16 Inspirational Warren Buffett Quotes on Life, Business, and Choices

Warren Buffett is one of the best businessmen and investors of our time. Long after he dies, Buffett will remain famous for the accomplishments he made in his lifetime. He currently serves as the Chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, one of the most successful companies in the world. With a net worth of around $88 billion, Warren Buffett is one of the wealthiest people in the world. In fact, only Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos have more money than the “Oracle of Omaha.”

Throughout his life, Warren Buffett has provided a number of memorable and inspirational quotes about life, business, investing and other topics. Here are some of the best Warren Buffett Quotes, which can help to inspire you on your journey to higher levels of success.

Warren Buffett Quotes:

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

There is a lot of wisdom in this quote, and its meaning can apply to many different areas of life. With this quote, Warren Buffet is essentially saying that you should not stay onboard a sinking ship. If you find that your career, your relationship, your friendships, etc. are bringing you down, then perhaps it is time for a change to a new “vessel.” Sometimes, it simply takes too much energy to try to save something that is already extremely prone to failure.

#2. “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.”

This is another very important comment from Warren Buffett. With this quote, he is saying that if you want to get ahead, then it is important to acquire value at a reduced price. Warren Buffett was a disciple of Benjamin Graham, who championed this business and investing practice. Throughout his investing career, Warren Buffett always strove to find high quality stocks when their prices were lower than the value they represented. If you want to be a successful investor, then you would do well to follow this strategy.

#3. “The business schools reward difficult complex behavior more than simple behavior, but simple behavior is more effective.”

The fact that Warren Buffett criticizes business schools means that there could definitely be a problem with some of the things they teach. Most business school professors make between $75,000-$200,000 a year tops. Warren Buffett makes over a billion. Whose advice would you rather follow? If you have a choice between keeping things simple and making them overly complicated, then you should strongly consider keeping them simple.

#4. “If you aren’t willing to own a stock for ten years, don’t even think about owning it for ten minutes. Put together a portfolio of companies whose aggregate earnings march upward over the years, and so also will the portfolio’s market value.?

Warren Buffett was not a fan of investing for the short-term and this quote is a reflection of that. He believed that it was essentially impossible to correctly time the market, and therefore, investments should only be made based on their long-term potential. He didn’t like the idea of trying to dance in and out of the market, believing that going for short-term timing was far too difficult. Because he prioritized value investing, he was more than happy to look for stocks for companies that he believed would continue to grow and prosper in the long-term due to effective business models. Apparently, this strategy worked pretty well!

#5. “It’s far better to buy a wonderful company at a fair price than a fair company at a wonderful price.”

This quote reinforces Buffett’s preferred investing philosophy of choosing companies that are extremely solid due to their long-term potential. Buffett looked for outstanding companies and avoided companies he did not believe had a lot of long-term potential. When you are creating your investing strategy, you might consider seeking out stocks for companies that you believe will stand the test of time.

 

#6. “No matter how great the talent or efforts, some things take time. You can’t produce a baby in one month by getting nine women pregnant.”

This is one of Warren Buffett’s best ever quotes. The wisdom is so profound and yet the statement is very lighthearted and amusing. But with this comment, Warren Buffett is saying that some things simply cannot be rushed and that even if you try to rush them by frantically making other efforts, it will not help. So, if you know that you are working on something that is going to take a lot of time to achieve, then patience is your friend!

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

This little pearl of wisdom applies to business, family, friends, and every aspect of your life, really. So, the next time you want to do something rash, irresponsible, or immature, just remember that Warren Buffett says that it only takes five minutes to ruin a reputation, and he’s completely right.

#8. “The only way to get love is to be lovable. It’s very irritating if you have a lot of money. You’d like to think you could write a check: ‘I’ll buy a million dollars’ worth of love.’ But it doesn’t work that way. The more you give love away, the more you get.”

This quote is fascinating. The reason why it is so interesting is because many people believe that you can buy love. However, Warren Buffett, the third wealthiest person in the world is saying that this is not possible. If anyone could buy love, it would be Warren Buffett. So, he would know whether or not it would be possible to buy this commodity. However, according to him, the only way to get love is to be loveable yourself. So, remember this before you try to buy love.

#9. “In the 20th century, the United States endured two world wars and other traumatic and expensive military conflicts; the Depression; a dozen or so recessions and financial panics; oil shocks; a flu epidemic; and the resignation of a disgraced president. Yet the Dow rose from 66 to 11,497.”

Warren Buffett had a unique way of putting things into perspective. This quote demonstrates this ability very well. Buffett has always been a strong believer in the American economy. He is one of America’s greatest capitalists and one of its chief champions. The United States is lucky to have had Warren Buffett as one of its citizens and supporters.

#10. “Calling someone who trades actively in the market an investor is like calling someone who repeatedly engages in one-night stands a romantic.”

This quote again displays Warren Buffets unique ability to put things into perspective using humor and wit. It also further demonstrates his disapproval for short-term investments and day-trading. Part of the reason why Warren Buffett disliked day trading so much is because it is not value investing. It does not take into consideration the long-term merits of the particular business. Day trading primarily revolves around exploiting market conditions, headlines, and timing as opposed to sound business fundamentals. Many people do succeed with day trading, but Warren Buffett is vehemently opposed to this investing strategy.

#11. “You do things when the opportunities come along. I’ve had periods in my life when I’ve had a bundle of ideas come along, and I’ve had long dry spells. If I get an idea next week, I’ll do something. If not, I won’t do a damn thing.”

This quote reflects Warren Buffett’s philosophy of patience and waiting for the right opportunity. The man was extremely clever and never rushed into things that did not make sense. His partner, Charlie Munger also shared Warren Buffett’s enthusiasm for being highly selective about opportunities. So, if you are looking for the right investment, you should be patient and not just rush into every shiny opportunity that comes your way. Be selective, be patient, and don’t jump at everything.

#12. “Risk is a part of God’s game, alike for men and nations.”

Many people live their whole lives trying to minimize risk. However, Buffett is saying it is simply a part of life and implying that it is absolutely necessary to deal with a certain amount of risk. Throughout his life and his career, Buffett became the ultimate master at assessing and managing risk. If you would like to experience higher levels of success, then you may have to become more like Warren Buffett and learn how to better handle risk.

#13. “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.”

The company you keep can have a major impact on your life. So, according to Warren Buffett, you should always strive to hang out with people who are at a higher level than you. Then, you will end up becoming more like them just out of virtue of being around them. You should also beware of the opposite as well, and make sure you do not spend too much time with people who are bad influences on you, because they could end up dragging you down.

#14. “What an investor needs is the ability to correctly evaluate selected businesses. Note that word ‘selected’: You don’t have to be an expert on every company, or even many. You only have to be able to evaluate companies within your circle of competence. The size of that circle is not very important; knowing its boundaries, however, is vital.”

This is excellent investing advice from Buffett. What he is saying here is that you should stick to your expertise. You do not need to be an expert on everything. You just have to know what you are good at and what your niche is. Then stick to that and look for the best opportunities in that area. Don’t go chasing every last little idea, especially when that idea is well outside of your comfort zone.

#15. “Diversification is a protection against ignorance. It makes very little sense for those who know what they’re doing.”

This investing advice is contrary to the advice given by many gurus. However, what Warren Buffett is implying here is that the only reason why people diversify is because they are not talented and intelligent enough to put the majority of their investments into a few key assets. Warren Buffett is a proponent of putting large quantities of your portfolio into a few investments which have been thoroughly researched and which represent the best possible chance of earning high returns. Diversification is not something that he believes in.

#16. “I would say the most satisfying thing actually is watching my three children each pick up on their own interests and work many more hours per week than most people that have jobs at trying to intelligently give away that money in fields that they particularly care about.”

This is a very significant statement from Warren Buffet, and it just goes to show that there are things that he cares about far more than money. Many parents would agree that watching their children help other people is incredibly satisfying and profound. According to Buffett, this is one of the things that he enjoyed most in life.

Here you can see a larger list sourced from all walks of life of the 100 Best Leadership Quotes.

Conclusion

As a leader, a businessman, and an investor, Warren Buffett is a living legend, and he will go down in history as one of the all-time greats. He will also be remembered as a modest man, a person with a great sense of humor, and for having a rare ability to put things into clear perspective. Buffett is a role model for all American citizens and businesspeople. We could all do well to follow some of Warren Buffett’s sage advice. Perhaps we could all improve our finances from following it too!