100 Warren Buffett Quotes on Investing, Life and Success
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120 Best Warren Buffett Quotes On Investing, Life & Success

Warren Buffett is an American investor, business tycoon, philanthropist, and Berkshire Hathaway chairman and CEO. He is considered one of the most successful investors in the world and has a net worth of over US$85.6 billion as of December 2020, making him the world’s fourth-wealthiest person.

As CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, Warren lives by a specific set of values that he uses to invest and make other life decisions. Through his letters, essays, op-eds, and TV appearances, Buffett shares folksy, often funny, plainspoken advice on investing and life. His stocks approach can be identified throughout his famous investing quotes, so we gathered our favourite ones in this post.

That, in a nutshell, Warren Buffett quotes capture the essence of his approach to investing and life. That’s why we love them. We combed through years of meeting transcripts, shareholder letters, and interviews to dig up 120 of Buffett’s best Quotes. We hope you can learn from it a lot.

Warren Buffett’s 120 Best Quotes of All Time

Top 10 Warren Buffett Quotes

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“Only when the tide goes out do you discover who’s been swimming naked.” – Warren Buffett

“Someone is sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago.” – Warren Buffett

“Rule No.1: Never lose money. Rule No.2: Never forget rule No.1.” – Warren Buffett

“It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently.” – Warren Buffett

“Wall Street is the only place that people ride to in a Rolls Royce to get advice from those who take the subway.” – Warren Buffett

“It’s far better to buy a wonderful company at a fair price than a fair company at a wonderful price.” – Warren Buffett

“Risk comes from not knowing what you’re doing.” – Warren Buffett

“Price is what you pay. Value is what you get.” – Warren Buffett

“I will tell you how to become rich. Close the doors. Be fearful when others are greedy. Be greedy when others are fearful.” – Warren Buffett

“Today people who hold cash equivalents feel comfortable. They shouldn’t. They have opted for a terrible long-term asset, one that pays virtually nothing and is certain to depreciate in value.” – Warren Buffett

Famous Warren Buffett Quotes

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“Our favorite holding period is forever.” – Warren Buffett

“Honesty is a very expensive gift. Don’t expect it from cheap people.” – Warren Buffett

“You know… you keep doing the same things and you keep getting the same result over and over again.” – Warren Buffett

“Chains of habit are too light to be felt until they are too heavy to be broken.” – Warren Buffett

“The best thing I did was to choose the right heroes.” – Warren Buffett

“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.” – Warren Buffett

“There seems to be some perverse human characteristic that likes to make easy things difficult.” – Warren Buffett

“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.” – Warren Buffett

“I don’t look to jump over 7-foot bars: I look around for 1-foot bars that I can step over.” – Warren Buffett

“You’ve gotta keep control of your time, and you can’t unless you say no. You can’t let people set your agenda in life.” – Warren Buffett

“Someone’s sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago.” – Warren Buffett

“Tell me who your heroes are and I’ll tell you who you’ll turn out to be.” – Warren Buffett

“Forecasts may tell you a great deal about the forecaster; they tell you nothing about the future.” – Warren Buffett

“In the business world, the rearview mirror is always clearer than the windshield. (It’s Easier to Look Back Than to Look Into the Future)” – Warren Buffett

“The most important thing to do if you find yourself in a hole is to stop digging.” – Warren Buffett

“No matter how great the talent or efforts, some things take time. You can’t produce a baby in one month by getting nine women pregnant.” – Warren Buffett

“The business schools reward difficult complex behaviour more than simple behaviour, but simple behaviour is more effective.” – Warren Buffett

“You only have to do a very few things right in your life so long as you don’t do too many things wrong.” – Warren Buffett

“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 fewer impulse decisions than most people in the business. I do it because I like this kind of life.” – Warren Buffett

“I’ve seen more people fail because of liquor and leverage — leverage being borrowed money. You really don’t need leverage in this world much. If you’re smart, you’re going to make a lot of money without borrowing.” – Warren Buffett

“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.” – Warren Buffett

Warren Buffett Quotes On Money

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“Calling someone who trades actively in the market an investor is like calling someone who repeatedly engages in one-night stands a romantic.” “The stock market is designed to transfer money from the active to the patient. (Patience is Key)” – Warren Buffett

“We always live in an uncertain world. What is certain is that the United States will go forward over time. (Trust in the United States Of America, America is the best stock market to invest in and you can be sure that your money will be safe here.)” – Warren Buffett

“Lose money for the firm, and I will be understanding. Lose a shred of reputation for the firm, and I will be ruthless.” – Warren Buffett

“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.” – Warren Buffett

“enough money so that they would feel they could do anything, but not so much that they could do nothing.” – Warren Buffett

“Of the billionaires I have known, money just brings out the basic traits in them. If they were jerks before they had money, they are simply jerks with a billion dollars.” – Warren Buffett

“I always knew I was going to be rich. I don’t think I ever doubted it for a minute.” – Warren Buffett

“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.” – Warren Buffett

“Nothing sedates rationality like large doses of effortless money.” – Warren Buffett

“The only way to get love is to be lovable. It’s very irritating if you have a lot of money. You’d like to think you could write a check: ‘I’ll buy a million dollars’ worth of love.’ But it doesn’t work that way. The more you give love away, the more you get.” – Warren Buffett

“The rich are always going to say that, you know, just give us more money and we’ll go out and spend more and then it will all trickle down to the rest of you. But that has not worked the last 10 years, and I hope the American public is catching on.” – Warren Buffett

Warren Buffett Quotes On Investing

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“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.” – Warren Buffett

“It’s far better to buy a wonderful company at a fair price, than a fair company at a wonderful price.” – Warren Buffett

“Widespread fear is your friend as an investor because it serves up bargain purchases.” – Warren Buffett

“For the investor, a too-high purchase price for the stock of an excellent company can undo the effects of a subsequent decade of favourable business developments.” – Warren Buffett

“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. (One of Buffett’s favourite characteristics to look for in companies he invests in is a durable competitive advantage. This could mean cost advantages, a strong brand name, or something else.)” – Warren Buffett

“Time is the friend of the wonderful company, the enemy of the mediocre. (Only Invest In Wonderful Companies)” – Warren Buffett

“Why not invest your assets in the companies you really like? As Mae West said, ‘Too much of a good thing can be wonderful.” – Warren Buffett

“What’s nice about investing is you don’t have to swing at every pitch. The trick in investing is just to sit there and watch pitch after pitch goes by and wait for the one right in your sweet spot.” – Warren Buffett

“Beware the investment activity that produces applause; the great moves are usually greeted by yawns.” – Warren Buffett

“Only buy something that you’d be perfectly happy to hold if the market shut down for 10 years. (Invest for the Long Term)” – Warren Buffett

“An investor should act as though he had a lifetime decision card with just twenty punches on it.” – Warren Buffett

“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. (Invest Only in Companies You Understand)” – Warren Buffett

“Diversification is protection against ignorance. It makes little sense if you know what you are doing. Wide diversification is only required when investors do not understand what they are doing. (Great Investors Don’t Diversify)” – Warren Buffett

“All there is to invest is picking good stocks at good times and staying with them as long as they remain good companies.” – Warren Buffett

“The most important quality for an investor is temperament, not intellect. You need a temperament that neither derives great pleasure from being with the crowd or against the crowd.” – Warren Buffett

“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.” – Warren Buffett

“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.” – Warren Buffett

“The most important investment you can make is in yourself.” – Warren Buffett

“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.” – Warren Buffett

“When major declines occur, they offer extraordinary opportunities to those who are not handicapped by debt, No one can tell you when these will happen. The light can at any time go from green to red without pausing at yellow.” – Warren Buffett

“Do not take yearly results too seriously. Instead, focus on four or five-year averages.” – Warren Buffett

“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.” – Warren Buffett

“When we own portions of outstanding businesses with outstanding managements, our favourite holding period is forever.” – Warren Buffett

“Games are won by players who focus on the playing field—not by those whose eyes are glued to the scoreboard. If you instead focus on the prospective price change of a contemplated purchase, you are speculating. There is nothing improper about that. I know, however, that I am unable to speculate successfully, and I am skeptical of those who claim sustained success at doing so.” – Warren Buffett

“What counts for most people in investing is not how much they know, but rather how realistically they define what they don’t know.” – Warren Buffett

“There’s been far, far, far more money made through salesmanship abilities than through investment abilities. And the people you pay to help identify (future outperformers) don’t know how to identify them. They do know how to sell you.” – Warren Buffett

“All the commercial push is behind telling you that you ought to think about doing something today that’s different than you did yesterday. You don’t have to do that. You just have to sit back and let American industry do its job for you.” – Warren Buffett

“What investors then need is an ability to both disregard mob fears or enthusiasms and to focus on a few simple fundamentals. A willingness to look unimaginative for a sustained period — or even to look foolish — is also essential.” – Warren Buffett

“What an investor needs is the ability to correctly evaluate selected businesses. Note that word “selected”: you don’t have to be an expert on every company, or even many. 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.” – Warren Buffett

“I am a better investor because I am a businessman, and a better businessman because I am an investor.” – Warren Buffett

“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.” – Warren Buffett

“The rich invest in time, the poor invest in money.” – Warren Buffett

“Whether we’re talking about socks or stocks, I like buying quality merchandise when it is marked down.” – Warren Buffett

“Never depend on a single income. Make an investment to create a second source.” – Warren Buffett

“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.” – Warren Buffett

Warren Buffett Quotes On Saving

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“The biggest mistake is not learning the habit of saving properly.” – Warren Buffett

“Do not save what is left after spending; instead spend what is left after saving.” – Warren Buffett

“I’m not interested in cars and my goal is not to make people envious. Don’t confuse the cost of living with the standard of living.” – Warren Buffett

“Investing is an activity in which consumption today is foregone in an attempt to allow greater consumption at a later date.” – Warren Buffett

Warren Buffett Quotes On Gold

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“Opportunities come infrequently. When it rains gold, put out the bucket, not the thimble. (Seize Great Opportunities and Load Up the Truck)” – Warren Buffett

“Gold gets dug out of the ground in Africa, or someplace. Then we melt it down, dig another hole, bury it again and pay people to stand around guarding it. It has no utility. Anyone watching from Mars would be scratching their head.” – Warren Buffett

“Gold is a way of going long on fear, and it has been a pretty good way of going long on fear from time to time. But you really have to hope people become more afraid in a year or two years than they are now. And if they become more afraid you make money, if they become less afraid you lose money, but the gold itself doesn’t produce anything.” – Warren Buffett

“I will say this about gold. If you took all the gold in the world, it would roughly make a cube 67 feet on a side…Now for that same cube of gold, it would be worth at today’s market prices about $7 trillion – that’s probably about a third of the value of all the stocks in the United States…For $7 trillion…you could have all the farmland in the United States, you could have about seven Exxon Mobils (XOM) and you could have a trillion dollars of walking-around money…And if you offered me the choice of looking at some 67 foot cube of gold and looking at it all day, and you know me touching it and fondling it occasionally…Call me crazy, but I’ll take the farmland and the Exxon Mobils.” – Warren Buffett

“The major asset in this category is gold, currently a huge favorite of investors who fear almost all other assets, especially paper money (of whose value, as noted, they are right to be fearful). Gold, however, has two significant shortcomings, being neither of much use nor procreative. True, gold has some industrial and decorative utility, but the demand for these purposes is both limited and incapable of soaking up new production. Meanwhile, if you own one ounce of gold for an eternity, you will still own one ounce at its end.” – Warren Buffett

“What motivates most gold purchasers is their belief that the ranks of the fearful will grow. During the past decade that belief has proved correct. Beyond that, the rising price has on its own generated additional buying enthusiasm, attracting purchasers who see the rise as validating an investment thesis. As ‘bandwagon’ investors join any party, they create their own truth — for a while.” – Warren Buffett

Warren Buffett Quotes On Life

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“I just sit in my office and read all day.” – Warren Buffett

“You cannot make a good deal with a bad person.” – Warren Buffett

“If you get to my age in life and nobody thinks well of you, I don’t care how big your bank account is, your life is a disaster.” – Warren Buffett

“It’s better to hang out with people better than you. Pick out associates whose behaviour is better than yours and you’ll drift in that direction.” – Warren Buffett

“If you’re in the luckiest 1% of humanity, you owe it to the rest of humanity to think about the other 99%.” – Warren Buffett

“You only have to do very few things right in your life so long as you don’t do too many things wrong.” – Warren Buffett

“I would say the most satisfying thing actually is watching my three children each pick up on their own interests and work many more hours per week than most people that have jobs at trying to intelligently give away that money in fields that they particularly care about.” – Warren Buffett

“If you’re in the luckiest one per cent of humanity, you owe it to the rest of humanity to think about the other 99 per cent.” – Warren Buffett

“There comes a time when you ought to start doing what you want. Take a job that you love. You will jump out of bed in the morning. I think you are out of your mind if you keep taking jobs that you don’t like because you think it will look good on your resume. Isn’t that a little like saving up sex for your old age?” – Warren Buffett

“You are neither right nor wrong because the crowd disagrees with you. You are right because your data and reasoning are right.” – Warren Buffett

“Chains of habit are too light to be felt until they are too heavy to be broken.” – Warren Buffett

“What the wise do in the beginning, fools do in the end.” – Warren Buffett

“Every saint has a past. Every sinner has a future.” – Warren Buffett

“Life is like a snowball. The important thing is finding wet snow and a really long hill.” – Warren Buffett

“Never give up searching for the job that you are passionate about.” – Warren Buffett

Warren Buffett Quotes On Success

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“The more you learn, the more you earn.” – Warren Buffett

“I measure success by how many people love me.” – Warren Buffett

“In the world of business, the people who are most successful are those who are doing what they love.” – Warren Buffett

“Basically, when you get to my age, you’ll really measure your success in life by how many of the people you want to have love you actually do love you.” – Warren Buffett

“The difference between successful people and really successful people is that really successful people say no to almost everything.” – Warren Buffett

“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.” – Warren Buffett

“I’m no genius, but I’m smart in spots, and I stay around those spots.” – Warren Buffett

“I sent one e-mail in my life. I sent it to Jeff Raikes at Microsoft, and it ended up in court in Minneapolis, so I am one for one.” – Warren Buffett

“Somebody once said that in looking for people to hire, you look for three qualities: integrity, intelligence, and energy. And if you don’t have the first, the other two will kill you. You think about it; it’s true. If you hire somebody without [integrity], you really want them to be dumb and lazy.” – Warren Buffett

“There’s class warfare, all right, but it’s my class, the rich class, that’s making war, and we’re winning.” – Warren Buffett

“I tell college students, when you get to be my age you will be successful if the people who you hope to have love you, do love you.” – Warren Buffett

“We don’t have to be smarter than the rest. We have to be more disciplined than the rest.” – Warren Buffett

Warren Buffett Quotes On Stock Market

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“The only value of stock forecasters is to make fortune tellers look good.” – Warren Buffett

“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.” – Warren Buffett

“Performance comes, performance goes. Fees never falter.” – Warren Buffett

“Both large and small investors should stick with low-cost index funds.” – Warren Buffett

“By periodically investing in an index fund, for example, the know-nothing investor can actually outperform most investment professionals. Paradoxically, when ‘dumb’ money acknowledges its limitations, it ceases to be dumb.” – Warren Buffett

“You’re dealing with a lot of silly people in the marketplace; it’s like a great big casino and everyone else is boozing. If you can stick with Pepsi, you should be OK.” – Warren Buffett

“You shouldn’t own common stocks if a 50% decrease in their value in a short period of time would cause you acute distress.” – Warren Buffett

“There is simply no telling how far stocks can fall in a short period. Even if your borrowings are small and your positions aren’t immediately threatened by the plunging market, your mind may well become rattled by scary headlines and breathless commentary. And an unsettled mind will not make good decisions.” – Warren Buffett

Equities will do well over time — you just have to avoid getting excited when other people are getting excited.” – Warren Buffett

“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.” – Warren Buffett

“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.” – Warren Buffett

“Remember that the stock market is a manic depressive. (Always stay rational.)” – Warren Buffett

“I try to buy stock in businesses that are so wonderful that an idiot can run them. Because sooner or later, one will.” – Warren Buffett

“If a business does well, the stock eventually follows.” – Warren Buffett

“If you aren’t thinking about owning a stock for 10 years, don’t even think about owning it for 10 minutes.” – Warren Buffett

“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.” – Warren Buffett

“Don’t watch the market closely, If they’re trying to buy and sell stocks, and worry when they go down a little bit … and think they should maybe sell them when they go up, they’re not going to have very good results.” – Warren Buffett

“If you aren’t willing to own a stock for ten years, don’t even think about owning it for ten minutes. Put together a portfolio of companies whose aggregate earnings march upward over the years, and so also will the portfolio’s market value.” – Warren Buffett

“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.” – Warren Buffett

Final Thoughts

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Warren Buffett is arguably one of the most successful investors in history. His company, Berkshire Hathaway, has provided excellent returns for its shareholders over many decades.

This article examined the 100 best quotes from Warren Buffett to give you deeper insight into Buffett’s thought processes. Whether you are an investor, manager, or looking for new ways to improve yourself, you have something to learn from Warren Buffett.

Which of these Warren Buffett quotes is your favourite? Tell us in the comment section below!

Originally published August 22, 2019, updated April 3, 2021

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