When the most renowned and successful investor talks the world listens. More than inspiration his quotes and advice are known to be life-changing so much so that the bidding for a lunch with the sage of Omaha rakes in millions of dollars. But what are some of his most memorable quotes, Kolawole Lwani answers –
Warren Buffett is a quote machine and has commented on a wide range of topics, so the quotes we find “best” are more reflective of our own perspective.
Nonetheless, I wrote a series of lessons from Buffett for entrepreneurs, in which I used selected quotes from him to illuminate each point.
Buffett quote from “Knowledge is King”:
Of all the investments I ever made, buying Ben’s book [The Intelligent Investor] was the best.
Buffett quotes from “The Market is Queen”:
I’ve said many times that 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.
It’s far better to buy a wonderful company at a fair price than a fair company at a wonderful price.
Buying the stock at [a very low] price was like picking up a discarded cigar butt that had one puff remaining in it. Though the stub might be ugly and soggy, the puff would be free. Once that momentary pleasure was enjoyed, however, no more could be expected.
Good jockeys will do well on good horses, but not on broken-down nags.
In contrast to this have-to-be-smart-every-day business, there is what I call the have-to-be-smart-once business. For example, if you were smart enough to buy a network TV station very early in the game, you could put in a shiftless and backward nephew to run things, and the business would still do well for decades.
In business, I look for economic castles protected by unbreachable moats.
Buffett quote from “Life Is Too Short”:
Rule #1: Never lose money. Rule #2: Never forget rule #1.
Buffett quotes from “Less Is More”:
Really successful people say no to almost everything.
Diversification is a protection against ignorance. It makes very little sense for those who know what they’re doing.
If you aren’t thinking about owning a stock for ten years, don’t even think about owning it for ten minutes.
Opportunities come infrequently. When it rains gold, put out the buck, not the thimble.
Big opportunities in life have to be seized. We don’t do very many things, but when we get the chance to do something that’s right and big, we’ve got to do it. And even to do it in a small scale is just as big of a mistake almost as not doing it at all. I mean, you really got to grab them when they come. Because you’re not going to get 500 great opportunities.
Our favourite holding period is forever.
Lethargy bordering on sloth remains the cornerstone of our investment style.
The trick in investing is just to sit there and watch pitch after pitch go by and wait for the one right in your sweet spot. And if people are yelling, ‘Swing, you bum!’, ignore them.
Buffett quote from “Know The Ledge”:
You don’t have to be an expert on every company, or even many. You only have to be able to evaluate companies within your circle of competence. The size of that circle is not very important; knowing its boundaries, however, is vital.
Buffett quotes from “Your Most Important Asset”:
I learned to go into business only with people whom I like, trust, and admire.
It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently.
Somebody once said that in looking for people to hire, you look for three qualities: integrity, intelligence, and energy. And if you don’t have the first, the other two will kill you.
For more responses head to Quora.
Quora answers is our weekly feature in which we pick first hand experiences and interesting opinions from the Q&A site.