Quotes

Quotes by Warren Buffett and other legendary investors

(1) “A climate of fear is your friend when investing; a  euphoric world is your enemy.” – Warren Buffett (2013 letter to Berkshire Hathaway shareholders)

(2) “A bull market is like sex. It feels best just before it ends.” – Barton Biggs. (Note: Warren Buffett, in his 2013 letter to Berkshire Hathaway shareholders, was quoting the late Barton Biggs.)

P/S Barton Biggs (November 26, 1932 – July 14, 2012) was a money manager said to be best known for accurately predicting the dot-com bubble in the late 1990s.

(3) “Be fearful when others are greedy, and be greedy when others are fearful.” – Warren Buffett (2006 letter to Berkshire Hathaway shareholders)

(4) “Fear is the foe of the faddist, but the friend of the fundamentalist.” – Warren Buffett (letter to Berkshire Hathaway shareholders in FY1994).
(5) “A truly great business must have an enduring ‘moat’ that protects excellent returns on invested capital.” – Warren Buffett (letter to Berkshire Hathaway shareholders in FY2007)
(6) “You only learn who has been swimming naked when the tide goes out…” – Warren Buffett (letter to Berkshire Hathaway shareholders in FY2007)
P/S Full quote: “As house prices fall, a huge amount of financial folly is being exposed. You only learn who has been swimming naked when the tide goes out – and what we are witnessing at some of our largest financial institutions is an ugly sight.”
(7) “Now, as in 1776, 1861, 1932 and 1941, America’s best days lie ahead.” – Warren Buffett (letter to Berkshire Hathaway shareholders in FY2010). P/S This was a response to the prophets of doom.

(8) “Berkshire is always a buyer of both businesses and securities, and the disarray in markets gave us a tailwind in our purchases. When investing, pessimism is your friend, euphoria the enemy.”  – Warren Buffett (letter to Berkshire Hathaway shareholders in FY2008).

(9) “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.”  – Warren Buffett (letter to Berkshire Hathaway shareholders in FY2008)

(10) “Though the path has not been smooth, our economic system has worked extraordinarily well over time. It has unleashed human potential as no other system has, and it will continue to do so. America’s best days lie ahead.” – Warren Buffett (letter to Berkshire Hathaway shareholders in FY2008)

(11) “Buying a retailer without good management is like buying the Eiffel Tower without an elevator.” – Warren Buffett in his letter to Berkshire Hathaway shareholders (March 1, 1996) for Year 1995

(12) “As they say in poker, “If you’ve been in the game 30 minutes and you don’t know who the patsy is, you’re the patsy.” – Warren Buffett in his letter (dated February 29, 19888 for FY1987)  to Berkshire Hathaway shareholders. This quote is a gem on investment wisdom. Mr Warren Buffett was explaining the characteristics of   Mr Market, the character used by his teacher and friend Benjamin Graham to explain the market’s irrational behavior. Mr Market is the character with uncontrollable emotional problems.

(13) “In my opinion, investment success will not be produced by arcane formulae, computer programs or signals flashed by the price behavior of stocks and markets. Rather an investor will succeed by coupling good business judgment with an ability to insulate his thoughts and behavior from the super-contagious emotions that swirl about the marketplace.” – Warren Buffett in his letter (dated February 29, 19888 for FY1987)  to Berkshire Hathaway shareholders.

(14)  “In the short run, the market is a voting machine but in the long run it is a weighing machine.” –  Benjamin Graham . The quote was cited by Warren Buffett in his letter (dated 29 February 1988 for FY1987)  to Berkshire Hathaway shareholders.

(15) “Intelligent investing is not complex, though that is far from saying that it is easy. What an investor needs is the ability to correctly evaluate selected businesses.” – Note: Quotes 15 – 19 are thoughts on intelligent investing from Warren Buffett in his letter (dated Feb 28, 1997 for FY1996) to Berkshire Hathaway shareholders.

(16) “To invest successfully, you need not understand beta, efficient markets, modern portfolio theory, option pricing or emerging markets. You may, in fact, be better off knowing nothing of these.” – Note: Quotes 15 – 19 are thoughts on intelligent investing from Warren Buffett in his letter (dated Feb 28, 1997 for FY1996) to Berkshire Hathaway shareholders.

(17) “…investment students need only two well-taught courses – How to Value a Business, and How to Think About Market Prices.”  – Note: Quotes 15 – 19 are thoughts on intelligent investing from Warren Buffett in his letter (dated Feb 28, 1997 for FY1996) to Berkshire Hathaway shareholders.

(18) “Your goal as an investor should simply be to purchase, at a rational price, a part interest in an easily-understandable business whose earnings are virtually certain to be materially higher five, ten and twenty years from now.” – Note:  Quotes 15 – 19 are thoughts on intelligent investing from Warren Buffett in his letter (dated Feb 28, 1997 for FY1996) to Berkshire Hathaway shareholders.

(19) “…If you aren’t willing to own a stock for ten years, don’t even think about owning it for ten minutes.” – Note: Quotes 15 – 19  are thoughts on intelligent investing from Warren Buffett in his letter (dated Feb 28, 1997 for FY1996) to Berkshire Hathaway shareholders.

(20) “Nor do we think many others can achieve long-term investment success by flitting from flower to flower. Indeed, we believe that according the name “investors” to institutions that trade actively is like calling someone who repeatedly engages in one-night stands a romantic.”  – Warren Buffett in his letter dated February 28, 1992 for FY1991 to Berkshire Hathaway shareholders. Mr Buffett was talking about Berkshire Hathaway’s Rip Van Winkle approach to investing in common marketable securities.

(21) “You don’t try and buy businesses worth $83 million for $80 million. You leave yourself an enormous margin (of safety). When you build a bridge, you insist it can carry 30,000 pounds, but you only drive 10,000-pound trucks across it. And that same principle works in investing. ” – Warren Buffett on what Benjamin Graham, the father of value investing, meant by having a margin of safety.
Source: The Superinvestors of Graham-and-Doddsville by Warren E. Buffett

(22) “An investment operation is one which, upon thorough analysis promises safety of principal and an adequate return. Operations not meeting these requirements are speculative.”

Source: Benjamin Graham, “The Intelligent Investor”

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