Warren Buffett

  • “What we learn from history is that people don’t learn from history.”
  • “Two super-contagious diseases, fear and greed, will forever occur in the investment community. The timing of these epidemics will be unpredictable. … We simply attempt to be fearful when others are greedy and to be greedy only when others are fearful.”
  • “No matter how great the talent or efforts, some things just take time. You can’t produce a baby in one month by getting nine women pregnant.”
  • “I don’t look to jump over seven-foot bars: I look around for one-foot bars that I can step over.”
  • “Only when the tide goes out do you discover who’s been swimming naked.”
  • “What counts for most people in investing is not how much they know, but rather how realistically they define what they don’t know.”
  • “Most people get interested in stocks when everyone else is. The time to get interested is when no one else is. You can’t buy what is popular and do well.”
  • “We have long felt that the only value of stock forecasters is to make fortune-tellers look good.”
  • “You only have to do a very few things right in your life so long as you don’t do too many things wrong.”
  • “The stock market is designed to transfer money from the active to the patient.”
  • “Rule No.1: Never lose money. Rule No.2: Never forget rule No.1.”
  • “We enjoy the process far more than the proceeds”
  • “There’s no use running if you’re on the wrong road.”
  • If you need to use a computer or calculator to make the calculation, you shouldn’t buy it…It should scream at you…we do not sit down with spreadsheets and do all that sort of thing. We just see something that obviously is better than anything else around that we understand — and then we act.
  • “You have to turn over a lot of rocks to find those little anomalies. You have to find the companies that are off the map – way off the map”
  • “I recently bought a copy of the 1951 Moody off of Amazon. On page 1433, there’s a stock you could have made some money on. The EPS was $29 and the Price Range was from $3-$21/share. On another page, there is a company that had an EPS of $29.5 and the price range was $27-28, 1x earnings. You can get rich finding things like this, things that aren’t written about.”
  • “The point is nobody is going to tell you about these companies. There are no broker reports on Dae Han Flour Company. When you invest like this, you will make money. Sure 1 or 2 companies may turn out to be poor choices, but the others will more than make up for any losses. Not all of them will be good, but some will and those will make you rich.”
  • “As they say in poker, ‘If you’ve been in the game 30 minutes and you don’t
    know who the patsy is, you’re the patsy.’”
  • “There’s no magic to it…We haven’t succeeded because we have some great, complicated systems or magic formulas we apply or anything of the sort. What we have is just simplicity itself.”
  • “It really is simple – just avoid doing the dumb things. Avoiding the dumb things is the most important.”
  • Bill Gates talking about Buffett:
    • “Being good with numbers doesn’t necessarily correlate with being a good investor. Warren doesn’t outperform other investors because he computes odds better. That’s not it at all. Warren never makes an investment where the difference between doing it and not doing it relies on the second digit of computation. He doesn’t invest – take a swing of the bat – unless the opportunity appears unbelievably good.”
  • “The best thing that happens to us is when a great company gets into temporary trouble… We want to buy them when they’re on the operating table”
  • “This is the cornerstone of our investment philosophy: “Never count on making a good sale. Have the purchase price be so attractive that even a mediocre sale gives good results. The better sales will be the frosting on the cake.”
  • “I always have been attracted to the low cost operator in any business and, when you can find a combination of (i) an extremely large business, (ii) a more or less homogeneous product, and (iii) a very large gap in operating costs between the low cost operator and all of the other companies in the industry, you have a really attractive investment situation”
  • “The future is never clear; you pay a very high price in the stock market for a cheery consensus. Uncertainty actually is the friend of the buyer of long-term values.”
  • If you have to actually do it with pencil and paper, it’s too close to think about. It ought to just kind of scream at you that you’ve got this huge margin of safety.
  • “Boredom is a problem with most professional money managers. If they sit out an inning or two, not only do they get somewhat antsy, but their clients start yelling ‘swing you bum’ from the stands.”