Warren Buffett Quotes on Success, Life, Money, and Investment

The quotes by Warren Buffett on investing are a treasure trove of wisdom for anyone who wants to learn how to invest successfully. You can read some best of those here.

Warren Buffett is one of the most successful investors of all time. He has built a multi-billion dollar fortune by following a simple investment philosophy: buy good companies at a fair price and hold them for the long term.

In this collection of Inspirational Warren Buffett Quotes on Success, Life, Money, and Investment, you can also find nuggets of wisdom that can help you in your own journey toward success and fulfillment.

Also read: Bill Gates Quotes

Inspirational Warren Buffett Quotes

1. Quotes on Effective Wisdom and Principles:

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

This means that the most important thing in investing is to avoid losing money. The second rule reminds us that it’s crucial to always remember the first rule. In other words, protecting your money should be the top priority.

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

Habits might seem small and unimportant at first, but over time, they can become very strong and hard to change. Just like a chain that is easy to carry at first but becomes heavy if it gets longer, habits can become difficult to break if they’re allowed to grow.

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

Instead of attempting big and risky challenges, it’s better to find smaller, manageable opportunities that are easier to handle. The idea is to focus on achievable goals that don’t require extreme effort or risk.

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

Building a good reputation takes a long time and effort, but it can be destroyed quickly by making bad decisions. Being aware of this can make you more cautious and thoughtful in your actions, helping you protect your reputation.

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

When investing in companies, it’s better to choose high-quality companies even if their stock price is reasonable, rather than buying cheap stocks of mediocre companies. The quality of the company matters more than getting a low price.

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

If you don’t understand something well, you’re more likely to take risks that you don’t realize are risky. To avoid unnecessary risks, it’s important to have a good understanding of what you’re getting involved in.

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

This saying means that people can enjoy benefits or advantages in the present because someone made thoughtful and wise decisions in the past. Planning and investing for the future can lead to positive outcomes later on.

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

When buying investments, choose things you believe will still be valuable and useful even if you couldn’t sell them for a long time. This helps you focus on quality and long-term potential.

9. “The only way to get love is to be lovable. The more you give love away, the more you get.”

To receive love and positive feelings from others, you need to show kindness and love yourself. The more you give, the more you receive in return, creating a cycle of positivity.

10. “Time is the friend of the wonderful company, the enemy of the mediocre.”

Great companies tend to improve and become more valuable over time. In contrast, mediocre companies struggle to grow and might even decline as time goes on. This shows that time can reveal the true value of a business.

11. “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.”

Even if a talented management team runs a company with a history of poor financial performance, the company’s reputation for not being profitable will overshadow the managers’ brilliance.

12. “If a business does well, the stock eventually follows.”

If a company is successful and profitable, its stock price is likely to increase in the long run. Good business performance tends to positively affect the stock value.

13. “The business schools reward difficult complex behavior more than simple behavior, but simple behavior is more effective.”

Business schools often teach complex strategies, but sometimes simple and straightforward approaches work better. Simple actions are easier to understand and execute effectively.

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

When you’re in a difficult situation, the first step is to stop making things worse. If you’re in a “hole,” meaning a bad situation, continuing to make bad decisions will only make it worse.

2. Quotes on Investment and Financial Wisdom:

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

When you buy something, the price is the amount of money you give. But the value is what you actually get in return. Sometimes, even if you pay a high price, if what you get is really valuable, it’s worth it.

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

This means that when things are going well (like during high tide), it’s easy for people to hide their mistakes or problems. But when things get tough (like during low tide), the truth comes out, and you see who was unprepared or not doing things right.

17. “Predicting rain doesn’t count. Building arks does.”

Just saying that something bad might happen doesn’t help. Taking action to prepare for it is what matters. Instead of just talking about problems, it’s better to take steps to solve them.

18. “Our favorite holding period is forever.”

When we invest in something, we want to keep it for a very long time. The longer we hold onto it, the better chance it has to grow and become more valuable.

19. “Wide diversification is only required when investors do not understand what they are doing.”

Diversification means spreading your investments. But if you know what you’re doing and understand your investments well, you don’t need to spread them too much. If you’re unsure, diversification can be a safer strategy.

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

When many people are excited about buying something, it might be a good time to be cautious. When others are scared and avoiding something, it might be a good time to consider buying because prices might be lower.

21. “Beware of geeks bearing formulas.”

Be careful when people use complex formulas or strategies to convince you of something. Just because something sounds smart or complicated doesn’t mean it’s the best or right choice.

22. “Derivatives are financial weapons of mass destruction.”

Derivatives are complex financial contracts. This quote suggests that they can be very risky and cause major problems, like how weapons of mass destruction can cause harm.

23. “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.”

Instead of trying to make quick profits by buying and selling stocks often, this approach involves buying stocks as if you won’t be able to sell them for a long time. This helps you focus on long-term value.

3. Quotes on Personal Growth and Success:

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

Warren Buffett believed from a young age that he would become wealthy. He never had a moment of doubt about this. It’s about having a strong and confident belief in your goals.

25. “The best thing I did was to choose the right heroes.”

Warren Buffett is saying that one of his best decisions was picking people he admires and looks up to as his heroes. Surrounding yourself with good role models can inspire you to be better.

26. “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.”

Spending time with people who are more skilled or well-behaved than you can be helpful. When you’re around them, you’re likely to improve and become more like them.

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

It’s not necessary to be perfect all the time. If you focus on doing a few important things well and avoid making too many mistakes, you can still succeed.

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

Instead of getting scared by changes in the market, see them as opportunities. If others are making mistakes, learn from them and use their errors to your advantage.

29. “The only time to buy these is on a day with no ‘y’ in it.”

This quote is a playful way of saying that you should be cautious when buying certain things. It’s a reminder not to rush into purchases and to be thoughtful about when to buy.

30. “The smarter the journalists are, the better off society is.”

This means that when journalists are knowledgeable and intelligent, they can provide better information to the public. A well-informed society benefits from accurate news and reporting.

4. Quotes on Market Insights and Economic Perspective:

31. “In the business world, the rearview mirror is always clearer than the windshield.”

This means that looking back at what has already happened in business is often easier to understand than trying to predict what will happen in the future. Just like how it’s easier to see things behind you in a car’s rearview mirror than to see things ahead through the windshield.

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

This quote suggests that if success depended only on knowing what has happened before (like history), then the people who know history well, like librarians, would be the wealthiest. However, success also involves being creative and adapting to new situations.

33. “It’s never paid to bet against America. We come through things, but it’s not always a smooth ride.”

Betting against something means thinking it will fail, but history has shown that it’s not wise to bet against the United States. The country faces challenges, but it has a way of overcoming them. The journey might be bumpy, though.

34. “The investor of today does not profit from yesterday’s growth.”

Investing in something just because it did well in the past doesn’t guarantee profits in the present or future. What happened yesterday might not repeat, and the current situation matters more than past success.

35. “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.”

This means that even if you have a lot of money, if people don’t respect or admire you, your life isn’t truly successful. Money alone doesn’t make a good life; being respected and liked by others is important too.

5. Quotes on Humor and Humble Insights:

36. “I buy expensive suits. They just look cheap on me.”

This quote humorously suggests that even if Warren Buffett buys expensive suits, they still don’t make him look extravagant. It reflects his simple lifestyle despite his wealth.

37. “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 is saying that his first and only attempt at sending an email led to a legal issue. This is a lighthearted way of acknowledging that his email correspondence didn’t start off on the best note.

38. “The only way to get love is to be lovable. The more you give love away, the more you get.”

To receive love from others, you need to show kindness and love yourself. Giving love to others not only makes them love you more but also brings more love into your life.

39. “You can’t produce a baby in one month by getting nine women pregnant.”

This humorous saying illustrates that some things take time and can’t be rushed. Just like it’s impossible to speed up the process of making a baby, certain outcomes can’t be hurried and require patience.

6. Quotes on Societal and Political Views:

40. “I think that both parties should declare the debt limit as a political weapon of mass destruction which can’t be used.”

Warren Buffett is suggesting that political parties should agree not to use the debt limit as a tool for causing harm. This is because playing with the debt limit can lead to financial instability, just like how a weapon of mass destruction can cause serious damage.

41. “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 is saying that if you’re extremely fortunate and successful, you have a responsibility to care about and help those who aren’t as lucky. It’s important to think beyond your own situation and contribute to the well-being of others.

42. “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 is using humor to point out that calling institutions “investors” when they frequently buy and sell quickly is like calling someone who has many short-term relationships a “romantic.” It highlights that real investing involves a longer-term commitment and understanding, just like a true romantic relationship.

7. Quotes on Economic and Political Commentary:

43. “I think the most important factor in getting out of the recession actually is just the regenerative capacity of – of American capitalism.”

Warren Buffett is saying that the most crucial thing for recovering from a recession is the ability of the American economic system to naturally heal and grow over time. He believes that the inherent strength of capitalism will help the economy recover.

44. “If anything, taxes for the lower and middle class and maybe even the upper middle class should even probably be cut further. But I think that people at the high end – people like myself – should be paying a lot more in taxes. We have it better than we’ve ever had it.”

Warren Buffett is suggesting that taxes for most people, especially those with lower and middle incomes, could be reduced. However, he believes that wealthy individuals like him should pay higher taxes because they are in a better financial position and can contribute more to society.

45. “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.”

Despite facing many challenges like wars, economic crises, and other difficulties, the stock market (represented by the Dow index) still managed to grow significantly over the 20th century. This shows the resilience and long-term growth potential of the American economy.

46. “Let blockheads read what blockheads wrote.”

This quote suggests that it’s okay to let foolish or unwise people read and believe what other foolish people have written. It’s a way of saying that people who lack understanding might follow misguided advice.

47. “We’re still in a recession. We’re not gonna be out of it for a while, but we will get out.”

Warren Buffett acknowledges that the economy is still in a difficult period (recession), and it might take some time before it improves. However, he is confident that eventually, the economy will recover and improve.

48. “We’ve used up a lot of bullets. And we talk about stimulus. But the truth is, we’re running a federal deficit that’s 9 percent of GDP. That is stimulative as all get out. It’s more stimulative than any policy we’ve followed since World War II.”

Warren Buffett is talking about economic strategies used during difficult times. He says that the government has already spent a lot of resources to stimulate the economy. Despite discussions about more stimulus, he points out that the current level of government spending (deficit) is already significant and has a big impact on the economy.

49. “You have no ability, if you’re a financial institution and you’re threatened with criminal prosecution, you have no ability to negotiate.”

If a financial institution is facing the possibility of being accused of a crime, it’s hard for them to negotiate or have much influence. The legal threat limits their ability to make deals.

50. “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 finds it fulfilling to see his children passionately pursue their own interests and dedicate a lot of time to charitable activities. They work hard to wisely donate their wealth in areas they genuinely care about.

8. Miscellaneous Quotes:

51. “Economic medicine that was previously meted out by the cupful has recently been dispensed by the barrel. These once unthinkable dosages will almost certainly bring on unwelcome after-effects. Their precise nature is anyone’s guess, though one likely consequence is an onslaught of inflation.”

In simpler words, this quote is saying that in the past, economic interventions to fix problems were small, but recently, they’ve been much larger. These big interventions might lead to negative effects in the future, like higher prices (inflation). The exact outcomes are uncertain, but one possible result is more inflation.

52. “I am a huge bull on this country. We will not have a double-dip recession at all. I see our businesses coming back almost across the board.”

Warren Buffett is really optimistic about the country’s economy. He doesn’t think there will be another recession soon, and he believes most businesses are recovering well.

53. “I am quite serious when I say that I do not believe there are, on the whole earth besides, so many intensified bores as in these United States. No man can form an adequate idea of the real meaning of the word, without coming here.”

This quote humorously points out that there are few places with as many boring people as in the United States. The word “bores” refers to people who are dull or uninteresting to talk to.

54. “I just think that – when a country needs more income and we do, we’re only taking in 15 percent of GDP, I mean, that – that – when a country needs more income, they should get it from the people that have it.”

Warren Buffett is saying that if a country needs more money, and it currently only collects 15% of the total money made (GDP), then it’s fair to get that extra money from the people who have more wealth.

55. “I think that both parties should declare the debt limit as a political weapon of mass destruction which can’t be used. I mean, it is silly to have a country that has 237 years building up its reputation and then have people threaten to tear it down because they’re not getting some other matter.”

Warren Buffett is suggesting that political parties should agree not to use the debt limit as a dangerous tool. He thinks it’s foolish to risk harming the country’s reputation built over 237 years just to get something else done.

56. “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 finds it fulfilling to see his children passionately follow their interests and work hard to donate their money wisely in areas they care about. They work more than many regular job hours to make a positive impact.

57. “If you’ve been playing poker for half an hour and you still don’t know who the patsy is, you’re the patsy.”

This quote from Warren Buffett refers to the game of poker. He’s saying that if you can’t figure out who the least skilled player is after playing for a while, it’s probably you.

58. “I could end the deficit in 5 minutes. You just pass a law that says that anytime there is a deficit of more than 3% of GDP all sitting members of congress are ineligible for reelection.”

Warren Buffett is suggesting a way to quickly solve the deficit (when expenses are more than income) in the economy. He proposes passing a law that makes all current members of Congress ineligible for re-election if the deficit goes beyond 3% of the country’s total earnings (GDP).

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

This quote means that predictions can reveal a lot about the person making them, but they can’t actually predict what will happen in the future.

60. “In looking for people to hire, you look for three qualities: integrity, intelligence, and energy. And if they don’t have the first, the other two will kill you.”

When hiring people, Warren Buffett believes that integrity (being honest and ethical) is very important. Without integrity, even if someone is smart and hardworking, their lack of honesty can cause problems.

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Source: Goodreads, Image source: Getty Images edited in Canva

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