Warren Buffett, sometimes referred to as the “Oracle of Omaha,” is one of the most successful investors in the world. As such, he is often quoted for his homespun wisdom that encourages smart and knowledgeable investing. Here are some valuable quotes on investing from Warren Buffett.
Warren Buffett’s Advice on Market Downturns
1. “Only when the tide goes out do you discover who’s been swimming naked.” Buffett understood that most companies will make money when the market is good. It’s when the market turns down that you can see which companies have poor fundamentals.
2. “We simply attempt to be fearful when others are greedy and to be greedy only when others are fearful.” Buffett sees market downturns as buying opportunities.
3. “Look at market fluctuations as your friend rather than your enemy; profit from folly rather than participate in it.” Buffett knows that the market is going to be volatile and that fluctuations represent opportunities if you take the emotion out of it.
Warren Buffett’s Advice on Buying What You Know
4. “Beware of geeks bearing formulas.” Buffett is well known for his refusal to buy technology stocks when others were making millions on the likes of Apple, Google and Amazon. He often said that he didn’t buy the stocks of companies he didn’t understand. As tech stocks became more mainstream, however, he either changed his mind about this rule of thumb, or he learned enough about the technology to feel comfortable investing in Apple and Amazon.
Warren Buffett’s Advice on Patience
5. “Time of the friend of the wonderful company, the enemy of the mediocre.” Buffett’s philosophy on investing revolves around buying quality stocks and holding them over the long term.
6. “Someone is sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago.” This lovely quote could be seen as life advice as well as general investing advice, as it shows the value of patience and of planning for the long term.
7. “Our favorite holding period is forever.” As he described his philosophy to shareholders, he went on to say:
8. “We are just the opposite of those who hurry to sell and book profits when companies perform well but who tenaciously hang on to the businesses that disappoint. Peter Lynch aptly likes such behavior to cutting the flowers and watering the weeds.”
9. “Only buy something that you’d be perfectly happy to hold if the market shut down for 10 years.” This quote is partly about patience and partly about the importance of investing in stocks with solid fundamentals.
Warren Buffett’s Advice on Bargain Hunting
10. “Price is what you pay. Value is what you get.” Buffett carefully examines the stocks he buys and makes his choices based on the company’s fundamentals. When he finds a company that he thinks is trading below its intrinsic value, he buys it, even though others may think the price is high.
11. “It’s far better to buy a wonderful company at a fair price than a fair company at a wonderful price.” Good companies continue to increase in value over time, as opposed to marginal companies, which may be available at a bargain price but won’t appreciate over time.
Warren Buffett’s Advice on Business Dealings
12. “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently.” A shrewd investor and savvy businessman, Buffett is fiercely protective of his reputation because he knows how fragile it can be.
13. “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.”
14. “Predicting rain doesn’t count. Building arks does.” The quote underscores Buffett’s understanding that there will always be downturns in the market, and there will always be setbacks in business. The important thing is to expect them and plan for them.
15. “In the business world, the rearview mirror is always clearer than the windshield.” Learning from one’s mistakes — and one’s successes — means understanding what happened in the past and why, and preparing for a similar occurrence in the future.
Warren Buffett On His Own Success
16. “I always knew I was going to be rich. I don’t think I ever doubted it for a minute.” Buffett is not one to brag, but he knows that it’s an understatement to say that he’s successful. He attributes at least part of his success to his confidence.
17. “I don’t look to jump over 7-foot bars; I look around for 1-foot bars that I can step over.” Patience, persistence, and tenacity — these are the keys to Buffett’s success.
Warren Buffett on Humility
As successful as Buffett is, he retains much of his Midwestern humility.
18. “I buy expensive suits. They just look cheap on me.” Buffett is often called out for wearing cheap suits, and for living in the same modest home for dozens of years.
19. “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.” Buffett knows the value of surrounding himself with smart, dedicated and diligent people, including those who are knowledgeable in areas where he is not.
20. “Wall Street is the only place that people ride to in a Rolls Royce to get advice from those who take the subway.” Buffett always picked his own stocks and is happy to share his secrets with others.
Warren Buffett, Philosopher
Buffett has opined on many subjects, and general wisdom is one. Many of his quotes go beyond investing and business and are simply good life advice.
21. “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.” While this quote includes an investing lesson about throwing good money after bad, it’s also a motto to live by.
22. “There seems to be some perverse human characteristic that likes to make easy things difficult.” Buffett’s investing strategy is effective in its simplicity and he’s the first to admit that.
23. “You only have to do a very few things right in your life so long as you don’t do too many things wrong.”
What Is Warren Buffett’s Most Famous Quote?
24. “Rule No. 1: Never lose money. Rule No. 2: Never forget Rule No. 1.” This is one of Buffett’s most often quoted truisms, which sums up his investing philosophy.
Buffett’s homespun wisdom is entertaining, but if you take it to heart, it could make you a better investor.