Warren Buffett (1930-Present)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“There seems to be some perverse human characteristic that likes to make easy things difficult.”

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

“Two rules:
1. Preserve the principal
2. When in doubt see Rule #1”

“A public-opinion poll is no substitute for thought.”

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

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

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

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

“The investor of today does not profit from yesterday’s growth.”
“Of the billionaires I have known, money just brings out the basic traits in them. If they were jerks before they had money, they are simply jerks with a billion dollars.”

“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.”

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

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

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

“The smarter the journalists are, the better off society is. [For] to a degree, people read the press to inform themselves, and the better the teacher, the better the student body.”

“We enjoy the process far more than the proceeds.”

“You do things when the opportunities come along. I’ve had periods in my life when I’ve had a bundle of ideas come along, and I’ve had long dry spells. If I get an idea next week, I’ll do something. If not, I won’t do a damn thing.”

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

“Value is what you get.”

“Let blockheads read what blockheads wrote.”

“When a management team with a reputation for brilliance tackles a business with a reputation for bad economics, it is the reputation of the business that remains intact.”

“Let us do or die.”

“Risk is a part of God’s game, alike for men and nations.”

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

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

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

“I want to give my kids enough so that they could feel that they could do anything, but not so much that they could do nothing.”

“The war on terrorism can never be won.”

“There’s no question in my mind the number one problem of mankind is the spread of nuclear knowledge, … It should be at the top of the list for our government.”

“Need to recognize that it may often take an extended period for the value of even an outstanding company to catch up with the price they paid.”

“Your premium brand had better be delivering something special, or it’s not going to get the business.”

“You have to learn to understand your partner, to be tolerant, sympathetic, encouraging. Those are skills that are not bad to have in life.”

“Putting $1,000 in the pockets of 310,000 families with urgent needs is going to provide far more stimulus to the economy than putting the same $310 million in my pockets,”

“Getting fired can produce a particularly bountiful payday for a CEO. Indeed, he can ‘earn’ more in that single day, while cleaning out his desk, than an American worker earns in a lifetime of cleaning toilets. Forget the old maxim about nothing succeeding like success: Today, in the executive suite, the all-too-prevalent rule is that nothing succeeds like failure.”

“I’ve never seen a system as good as Coke has now.”

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