What's your favorite Warren Buffett Quote/Lesson?

25 Replies

For the Warren Buffett fans out there, I've got a question.  What is your favorite Warren Buffett quote/or lesson?  

Mine is his perspective on how lucky we are to have been born in America at this particular time in history.  When he breaks down the math on what your chances are to have been born in America vs other countries it really makes me feel fortunate to have been born here vs certain other countries that don't have the social stability, laws, human rights, etc that I sometimes take for granted.  

Here is a quick clip of him explaining his perspective.

https://youtu.be/Z4glkcb7HHE

I don't like Buffett as much these days as I once did. It's his connection to Gates, who I think is a horrible human.

That aside, I'm a buy an hold guy so I like how he places his bet and then pretty much rides it forever.

Act with honor and integrity.

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

. Be bold. Be confident.

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

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

“Be Fearful When Others Are Greedy and Greedy When Others Are Fearful”

@Ned Carey :

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

@Steven Picker

Has got the right idea, i.e. Price is what you pay, value is what you get.

Since my favorite is taken about 20 years to build a reputation and five to ruin it I'll pick another (yea, I cheated and googled it), this is especially relevant because today I learned that only about 5% of people can afford to support themselves after the age of 65, the rest are relying on social security, are dead or have to keep working.

"Today people who hold cash equivalents feel comfortable. They shouldn't. They have opted for a terrible long-term asset, one that pays virtually nothing and is certain to depreciate in value."

If you know buffets history of inside trading while at Goldman Sachs and his crony capitalist relationship with heads of state you may want to rethink that whole honor and integrity thing

It's Only On Paper! Speaking of his losses. :)

@Steve B. We complain about the ultra Rich inside trading and doing under the table deals. What is the difference in us doing the same thing? If you are told about a deal that you shouldn't know about. Are you going to capitalize on it? Or pass up millions cause it's not morally right or breaking the rules a little.

You can't break rules. You can bend them and find loop holes. Everyone does. Tax season for instance.

I am by no means saying being a lying cheat is good. All I am truly trying to say is don't throw rocks in a glass house.

Buffett teaming up with Gates is inspiring with givingpledge.org but my favorite thesis of his is:

The ever growing economic pie from population growth 

Originally posted by @Steven Picker :
@Ned Carey:

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

 Are you saying I shouldn't buy crap in the ghetto just because it is cheap?  Say it ain't so. LOL

Actually I make a lot of money selling in very poor neighborhood to people who aren't as smart as Warren. No, not by taking advantage of homeowners like our friend "Account Closed" from San Antonio, but by selling to investors who should know better.

Looking past the financial and valuation lessons, I always liked this quip by him:

"You can't have a baby in one month by getting nine women pregnant, some things just take time. . . . "

Originally posted by @Ned Carey :
Originally posted by @Steven Picker:
@Ned Carey:

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

 Are you saying I shouldn't buy crap in the ghetto just because it is cheap?  Say it ain't so. LOL

Actually I make a lot of money selling in very poor neighborhood to people who aren't as smart as Warren. No, not by taking advantage of homeowners like our friend "Account Closed" from San Antonio, but by selling to investors who should know better.

 Joe is gone?

Most of the one I like were already taken but here are two other good ones:

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

The investor of today does not profit from yesterday's growth.

I like all those quotes.  Here's another one I found that I haven't heard in a while.  

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

This was especially true in real estate in the mid-2000's.  Everyone was making money.  When the recession hit, it showed who had solid real estate businesses vs. who was just getting by because the market was climbing so fast.

Joe is gone?

 Joe's been gone for months.  I wonder what happened.

"I don't buy stocks, I invest in companies" - Warren Buffett

The fact that Turner, Buffett and Gates have pledged to give a billion a year to charity make them all alright in my book, regardless of political slant, hardware lean, or software preference.

His philosophy is inspiring:

He has said investing in yourself is your best investment

There is also the margin of safety principle that he follows and the Mr Market parable that shows he is to be taken advantage of(Mr Market)

Your temperament must be towards emotional stability even when others may be quitting etc

Rather buy quality at a rational price  than just cheap

I heard a funny Buffet quote the other day. 

"If you want to become a millionaire in the airline industry, the then start out with a billion dollars and before long you'll be a millionaire."

His point is the airline industry is a terrible place to invest money. His lesson probably applies to not investing in real estate markets where the trends are declining. Employers leaving, high crime, etc

Honesty is an expensive gift...don't expect it from cheap people.

"Diversification is protection against ignorance. It makes little sense if you know what you are doing."

I was taught in school that diversification of one's portfolio is a must. The more I understand the world and the market, I'm beginning to realize how great of an investment real estate is (that doesn't mean I don't dabble with other investments!).

"I'd buy a couple hundred thousand single family homes if it were practical to do. ...Held over the long term, they are an even better investment than stocks." 

Sorry, @Joshua Dorkin , I somehow missed this post. Thanks for tagging me.

Free eBook from BiggerPockets!

Ultimate Beginner's Guide Book Cover

Join BiggerPockets and get The Ultimate Beginner's Guide to Real Estate Investing for FREE - read by more than 100,000 people - AND get exclusive real estate investing tips, tricks and techniques delivered straight to your inbox twice weekly!

  • Actionable advice for getting started,
  • Discover the 10 Most Lucrative Real Estate Niches,
  • Learn how to get started with or without money,
  • Explore Real-Life Strategies for Building Wealth,
  • And a LOT more.

Lock We hate spam just as much as you

Create Lasting Wealth Through Real Estate

Join the millions of people achieving financial freedom through the power of real estate investing

Start here