The 15 Best Things Warren Buffett Has Ever Said About Investing

warren buffett

Warren Buffett has a reputation as a bit of a wordsmith; it’s not rare that he delights or surprises the coterie of media, investors and fans who follow him, with his steady stream of verbal gems.

Many of his most famous quotes emanate from his annual letters to his shareholders; others come from speeches or interviews.

We compiled a few of the best Oracle of Ohama quotes on investing we could find (by no means, is it exhaustive).

If we’ve missed any of your favourites, let us know in the comments.

The essentials first

'Rule No. 1: never lose money; rule No. 2: don't forget rule No. 1'

Source: The Tao of Warren Buffett, by Mary Buffett and David Clark

Think about this one

'I am a better investor because I am a businessman, and a better businessman because I am no investor.'

Source: Forbes.com - Thoughts On The Business Life

Berkshire is like the Met

'You can sell it to Berkshire, and we'll put it in the Metropolitan Museum; it'll have a wing all by itself; it'll be there forever. Or you can sell it to some porn shop operator, and he'll take the painting and he'll make the boobs a little bigger and he'll stick it up in the window, and some other guy will come along in a raincoat, and he'll buy it.' - On what makes people sell to him

Source: Bloomberg

Wonderful v Fair

'It's far better to buy a wonderful company at a fair price than a fair company at a wonderful price.'

Source: Letter to shareholders, 1989

No need to be a genius

'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.'

Source: Warren Buffet Speaks, By Janet Lowe, via msnbc.msn

The Fourth Law Of Motion

Time is ticking away

'Time is the friend of the wonderful business, the enemy of the mediocre.'

Source: Letters to shareholders 1989

Watch carefully...

'After all, you only find out who is swimming naked when the tide goes out.'

Source: Letter to shareholders, 2001

Timing is everything

'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.'

Source: Letter to shareholders, 2004

No limits

'When we own portions of outstanding businesses with outstanding managements, our favourite holding period is forever.'

Source: Letter to shareholders, 1988

Game pressure

'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!''

Source: The Tao of Warren Buffett, by Mary Buffett and David Clark, via Engineeringnews.com

About Socks and Stocks

'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.'

Source: Letter to shareholders, 2008

' 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.'

Source: Businessweek, 1999

The right moment to strike

'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.'

Source: Businessweek, 1999

Choose sleep over extra profit

' 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.'

Source: Letter to shareholders, 2008

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