Warren Buffett, fully Warren Edward Buffett, aka Oracle of Omaha

Warren
Buffett, fully Warren Edward Buffett, aka Oracle of Omaha
1930

American Businessman, Investor and Philanthropist, Chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway

Author Quotes

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.

Never invest in a business you can’t understand.

Our approach is very much profiting from lack of change rather than from change. With Wrigley chewing gum, it's the lack of change that appeals to me. I don't think it is going to be hurt by the Internet. That's the kind of business I like.

Remember that the stock market is manic-depressive.

The 400 of us pay a lower part of our income in taxes than our receptionists do, or our cleaning ladies, for that matter. If you're in the luckiest 1 per cent of humanity, you owe it to the rest of humanity to think about the other 99 per cent.

The future is never clear, and you pay a very high price in the stock market for a cheery consensus. Uncertainty is the friend of the buyer of long-term values.

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.

If you have a harem of 40 women, you never get to know any of them very well.

In some corner of the world they are probably still holding regular meetings of the Flat Earth Society. We derive no comfort because important people, vocal people, or great numbers of people agree with us. Nor do we derive comfort if they don't.

It is not necessary to do extraordinary things to get extraordinary results.

It's like a tapeworm eating at our economic body.

Long ago, Sir Isaac Newton gave us three laws of motion, which were the work of genius. But Sir Isaac’s talents didn’t extend to investing: He lost a bundle in the South Sea Bubble, explaining later, ‘I can calculate the movement of the stars, but not the madness of men.’ If he had not been traumatized by this loss, Sir Isaac might well have gone on to discover the Fourth Law of Motion: For investors as a whole, returns decrease as motion increases.

Never test the depth of river with both the feet.

Our favorite holding period is forever.

Right now, the rest of the world owns $3 trillion more of us than we own of them. In my view, it will create political turmoil at some point. ... Pretty soon, I think there will be a big adjustment.

The ability to say "no" is a tremendous advantage for an investor.

The important thing is to keep playing, to play against weak opponents and to play for big stakes.

If at first you do succeed, quit trying on investing.

If you understood a business perfectly and the future of the business, you would need very little in the way of a margin of safety. So, the more vulnerable the business is, assuming you still want to invest in it, the larger margin of safety you'd need. If you're driving a truck across a bridge that says it holds 10,000 pounds and you've got a 9,800 pound vehicle, if the bridge is 6 inches above the crevice it covers, you may feel okay, but if it's over the Grand Canyon, you may feel you want a little larger margin of safety.

In that, we agreed with Andrew Carnegie, who said that huge fortunes that flow in large part from society should in large part be returned to society. In my case, the ability to allocate capital would have had little utility unless I lived in a rich, populous country in which enormous quantities of marketable securities were traded and were sometimes ridiculously mispriced. And fortunately for me, that describes the U.S. in the second half of the last century.

It is optimism that is the enemy of the rational buyer.

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

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

No formula in finance tells you, that the moat is 28 feet wide, and 16 feet deep. That’s what drives the academics crazy. They can compute standard deviations and betas, but they can’t understand moats.

Our future rates of gain will fall far short of those achieved in the past. Berkshire's capital base is now simply too large to allow us to earn truly outsized returns. If you believe otherwise, you should consider a career in sales but avoid one in mathematics (bearing in mind that there are really only three kinds of people in the world: those who can count and those who can't).

Author Picture
First Name
Warren
Last Name
Buffett, fully Warren Edward Buffett, aka Oracle of Omaha
Birth Date
1930
Bio

American Businessman, Investor and Philanthropist, Chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway