No matter what type of trader or investor you are, there is always something to be learned from Warren Buffet, who has been investing in stocks since he was a kid and still going strong in his 90s. Below we share 100 quotes of his deep wisdom on the topic.
Warren Buffett is a renowned investor, businessman, and philanthropist. He is widely considered one of the most successful investors in history and has a net worth of over $100 billion.
Buffett was born in Omaha, Nebraska in 1930. He showed an early interest in business and investing, and by the age of 11 he was already buying stocks. He attended the University of Nebraska and later received his master's degree in economics from Columbia University.
Buffett began his career as a securities analyst in the 1950s, and in 1962 he formed his own investment firm, Berkshire Hathaway. Over the years, he has made a series of successful investments, including in companies such as Coca-Cola, American Express, and Goldman Sachs.
In addition to his business ventures, Buffett is also known for his philanthropy. He has pledged to give away 99% of his wealth to charitable causes, and he has already donated billions of dollars to organizations such as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
Throughout his career, Buffett has been known for his frugality, his discipline, and his long-term investment approach. He is often referred to as the "Oracle of Omaha" and is widely respected and admired in the business world.
Below are 100 of his most famous quotes;
"Widespread fear is your friend as an investor because it serves up bargain purchases."
"We simply attempt to be fearful when others are greedy and to be greedy only when others are fearful."
"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."
"It's far better to buy a wonderful company at a fair price than a fair company at a wonderful price."
"Since I know of no way to reliably predict market movements, I recommend that you purchase Berkshire shares only if you expect to hold them for at least five years. Those who seek short-term profits should look elsewhere."
"Buy a stock the way you would buy a house. Understand and like it such that you'd be content to own it in the absence of any market."
"All there is to investing is picking good stocks at good times and staying with them as long as they remain good companies."
"For the investor, a too-high purchase price for the stock of an excellent company can undo the effects of a subsequent decade of favorable business developments."
"Whether we're talking about socks or stocks, I like buying quality merchandise when it is marked down."
"The key to investing is not assessing how much an industry is going to affect society, or how much it will grow, but rather determining the competitive advantage of any given company and, above all, the durability of that advantage."
"On the margin of safety, which means, don't try and drive a 9,800-pound truck over a bridge that says it's, you know, capacity: 10,000 pounds. But go down the road a little bit and find one that says, capacity: 15,000 pounds."
"You can't produce a baby in one month by getting nine women pregnant."
"Opportunities come infrequently. When it rains gold, put out the bucket, not the thimble."
"If you aren't willing to own a stock for ten years, don't even think about owning it for ten minutes."
"When we own portions of outstanding businesses with outstanding managements, our favorite holding period is forever."
"An investor should act as though he had a lifetime decision card with just twenty punches on it."
"Do not take yearly results too seriously. Instead, focus on four or five-year averages."
"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."
"It is a terrible mistake for investors with long-term horizons -- among them pension funds, college endowments, and savings-minded individuals -- to measure their investment 'risk' by their portfolio's ratio of bonds to stocks,"
"Someone's sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago"
"It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you'll do things differently."
"Lose money for the firm, and I will be understanding. Lose a shred of reputation for the firm, and I will be ruthless."
"The most important thing to do if you find yourself in a hole is to stop digging."
"Should you find yourself in a chronically leaking boat, energy devoted to changing vessels is likely to be a more productive than energy devoted to patching leaks."
"Wall Street is the only place that people ride to in a Rolls Royce to get advice from those who take the subway."
"If returns are going to be 7 or 8 percent and you're paying 1 percent for fees, that makes an enormous difference in how much money you're going to have in retirement."
"When trillions of dollars are managed by Wall Streeters charging high fees, it will usually be the managers who reap outsized profits, not the clients."
"Only when the tide goes out do you discover who's been swimming naked."
"The years ahead will occasionally deliver major market declines -- even panics -- that will affect virtually all stocks. No one can tell you when these traumas will occur."
"Predicting rain doesn't count, building the ark does"
"The one thing I will tell you is the worst investment you can have is cash. Everybody is talking about cash being king and all that sort of thing. Cash is going to become worthless over time. But good businesses are going to become worth more over time."
"The best chance to deploy capital is when things are going down."
"It's been an ideal period for investors: A climate of fear is their best friend. Those who invest only when commentators are upbeat end up paying a heavy price for meaningless reassurance."
"Too-big-to-fail is not a fallback position at Berkshire. Instead, we will always arrange our affairs so that any requirements for cash we may conceivably have will be dwarfed by our own liquidity."
"Charlie and I view the marketable common stocks that Berkshire owns as interests in businesses, not as ticker symbols to be bought or sold based on their "chart" patterns, the "target" prices of analysts, or the opinions of media pundits."
"Buy into a company because you want to own it, not because you want the stock to go up."
"Never invest in a business you cannot understand."
"Risk comes from not knowing what you're doing."
"If you don't feel comfortable making a rough estimate of the asset's future earnings, just forget it and move on."
"Buy companies with strong histories of profitability and with a dominant business franchise."
"We want products where people feel like kissing you instead of slapping you."
"It's better to have a partial interest in the Hope diamond than to own all of a rhinestone."
"In the business world, the rearview mirror is always clearer than the windshield."
"One thing that could help would be to write down the reason you are buying a stock before your purchase. Write down "I am buying Microsoft at $300 billion because..." Force yourself to write this down. It clarifies your mind and discipline."
"I just sit in my office and read all day"
"I insist on a lot of time being spent, almost every day, to just sit and think. That is very uncommon in American business."
"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."
"Cash ... is to a business as oxygen is to an individual: never thought about when it is present, the only thing in mind when it is absent"
"Many management [teams] are just deciding they're going to buy X billions over X months. That's no way to buy things. You buy when selling for less than they are worth. ... It's not a complicated equation to figure out whether it is beneficial or not to repurchase shares."
"I have no views as to where it (gold) will be, but the one thing I can tell you is it won't do anything between now and then except look at you. Whereas, you know, Coca-Cola will be making money, and I think Wells Fargo will be making a lot of money, and there will be a lot -- and it's a lot -- it's a lot better to have a goose that keeps laying eggs than a goose that just sits there and eats insurance and storage and a few things like that."
"This does not bother Charlie [Munger] and me. Indeed, we enjoy such price declines if we have funds available to increase our positions."
"If you like spending six to eight hours per week working on investments, do it. If you don't, then dollar-cost average into index funds."
"The most important investment you can make is in yourself."
"One can best prepare themselves for the economic future by investing in your own education. If you study hard and learn at a young age, you will be in the best circumstances to secure your future."
"Read 500 pages like this every day. That's how knowledge works. It builds up, like compound interest. All of you can do it, but I guarantee not many of you will do it."
"In the 54 years (Charlie Munger and I) have worked together, we have never forgone an attractive purchase because of the macro or political environment, or the views of other people. In fact, these subjects never come up when we make decisions."
"If you're smart, you're going to make a lot of money without borrowing."
"If you buy things you do not need, soon you will have to sell things you need."
"You can't borrow money at 18 or 20 percent and come out ahead."
"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."
"We've long felt that the only value of stock forecasters is to make fortune tellers look good. Even now, Charlie and I continue to believe that short-term market forecasts are poison and should be kept locked up in a safe place, away from children and also from grown-ups who behave in the market like children."
"For 240 years it's been a terrible mistake to bet against America, and now is no time to start."
"American business -- and consequently a basket of stocks -- is virtually certain to be worth far more in the years ahead."
"I won't say if my candidate doesn't win, and probably half the time they haven't, I'm going to take my ball and go home"
"After 25 years of buying and supervising a great variety of businesses, Charlie and I have not learned how to solve difficult business problems. What we have learned is to avoid them."
"Speculation is most dangerous when it looks easiest."
"Investors should remember that excitement and expenses are their enemies."
"Keep things simple and don't swing for the fences. When promised quick profits, respond with a quick "no."
"Half of all coin-flippers will win their first toss; none of those winners has an expectation of profit if he continues to play the game."
"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."
"Don't get caught up with what other people are doing. Being a contrarian isn't the key but being a crowd follower isn't either. You need to detach yourself emotionally."
"You are neither right nor wrong because the crowd disagrees with you. You are right because your data and reasoning are right."
"What we learn from history is that people don't learn from history."
"There is nothing wrong with a 'know nothing' investor who realizes it. The problem is when you are a 'know nothing' investor but you think you know something."
"You only have to be able to evaluate companies within your circle of competence. The size of that circle is not very important; knowing its boundaries, however, is vital."
"We believe that a policy of portfolio concentration may well decrease risk if it raises, as it should, both the intensity with which an investor thinks about a business and the comfort-level he must feel with its economic characteristics before buying into it.
"Diversification is a protection against ignorance. It makes very little sense for those who know what they're doing."
"I believe in giving my kids enough so they can do anything, but not so much that they can do nothing."
"Because if you're wrong and rates go to 2 percent, which I don't think they will, you pay it off. It's a one-way renegotiation. It is an incredibly attractive instrument for the homeowner, and you've got a one-way bet."
"If you're in the luckiest 1% of humanity, you owe it to the rest of humanity to think about the other 99%."
"We have learned to turn out lots of goods and services, but we haven't learned as well how to have everybody share in the bounty. The obligation of a society as prosperous as ours is to figure out how nobody gets left too far behind."
"Bitcoin has no unique value at all,"
"You're just hoping the next guy pays more. And you only feel you'll find the next guy to pay more if he thinks he's going to find someone that's going to pay more. You aren't investing when you do that, you're speculating."
"Stay away from it. It's a mirage, basically...The idea that it has some huge intrinsic value is a joke in my view."
"The difference between successful people and really successful people is that really successful people say no to almost everything."
"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."
"When you have able managers of high character running businesses about which they are passionate, you can have a dozen or more reporting to you and still have time for an afternoon nap. Conversely, if you have even one person reporting to you who is deceitful, inept or uninterested, you will find yourself with more than you can handle."
"And so, the important thing we do with managers, generally, is to find the .400 hitters and then not tell them how to swing."
"When stock can be bought below a business's value it is probably the best use of cash."
"What is smart at one price is stupid at another."
"You could take all the gold that's ever been mined, and it would fill a cube 67 feet in each direction. For what it's worth at current gold prices, you could buy -- not some -- all of the farmland in the United States. Plus, you could buy 10 Exxon Mobil's, plus have $1 trillion of walking-around money. Or you could have a big cube of metal. Which would you take? Which is going to produce more value?"
"Among the various propositions offered to you, if you invested in a very low-cost index fund -- where you don't put the money in at one time, but average in over 10 years -- you'll do better than 90% of people who start investing at the same time."
"Just pick a broad index like the S&P 500. Don't put your money in all at once; do it over a period of time."
"It is not necessary to do extraordinary things to get extraordinary results."