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35 Quotes From Warren Buffett On Success And Finance

Updated on July 18, 2017

Warren Buffett believes success is up to you.

Warren Buffett, 72 year old, self made billionaire with a net worth of over $62.0 billion , was announced by Forbes in 2008 as the richest man in the world . Since that time his net worth has increased considerably. As of March 2017 he is considered the second wealthiest person in the United States with a net worth of $73.3 billion. He is considered the fourth wealthiest person in the world. He has earned such titles as "Wizard", "Oracle", or "Sage" of the financial world. The king of investments, Warren Buffett is the principle shareholder of Berkshire Hathaway, a textile firm he took over in 1965.

What does Warren Buffett have to say?

  • "Risk is a part of God's game, alike for men and nations."
  • "If past history was all there was to the game, the richest people would be librarians."

  • "Diversification is a protection against ignorance. It makes little sense for those who know what they're doing."

  • "Investing is simple, but not easy."

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

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

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

  • "Our favorite holding period is forever."

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

  • "Wall Street is the only place that people ride to in a Rolls Royce to get advice from those who take the subway."

Warren Speaking at a Berkshire Hathaway board meeting
Warren Speaking at a Berkshire Hathaway board meeting
  • "Success in investing doesn't correlate with I.Q. once you're above the level of 25. Once you have ordinary intelligence, what you need is the temperament to control the urges that get other people into trouble in investing."
  • "We simply attempt to be fearful when others are greedy, and to be greedy only when others are fearful."

  • "Wide diversification is only required when investors do not understand what they are doing."

  • "I buy expensive suits. They just look cheap on me."

  • "I never attempt to make money on the stock market. I buy on the assumption that they could close the market the next day and not reopen it for five years."

Warren and Bill just chillin'
Warren and Bill just chillin'
  • "I don't look to jump over 7-foot bars: I look around for 1-foot bars that I can step over."

  • "If a business does well, the stock eventually follows."

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

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

  • "It's better to hang out with people better than you. Pick out associates whose behavior is better than yours and you'll drift in that direction."

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

  • "Of the billionaires I have known, money just brings out the basic traits in them. If they were jerks before they had money, they are simply jerks with a billion dollars."

  • "Only buy something that you'd be perfectly happy to hold if the market shut down for 10 years."

  • "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."

  • "Time is the friend of the wonderful company, the enemy of the mediocre."

  • "We believe that according the name 'investors' to institutions that trade actively is like calling someone who repeatedly engages in one-night stands a 'romantic.'"

  • "When a management team with a reputation for brilliance tackles a business with a reputation for bad economics, it is the reputation of the business that remains intact."

  • "We simply attempt to be fearful when others are greedy and to be greedy only when others are fearful."

  • "Why not invest your assets in the companies you really like? As Mae West said, 'Too much of a good thing can be wonderful'."

  • "Your premium brand had better be delivering something special, or it's not going to get the business."

  • "You only have to do a very few things right in your life so long as you don't do too many things wrong."

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

  • "I am quite serious when I say that I do not believe there are, on the whole earth besides, so many intensified bores as in these United States. No man can form an adequate idea of the real meaning of the word, without coming here."

  • "The business schools reward difficult complex behavior more than simple behavior, but simple behavior is more effective."

  • "When a management team with a reputation for brilliance tackles a business with a reputation for bad economics, it is the reputation of the business that remains intact."

Picking good people is critical.

What does Warren Buffett look for in people he works with? He often suggests an exercise to evaluate the most useful qualities one should have, or could develop, to succeed. One of his criteria is to look for a person that you would want to give 10% of your earnings for the rest of your life. Interesting question, wouldn't you agree? After you have thought of the person you would give your income to, list on a piece of paper, the person's positive attributes on the left of the paper and their negative attributes on the right side of the paper. After that exercise Buffett's advice is simple, "attempt to eliminate the qualities in the right column, and develop the qualities in the left column."

“You’re looking for three things, generally, in a person,” Buffett tells us. “Intelligence, energy, and integrity. And if they don’t have the last one, don’t even bother with the first two."

Buffett suggests that developing these positive attributes in yourself is completely possible but it is up to you. No body can limit your potential.

“You decide to be dishonest, stingy, uncharitable, egotistical, all the things people don’t like in other people,” argues Buffett. “They are all choices. Some people think there’s a limited little pot of admiration to go around, and anything the other guy takes out of the pot, there’s less left for you. But it’s just the opposite.”


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    • profile image


      8 years ago


    • profile image


      8 years ago

      warren you are my biggest idol of buisness

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      If you risk you win if you don't risk you already lost. Great article.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      May God continue 2 raise &grow ppl lyk ths!

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      m really glad to read fav person quotes.its motivate me :-) but what to look for startin' business. Thank u so much !!!

    • profile image

      helen santos 

      9 years ago

      I appreciated warren buffet so much.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Warren you have just motivated me to start my business and invest..:)

    • geraldinegerongay profile image


      10 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      Wow! It feels so good to read all these inspiring words from one of the most successful people in the world. Reading this topic and the comments about Warren Buffet gave me an idea of who he is as a person. Some comments are saying he is a nice and humble guy.

      I read in an article a few months ago that his son chose to live a simple life pursuing his dream as a musician living alone in a studio apartment. I admired him for that. I never thought that his father is as good hearted as he is.

    • profile image


      11 years ago

      He does refer to children's stories a lot. I wonder whether he ever read anything else beside annual report and children's stories.

    • profile image


      11 years ago

      Warren Buffett is an amazing man, I work for him at one of the companies that he owns. He talks to every person like they are his friend from down the road. He actually asks if you like your job, if there is anything that you would like to change to make it better. When we hit a huge goal he actually came and served us Dairy queen ice cream dilly bars (he also owns dairy queen!) He actually thanks you for your work, looks you straight in the eye. HE always takes care of the employees, if you have to opportunity to work for one of his companies DO IT!!!!!!!! I love my job, the company, benefits, and best of all the guy who signs my check makes me super proud!!!

    • profile image

      Credit Card Offers 

      12 years ago

      Here is another favorite Warren Buffett quotation. He is a man of high integrity.

      Two rules:1. Preserve the principal2. When in doubt see Rule #1”

    • In The Doghouse profile imageAUTHOR

      In The Doghouse 

      12 years ago from California

      @ Shaye I would have to agree that is one of my Warren Buffett favorites as well.

      @Teddi14 Thanks for the support and review.

    • Teddi14 profile image


      12 years ago from Southwestern Michigan

      Love this! I added it to my Stumbleupon favs and wrote a review.

    • The How To Hub profile image

      The How To Hub 

      12 years ago from Australia

      What a wonderful idea for a hubpage. I enjoyed reading this : ) If I had to pick just one quote, I think I'd go with..."Someone's sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago."

    • In The Doghouse profile imageAUTHOR

      In The Doghouse 

      12 years ago from California

      @funride- I am with you, Warren Buffett has said so many insightful things it was hard to even limit it to these few.

      @Uninvited Writer- Thanks for your compliments on the Hub. As for Warren Buffet his tips seem to be trustworthy as well.

    • In The Doghouse profile imageAUTHOR

      In The Doghouse 

      12 years ago from California

      @pjdscott- Thanks for your compliments... Warren Buffetts advice does seem very timely right now doesn't it.

      @Amanda- His financial life is certainly successful that is for sure. He has some great practical advice for anyone to follow.

    • In The Doghouse profile imageAUTHOR

      In The Doghouse 

      12 years ago from California


      I can tell you really admire Warren Buffett and for good reasons. Yes, he does seem to be a simple man with a lot of common sense. His financial tips are very sound. I can tell he is not afraid of hard work, and it has paid off in the end for him financially.

    • In The Doghouse profile imageAUTHOR

      In The Doghouse 

      12 years ago from California


      I too thought it was very appropriate right now! His tips on finance can be used by people of any economic level. Thanks.

    • In The Doghouse profile imageAUTHOR

      In The Doghouse 

      12 years ago from California

      Mormon soprano,

      Warren Buffett certainly does things right on a lot of levels as well. His advice seems to be practical and sound. Perhaps more of us should follow it. lol

    • Uninvited Writer profile image

      Susan Keeping 

      12 years ago from Kitchener, Ontario

      He is one of the big business tycoons that I actually trust. Excellent hub.

    • funride profile image

      Ricardo Nunes 

      12 years ago from Portugal

      Great hub! If I had to choose just one quote it would be very difficult for me, they are all good and instructive thoughts. Thanks for sharing ;)

    • Amanda Severn profile image

      Amanda Severn 

      12 years ago from UK

      What down to earth, practical quotes. I can see why he's made such a success of his life. Thanks for the interesting hub

    • pjdscott profile image


      12 years ago from Durham, UK

      Very apposite advice and a super hub, considering the present financial climate! Well done.

    • solarshingles profile image


      12 years ago from london

      Diana, I really like Warren Buffet - known to the world also as the "The Sage from Omaha", especially because despite his incredible wealth he is a very simple man! A few years ago I had a great luck to get opportunity to study his personal life much closer and deeper. I would be delighted to share that knowledge with you and maybe, you could write many more hubs about his financial phenomenon, which is amazingly simple in its very core. Your bubbly and positive creativity and writing skills are far greater than mine and I also think most people could learn so much from his amazing yet simple life message.

    • robie2 profile image

      Roberta Kyle 

      12 years ago from Central New Jersey

      I love Warren Buffet--he may be rich but he has his priorities on straight:-) This was good reading for the day of the Wall Street melt-down. Thanks

    • profile image

      Mormon Soprano 

      12 years ago

      Very cool! One of my personal favorites was:

      "You only have to do a very few things right in your life so long as you don't do too many things wrong."

      So fitting, on so many levels


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