Words of Wisdom from Warren Buffett

Joel Anderson  |

The Oracle of Omaha has, by this point, become more legend than man. From his modest home to the reliable returns for Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A), he gives hope to everyone that a stable, well-mannered person can become one of the wealthiest men in the world using naught but common sense, intelligence, and perserverence. Some of his biggest winners include Coca-Cola (KO) , American Express (AXP), Procter & Gamble (PG) , and sweet deals from companies like Goldman Sachs (GS) , General Electric (GE) and Bank of America (BAC) .

However, along the way, Buffett has only grown his legend through his warm, folksy personality. His wit and folksy wisdom has endeared him to the nation and helped to paint the picture of a simple, relatable man from middle America who just knows a good buy when he sees it. A Mark Twain of the investing world, if you will, providing humor and charm to an industry so often devoid of both. So, whether funny, insightful, or both, here are some of the best Warren Buffett quotables from over the years:

"Rule No. 1: Never lose money. Rule No. 2: Never forget rule No. 1."

"The fact that people will be full of greed, fear or folly is predictable. The sequence is not predictable."

"Be fearful when others are greedy. Be greedy when others are fearful."

"It's far better to buy a wonderful company at a fair price than a fair company at a wonderful price."

“You only find out who is swimming naked when the tide goes out.”

"Whether we’re talking about socks or stocks, I like buying quality merchandise when it is marked down."

"Price is what you pay. Value is what you get."

"I try to buy stock in businesses that are so wonderful that an idiot can run them. Because sooner or later, one will."

"Nothing sedates rationality like large doses of effortless money."

"Should you find yourself in a chronically leaking boat, energy devoted to changing vessels is likely to be more productive than energy devoted to patching leaks."

"I like to go for cinches. I like to shoot fish in a barrel. But I like to do it after the water has run out."

"Someone's sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago."

"In the business world, the review mirror is always clearer than the windshield."

"Risk comes from not knowing what you're doing."

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

"Beware of geeks bearing formulas."

"Time is the friend of the wonderful business, the enemy of the mediocre."

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

And to finish it off, some of Buffett's most amusing quotations have all been on the subject of airlines:

"The worst sort of business is one that grows rapidly, requires significant capital to engender the growth, and then earns little or no money. Think airlines. Here a durable competitive advantage has proven elusive ever since the days of the Wright Brothers. Indeed, if a farsighted capitalist had been present at Kitty Hawk, he would have done his successors a huge favor by shooting Orville down."

"As of 1992, in fact—though the picture would have improved since then—the money that had been made since the dawn of aviation by all of this country's airline companies was zero. Absolutely zero."

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