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Financial Literacy

42 Warren Buffett Quotes for Intelligent Investors

Warren Buffett is one of the greatest investors of our time. So it’s useful to listen to what he has to say. That’s why I’ve put together this thoughtful list of the best Warren Buffett quotes.

Please take some time to ponder the sayings below. With each quote, dig a little deeper and think about the reasoning behind it. Doing so can help you improve your financial success. Not only that, but the wisdom can help in many areas of life.

Famous Warren Buffett Quotes

To help you gain a deeper understanding, I’ve organized the quotes into three sections. I’ve also provided some comments and resources spaced throughout.

Value Investing and Money

Warren Buffett quote on value investing: socks or stocks quality merchandise

  1. “Rule No. 1 is never lose money. Rule No. 2 is never forget Rule No. 1.”
  2. “Price is what you pay, value is what you get.”
  3. “Whether we’re talking about socks or stocks, I like buying quality merchandise when it is marked down.”
  4. “We simply attempt to be fearful when others are greedy and to be greedy only when others are fearful.”
  5. “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.”
  6. “It’s far better to buy a wonderful company at a fair price than a fair company at a wonderful price.”
  7. “Investors should remember that excitement and expenses are their enemies.”
  8. “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.”
  9. “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.”
  10. “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.”
  11. “Wall Street is the only place that people ride to in a Rolls Royce to get advice from those who take the subway.”
  12. “The best chance to deploy capital is when things are going down.”
  13. “Only when the tide goes out do you discover who’s been swimming naked.”
  14. “Buy companies with strong histories of profitability and with a dominant business franchise.”
  15. “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.”
  16. “Speculation is most dangerous when it looks easiest.”

Warren Buffett has realized money is simply a measuring stick. And to make more of it, you need to have better models for determining value. Most investors let their emotions get the best of them. This creates better buying opportunities for disciplined investors.

Playing the Long Game

Warren Buffett quote don't bet against America

  1. “When we own portions of outstanding businesses with outstanding managements, our favorite holding period is forever.”
  2. “Someone’s sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago.”
  3. “For 240 years it’s been a terrible mistake to bet against America, and now is no time to start.”
  4. “If you aren’t willing to own a stock for ten years, don’t even think about owning it for ten minutes.”
  5. “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.”
  6. “An investor should act as though he had a lifetime decision card with just twenty punches on it.”
  7. “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.”
  8. “Do not take yearly results too seriously. Instead, focus on four- or five-year averages.”
  9. “The stock market is a no-called-strike game. You don’t have to swing at everything — you can wait for your pitch.”
  10. “Buy into a company because you want to own it, not because you want the stock to go up.”
  11. “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.”
  12. “American business – and consequently a basket of stocks – is virtually certain to be worth far more in the years ahead.”

These are some of the top Warren Buffett quotes for long-term investors. In the short term, the markets can remain out of balance, but over the long term they balance out. Over time, investment returns also compound. And Buffett is a big fan of compounding wealth. To see how compounding works, check out our free Dividend Calculator.

Mindset and Learning

Warren Buffet quote on learning history and human behavior

  1. “What we learn from history is that people don’t learn from history.”
  2. “The most important thing to do if you find yourself in a hole is to stop digging.”
  3. “You are neither right nor wrong because the crowd disagrees with you. You are right because your data and reasoning are right.”
  4. “I insist on a lot of time being spent, almost every day, to just sit and think. That is very uncommon in American business.”
  5. “I just sit in my office and read all day.”
  6. “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.”
  7. “The most important investment you can make is in yourself.”
  8. “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.”
  9. “In the business world, the rearview mirror is always clearer than the windshield.”
  10. “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.”
  11. “Never invest in a business you cannot understand.”
  12. “The difference between successful people and really successful people is that really successful people say no to almost everything.”
  13. “Risk comes from not knowing what you’re doing.”
  14. “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.”

You don’t need to be a genius to be a good investor. As Buffett points out, learning historical trends and investor psychology can improve your success. Reading and thinking consistently helps…

Final Thoughts on Warren Buffett’s Words

The “Oracle of Omaha” has shared a lot of wisdom over the years. Buffett was born in 1930 and has a great deal of investing experience, along with a proven track record of success. Millions of investors from around the world follow his wise words.

Learning from the Warren Buffett quotes above can pay big dividends. And watching what he does with his money can be even more insightful. To learn more about investing, you can sign up for our free e-letter below. It’s packed with insight from investing experts.


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