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Inspiring quotes from Warren Buffett, the greatest investor of all time

Warren Buffett
Photographer: Scott Eells/Bloomberg

“I made my first investment at age eleven. I was wasting my life up until then.”

— Warren Buffett

Warren Edward Buffett is an American investor, industrialist and philanthropist. He is widely regarded as one of the most successful investors in the world. Often called the “legendary investor, Warren Buffett”, he is the primary shareholder, chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway. He is consistently ranked among the world’s wealthiest people. He was ranked as the world’s wealthiest person in 2008 and is the third wealthiest person in the world as of 2011.

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

— Warren Buffett

Buffett is called the “Oracle of Omaha” or the “Sage of Omaha” and is noted for his adherence to the value investing philosophy and for his personal frugality despite his immense wealth. Buffett is also a notable philanthropist, having pledged to give away 99 percent of his fortune to philanthropic causes, primarily via the Gates Foundation. He also serves as a member of the board of trustees at Grinnell College.

Here are some of his most memorable quotes of all time:

Quotes by Warren Buffett

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

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

  3. “Be greedy when others are fearful, and fearful when others are greedy.”

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

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

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

  7. “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minuted to ruin it. If you think about that you’ll do things differently.”

  8. “Rule No. 1 : Never lose money. Rule No. 2 : Never forget Rule No. 1.”

  9. “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.”

  10. “In the business world, the rear-view mirror is always clearer than the windshield.”

  11. “If you aren’t thinking about owning a stock for ten years, don’t even think about owning it for ten minutes.”

  12. “The most important investment you can make is in yourself.”

  13. “If you don’t find a way to make money while you sleep, you will work until you die.”

  14. “Never depend on single income. Make investment to create a second source.”

  15. “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.”

  16. “The more you learn, the more you earn.”

  17. “Our favourite holding period is forever.”

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

  19. “Never invest in a business you cannot understand.”

  20. “Money is not everything. Make sure you earn a lot before speaking such nonsense.”

  21. “The stock market is a device for transferring money from the impatient to the patient.”

  22. “The greatest enemies of the equity investor are expenses and emotions.”

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

  24. “Look at market fluctuations as your friend rather than your enemy; profit from folly rather than participate in it.”

  25. “Only buy something that you’d be perfectly happy to hold if the market shut down for 10 years.”

“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