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Warren Buffett Quotes

I’ve been into motivational business quotes lately and I was reading the Tao of Warren Buffett (which I highly recommend!) and it reminded of the great quotes Mr. Buffett has shared.

Here are some of my favorite Buffett quotes:

How to define friendship

“I remember asking that question of a woman who had survived Auschwitz. She said her test was ‘Would they hide me?’”

Making (or Losing) Money)

“Rule number one: never lose money. Rule number two: never forget rule #1.”

“You don’t have to make money back the same way you lost it.”

“It’s not necessary to do extraordinary things to get extraordinary results.”

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

Listening to the recommendations of salesmen

“Never ask a barber if you need a haircut.”

Buying Storybook Stocks

“Wonderful castles, surrounded by deep, dangerous moats where the leader inside is an honest and decent person. Preferably, the castle gets its strength from the genius inside; the moat is permanent and acts as a powerful deterrent to those considering an attack; and inside, the leader makes gold but doesn’t keep it all for himself. Roughly translated, we like great companies with dominant positions, whose franchise is hard to duplicate and has tremendous staying power or some permanence to it.”

Know the difference between price and value

“Price is what you pay. Value is what you get.”

Reading, Writing & Learning

“I read everything: annual reports, 10K’s, 10Q’s, biographies, histories, five newspapers a day. On airplanes, I read the backs of the seats. Reading is key. Reading has made me rich over time.”

“There is nothing like writing to force you to think and get your thoughts straight.”

“You want to learn from experience, but you want to learn from other people’s experience when you can.”

“If past history was all there was to the game, the richest people would be librarians.”

The Law of Large Numbers

“Economic progressions, as they grow larger, forge their own mathematical anchors.”

Different Types of Business Opportunities

“Charlie [Munger] and I like stable businesses like chewing gum, and try to leave life’s more unpredictable things to someone else.”

“The smartest side to take in a bidding war is the losing side.”

“We simply attempt to be fearful when others are greedy and to be greedy only when others are fearful.”

“Turnarounds seldom turn.”

A Few Misc. Buffett Quotes/Observations

“It’s only when the tide goes out that you learn who’s been swimming naked.”

“You have to think for yourself. It always amazes me how high-IQ people mindlessly imitate. I never get good ideas talking to other people.”

“You will do well (in your career) with whatever turns you on.”

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

The Intelligent Investor is still the best book on investing. It has the only three ideas you really need:

1) The Mr. Market analogy

2) A stock is a piece of a business

3) Margin of safety.”

There are plenty other Warren Buffet quotes found in his shareholder letters.

And also check out Warren’s undervalued business partner Charlie Munger’s Quotes.

18 Comments

  • James Mielnik

    Rob – Great quotes you have been posting. Here are some simple yet fundamental ones I live by:

    “If I had eight hours to chop down a tree, I’d spend six hours sharpening my ax”
    -Abraham Lincoln

    “What to do with a mistake – recognize it, admit it, learn from it, forget it.”
    -Dean Smith

    “Shout praise and whisper criticism”
    -Don Meyer

  • Rob Kelly

    I forgot to thank you for these, James. Those are three of my favorite thought leaders!

  • Andrea

    Hi,
    I'm writing an essay and I want to include Warren Buffett's quote: “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it…” but I don't have access to the book and the essay is due on Monday… I was hoping you could help me find out what page number it appears on before I have to hand it in.
    Thanks!

  • Andrea

    Sorry, to clarify, the quote comes from The Tao of Warren Buffett

  • Andrea

    Hi,
    I’m writing an essay and I want to include Warren Buffett’s quote: “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it…” but I don’t have access to the book and the essay is due on Monday… I was hoping you could help me find out what page number it appears on before I have to hand it in.
    Thanks!

  • Andrea

    Hi,
    I’m writing an essay and I want to include Warren Buffett’s quote: “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it…” but I don’t have access to the book and the essay is due on Monday… I was hoping you could help me find out what page number it appears on before I have to hand it in.
    Thanks!

  • Andrea

    Sorry, to clarify, the quote comes from The Tao of Warren Buffett

  • robkelly

    It is Quote #11 from p. 13 of the hardcover version of The Tao of Warren Buffett, Andrea.

    Good luck with the essay! +r

  • Andrea

    Thank you very much, you saved me a ton of trouble!

  • Rob Kelly

    Hi Andrea. Glad to help: That quote is Quote #11 from p. 13 of the hardcover version of The Tao of Warren Buffett.

    Good luck on the essay!

  • Rob Kelly

    That quote is Quote #11 from p. 13 of the hardcover version of The Tao of Warren Buffett, Andrea.

    Good luck with the essay!

  • http://www.robdkelly.com Rob Kelly

    It is Quote #11 from p. 13 of the hardcover version of The Tao of Warren Buffett, Andrea.

    Good luck with the essay! +r

  • Andrea

    Thank you very much, you saved me a ton of trouble!

  • Andrea

    Thank you very much, you saved me a ton of trouble!

  • robkelly

    It is Quote #11 from p. 13 of the hardcover version of The Tao of Warren Buffett, Andrea.

    Good luck with the essay! +r

  • Andrea

    Thank you very much, you saved me a ton of trouble!

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