit: Javier

Warren Buffett better known as the “Oracle of Omaha”,  “Sage of Omaha” or “Wizard of Omaha” is obviously the most successful investor of all times. He is not only known for his investment philosophy but also for his great quotes on investing.

So, I’m going to share with you 101 quotes by Warren Buffett on investing that I find inspiring. Also, I guess you might already know about his  unique way of writing annual letters to shareholders. So I’m going to include some famous quotes from his annual letters as well.

101 Famous Quotes by Warren Buffett on Investing

  1. “Never invest in a business you cannot understand.”
  2. “Always invest for the long term.”
  3. “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.”
  4. “Whether we’re talking about socks or stocks, I like buying quality merchandise when it is marked down.”
  5. “What we learn from history is that people don’t learn from history.”
  6. “Buy a business, don’t rent stocks.”
  7. “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.”
  8. “We have long felt that the only value of stock forecasters is to make fortune-tellers look good.”
  9. “A prediction about the direction of the stock market tells you nothing about where stocks are headed, but a whole lot about the person doing the predicting.”
  10. “Someone’s sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago.”
  11. “I really like my life. I’ve arranged my life so that I can do what I want.”
  12. “We will only do with your money what we would do with our own.”
  13. “If you don’t feel comfortable owning something for 10 years, then don’t own it for 10 minutes.”
  14. “I am a better investor because I am a businessman and a better businessman because I am an investor.”
  15. “Price is what you pay. Value is what you get.”
  16. “The Stock Market is designed to transfer money from the Active to the Patient.”
  17. “Stop trying to predict the direction of the stock market, the economy, interest rates, or elections.”
  18. “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.”
  19. “By periodically investing in an index fund, the know-nothing investors can actually outperform most investment professionals.”
  20. “I have pledged… to always run Berkshire with more than ample cash… I will not trade even a night’s sleep for the chance of extra profits.”
  21. “The best business returns are usually achieved by companies that are doing something quite similar today to what they were doing five or ten years ago.”
  22. “Investing is laying out money now to get more money back in the future.”
  23. “The stock market is a no-called-strike game. You don’t have to swing at everything – you can wait for your pitch.”
  24. “Never count on making a good sale. Have the purchase price be so attractive that even a mediocre sale gives good results.”
  25. “I don’t look to jump over 7-foot bars: I look around for 1-foot bars that I can step over.”
  26. “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.”
  27. “Never give up searching for the job that you’re passionate about. Try to find the job you’d have if you were independently rich. Forget about the pay. When you’re associating with the people that you love, doing what you love, it doesn’t get any better than that.”
  28. “We don’t get paid for activity, just for being right. As to how long we will wait, we’ll wait indefinitely.”
  29. “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?”
  30. “Buy companies with strong histories of profitability and with a dominant business franchise.”
  31. “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.”
  32. “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.”
  33. “When asked how he became so successful in investing, Buffett answered: ‘we read hundreds and hundreds of annual reports every year.”
  34. “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.”
  35. “I try to buy stock in businesses that are so wonderful that an idiot can run them. Because sooner or later, one will.”
  36. “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.”
  37. “Diversification is a protection against ignorance. It makes very little sense for those who know what they’re doing.”
  38. “Wide diversification is only required when investors do not understand what they are doing.”
  39. “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.”
  40. “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently.”
  41. “The first rule is not to lose. The second rule is not to forget the first rule.”
  42. “Only buy something that you’d be perfectly happy to hold if the market shut down for 10 years.”
  43. “I will tell you how to become rich. Close the doors. Be fearful when others are greedy. Be greedy when others are fearful.”
  44. “Why not invest your assets in the companies you really like? As Mae West said, ‘Too much of a good thing can be wonderful.”
  45. “Our favorite holding period is forever.”
  46. “Investing is laying out money now to get more money back in the future.”
  47. “The most important thing to do if you find yourself in a hole is to stop digging.”
  48. “Money is not everything. Make sure you earn a lot before speaking such nonsense.”
  49. “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.”
  50. “Risk comes from not knowing what you’re doing.”
  51. “Unless you can watch your stock holding decline by 50% without becoming panic-stricken, you should not be in the stock market.”
  52. “The critical investment factor is determining the intrinsic value of a business and paying a fair or bargain price.”
  53. “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.”
  54. “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.”
  55. “Risk can be greatly reduced by concentrating on only a few holdings.”
  56. “It is not necessary to do extraordinary things to get extraordinary results.”
  57. “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.”
  58. “Diversification may preserve wealth, but concentration builds wealth.”
  59. “Great investment opportunities come around when excellent companies are surrounded by unusual circumstances that cause the stock to be misappraised.”
  60. “You won’t keep control of your time, unless you can say ‘no.’ You can’t let other people set your agenda in life.”
  61. “In the business world, the rearview mirror is always clearer than the windshield.”
  62. “If a business does well, the stock eventually follows.”
  63. “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.”
  64. “Wall Street is the only place that people ride to in a Rolls-Royce to get advice from those who take the subway.”
  65. “A public-opinion poll is no substitute for thought.”
  66. “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.“
  67. “The investor of today does not profit from yesterday’s growth.“
  68. “I knew a lot about what I did when I was 20. I had read a lot, and I aspired to learn everything I could about the subject.”
  69. “You only have to do a very few things right in your life so long as you don’t do too many things wrong.“
  70. “It’s far better to buy a wonderful company at a fair price than a fair company at a wonderful price.“
  71. “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.“
  72. “Look at market fluctuations as your friend rather than your enemy; profit from folly rather than participate in it.“
  73. “An investor needs to do very few things right as long as he or she avoids big mistakes.“
  74. “Do a lot of reading.” – on how to determine the value of a business
  75. “The investor of today does not profit from yesterday’s growth.“
  76. “Only when the tide goes out do you discover who’s been swimming naked.“
  77. “The fact that people will be full of greed, fear, or folly is predictable. The sequence is not predictable.“
  78. “Time is the friend of the wonderful company, the enemy of the mediocre.“
  79. “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.“
  80. “We will reject interesting opportunities rather than over-leverage our balance sheet.“
  81. “I always knew I was going to be rich. I don’t think I ever doubted it for a minute.“
  82. “Turnarounds seldom turn.“
  83. “If at first you do succeed, quit trying on investing.“
  84. “I don’t measure my life by the money I’ve made. Other people might, but certainly don’t.“
  85. “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.“
  86. “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.“
  87. “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.“
  88. “The business schools reward complex behavior more than simple behavior, but simple behavior is more effective.“
  89. “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.“
  90. “A great investment opportunity occurs when a marvelous business encounters a one-time huge, but solvable problem.“
  91. “You do not adequately protect yourself by being half awake when other are sleeping.“
  92. “We like to buy businesses, but we don’t like to sell them.“
  93. “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.“
  94. “It’s us fun being a gorse when the tractor comes along, or the blacksmith when the car comes along.“
  95. “Enjoy your work and work for whom you admire.“
  96. “With enough insider information and a million dollars, you can go broke in a year.“
  97. “Read Ben Graham and Phil Fisher read annual reports, but don’t do equations with Greek letters in them.“
  98. “In a commodity business, it’s very hard to be smarter than your dumbest competitor.“
  99. “A hyperactive stock market is the pickpocket of enterprise.“
  100. “Valuing a business is part art and part science.“
  101. “Chains of habits are too light to be felt until they are too heavy to be broken.”

Recommended: 99 Inspirational Quotes On Entrepreneurship

BONUS: Quotes by Warren Buffett on…

Quotes by Warren Buffett

Earning: “Never depend on single income. Make investment to create a second source.”

Success: “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.”

Spending: “If you buy things you do not need, soon you will have to sell things you need.”

Saving: “Do not save what is left after spending, but spend what is left after saving.”

Risk: “Never test the depth of river with both the feet.”

Investment: “Do not put all your eggs in one basket.”

Expectation: “Honesty is very expensive gift. Do not expect it from cheap people.”

Humanity: “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.”

Stay inspired and embrace this new year with all the enthusiasm you have. And do share your favorite quotes on your social media channels as it might just motivate your friends and family as well!

Have I missed your favorite quote by Warren Buffett?  If so, let me know as a comment below!

Happy Investing! :)

First Published: July, 2009; Last Updated: Wednesday, January 15, 2014

  • http://ravivooda.blogspot.com Ravi Vooda

    one more quote of warren buffet

    “Money is not everything. Make sure you earn a lot before speaking such nonsense”

  • http://www.minterest.org/ Mahesh Mohan

    Thanks Ravi for that. :)

  • shercy ramos

    Truly a lot of quotes just for investing! This just shows that people are really serious about this matter. I love the first one: “Never invest in a business you cannot understand.” This should be the first thing to consider, one should understand what he is getting into.

  • Nischint

    Following quote not mentioned in 79 list.

    Warren started investing at age 11 but he still thinks he was to late.

  • http://www.anatoliainformation.com kapadokya

    Truly a lot of quotes just for investing! This just shows that people are really serious about this matter. I love the first one: “Never invest in a business you cannot understand.” This should be the first thing to consider, one should understand what he is getting into veryy good

  • http://www.tradeplacer.com TradePlacer

    Great list. My favorites are 8, and 9:
    ‘I am a better investor because I am a businessman and a better businessman because I am an investor.’

    ‘Price is what you pay. Value is what you get.’

  • http://www.bluerockinvestments.co.uk Buy Bulgarian Land

    I’ve always thought Mark Twain said it best, ‘buy land…theyre not making it anymore!’

  • http://www.theindieexplorer.com Free Travel Videos

    Brilliant quotes – I try reading one at the beginning of each day for motivation purposes.

  • Julie Miller

    I thought it was Mr. Buffett who said that no one should buy a new car unless he/she earns at least $250,000. per year.

    I’m distressed and disappointed that my 24-year old daughter just bought a new car. Even worse: she promised to pay back the loan I took out for her first year of college. That probably won’t happen; in fact, that loan will probably outlive me.
    Even more frustrating: the taxpayer money that goes to educate, house, feed, and medically care for illegals, when my son and daughter are 14th. generation descendents of John and Priscilla (Mullins) Alden of the Mayflower. My son is serving his 6th. year in nuclear Navy (on the Abraham Lincoln) because I couldn’t, and his father and father’s family WOULDN’T help him with college.
    What happened to America? I can only find cleaning jobs (2)and wonder if I can ever retire. I’m 61.

    Thanks for reading…J. M.

  • Terry Byrne

    Never underestimate the sound investment quality of Warren Buffett’s words: instead, walk a thousand miles in his shoes and then ask him who his cobbler is.

  • http://www.lifeant.com/use-life-insurance-investment/ Ant

    I don’t debate his success but there are other ways to do quite well without much risk. You can sell puts if you want a stock at a price and it isn’t there yet. You can write calls when your stocks appreciate.

    The index is an ok move, but only when you buy it at a low and not a high, like anything else there is risk involved (I wouldn’t buy an index in this market, with flirting of all time highs).

    • http://www.minterest.org Mahesh Mohan

      Yes, you’re right. Options trading can be done without much risk but it’s basically for the traders and not investors. Also, options trading can’t be done with zero risk (unless we hold the underlying stock).