If you don't find a way to make money while you sleep, you will work until you die.
Someone is sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago.
Never depend on single income. Make investments to create a second source.
The key to success is emotional stability.
The most important thing to do if you find yourself in a hole is to stop digging.
There seems to be some perverse human characteristic that likes to make easy things difficult.
If merely looking up past financial data would tell you what the future holds, The Forbes 400 would consist of librarians.
Making money isn't the backbone of our guiding purpose; it is the by-product of our guiding purpose.
Making money isn't the backbone of our guiding purpose; making money is the by-product of our guiding purpose. If you're doing something you love, you're more likely to put your all into it, and that generally equates to making money.
The best jockey in the world is never going to win races riding a lame horse. But even a mediocre jockey can win races riding a champion.
Investing in yourself is the best thing you can do. If you've got talents, no one can take them from you.
Would you rather be the world's greatest lover, but have everyone think you're the world's worst lover? Or would you rather be the world's worst lover but have everyone think you're the world's greatest lover? Now, that's an interesting question.
The 19th century belonged to England, the 20th century belonged to the U.S., and the 21st century belongs to China. Invest accordingly.
I have an 800 freephone number now that I call if I get the urge to buy an airline stock. I call at two in the morning and I say: My name is Warren and I'm an aeroholic. And then they talk me down.
In a difficult business, no sooner is one problem solved than another surfaces -- never is there just one cockroach in the kitchen.
Derivatives are like sex. It's not who we're sleeping with, it's who they're sleeping with that's the problem.
If we start deciding, based on guesses or emotions, whether we will or won't participate in a business where we should have some long run edge, we're in trouble.
We say we are trying to buy into businesses with excellent economics, run by honest and able people at a decent price. We buy very few securities, so we look at it as focused investing.
So if you are evaluating others (or yourself!) in the investment field, think out some standards -- apply them -- interpret them.
I'm not worried they're all about the investments we make. I mean, listen, this country -- we've got $46,000 or $47,000 of GDP per capita. Now, we've done pretty darn well. We'll do better in the future.
I've made money over the years by buying into good companies, run by good people, at attractive prices. And I don't try and make it out of buying into the market at one point and selling at another point.
The stock market is a wonderfully efficient mechanism for transferring wealth from the impatient to the patient.
Take the probability of loss times the amount of possible loss from the probability of gain times the amount of possible gain. That is what we're trying to do. It's imperfect, but that's what it's all about.
Managers who want to expand their domain at the expense of owners might better consider a career in government.
Leaving the question of price aside, the best business to own is one that over an extended period can employ large amounts of incremental capital at very high rates of return.
It's not debt per say that overwhelms an individual corporation or country. Rather it is a continuous increase in debt in relation to income that causes trouble.
We've used derivatives for many, many years. I don't think derivatives are evil, per se, I think they are dangerous.
I would say that an RFC-like thing might make sense. I probably would do it myself. But I don't think trying to combine that with what's going through now, I think what is needed now is liquidity.
A small chance of distress or disgrace cannot, in our view, be offset by a large chance of extra returns.
Resolution Trust Company was set up to liquidate a bunch of assets that the government had inherited because the savings and loans went broke.
Resolution Trust Company was set up to liquidate a bunch of assets that the government had inherited because the savings and loans went broke. So the savings and loans went broke, the government stepped in, paid off depositors, and now they're left with this mass of assets to sell. We're not talking about selling here, we're talking about buying intelligently. They were selling what they got handed to them by a bunch of savings and loan operators that had in many cases had done some very dumb thing. But their job was to liquidate it. And they liquidated.
I have no idea on timing. It's easier to tell what will happen than when it will happen. I would say that what is going on in terms of trade policy is going to have very important consequences.
With each investment you make, you should have the courage and the conviction to place at least ten per cent of your net worth in that stock.
Investment decision should be made on the basis of the most probable compounding of after-tax net worth with minimum risk.
Outstanding long-term results are produced primarily by avoiding dumb decisions, rather than by making brilliant ones.
Confidence in markets and in institutions, it's a lot like oxygen. When you have it, you don't even think about it. It's indispensable. You can go years without thinking about it. When it's gone for five minutes, it's the only thing to think about.
Our marketable equities tell us by their operating results -- not by their daily, or even yearly, price quotations -- whether our investments are successful. The market may ignore business success for a while, but eventually will confirm it.
I mean the truth is, I've never had it so good in terms of taxes. I am paying the lowest tax rate that I've ever paid in my life.
We are suspicious of those CEOs who regularly claim they do know the future--and we become downright incredulous if they consistently reach their declared targets. Managers that always promise to make the numbers will at some point be tempted to make up the numbers.
The less prudence with which others conduct their affairs, the greater the prudence with which we should conduct our own affairs.
A newspaper that reduces its coverage of the news important to its community is certain to reduce its readership as well.
You're neither right nor wrong because other people agree with you. You're right because your facts are right and your reasoning is right -- that's the only thing that makes you right. And if your facts and reasoning are right, you don't have to worry about anybody else.
I don't want to be on the other side of the table from the customer. I was never selling anything that I didn't believe in myself or use myself.
The fact that people will be full of greed, fear, or folly is predictable. The sequence is not predictable.
It's a nightmare to administer some of this sort of thing, but I want to tell the shareholders of Berkshire, to the percent we own marketable securities or things for which there are market, even if those markets -- I want to tell them what it's all about.
We do not view the company itself as the ultimate owner of our business assets but instead view the company as a conduit through which our shareholders own assets.
Like most trends, at the beginning it's driven by fundamentals, at some point speculation takes over. What the wise man does in the beginning, the fool does in the end.
It's just that I landed up in a terrific capitalist system. One that pays people who allocate capital extraordinarily well. Intrinsically, I'm not worth as much as somebody who invents something that could improves people's life, or health or whatever.
The financial calculus that Charlie and I employ would never permit our trading a good night's sleep for a shot at a few extra percentage points of return. I've never believed in risking what my friends and family have and need in order to pursue what they don't have and don't need.
I was lucky to have the right heroes. Tell me who your heroes are and I'll tell you how you'll turn out to be. The qualities of the one you admire are the traits that you, with a little practice, can make your own, and that, if practiced, will become habit forming.
You are lucky in life if you have the right heroes. I advise all of you, to the extent you can, to pick out a few heroes.
Our policy is to concentrate holdings. We try to avoid buying a little of this or that when we are only lukewarm about the business or its price. When we are convinced as to attractiveness, we believe in buying worthwhile amounts.
Although we deal with probabilities and expectations, the actual results can deviate substantially from such expectations, particularly on a short-term basis.
The big question about how people behave is whether they've got an Inner Scorecard or an Outer Scorecard. It helps if you can be satisfied with an Inner Scorecard.
We don't get paid for being busy, we get paid for being right.
We don't get paid for activity, just for being right. As to how long we'll wait, we'll wait indefinitely.
Working with people who cause your stomach to churn seems much like marrying for money -- probably a bad idea under any circumstances, but absolute madness if you are already rich.
I have worked with investors for 60 years and I have yet to see anyone -- not even when capital gains rates were 39.9 percent in 1976-77 -- shy away from a sensible investment because of the tax rate on the potential gain.
I tell college students, when you get to be my age you will be successful if the people who you hope to have love you, do love you.
There is seldom just one cockroach in the kitchen. You know, you turn on the light and, all of sudden, they all start scurrying around.
I'm always interested in understanding the math of things and understanding as much as I can about all aspects of business. And what I learn today may be useful to me two years from now. That's really the wonderful thing about investments is your knowledge is cumulative.
I've argued with the senators and congressmen I've talked to. You don't want to be too little too late. If you buy them at the right price, you may be buying two trillion of face value.
How do you beat Bobby Fischer? You play him at any game but chess. I try to stay in games where I have an edge.
Goldman Sachs saying they might be interested in such an investment. I'm familiar with the company. I've known the management, the current management, Jack Welch before Jeff Immelt. I've known him for decades.
I have a house that I bought 55 years ago. It's warm in the winter; it's cool in the summer. It has everything I wanted, plus it has all kinds of good memories. Like my kids, I have good thoughts about that. I can't imagine living any better.
We only want to link up with people whom we like, admire, and trust. ... We do not wish to join with managers who lack admirable qualities, no matter how attractive the prospects of their business. We've never succeeded in making a good deal with a bad person.
Never do anything in life if you would be ashamed of seeing it printed on the front page of your hometown newspaper for your friends and family to see.
I think any time you couple the term Wall Street with bailout or something like that, you know -- I don't like what's going on in Wall Street.
The best investment you can make, is an investment in yourself... The more you learn, the more you'll earn.
Money to some extent sometimes let you be in more interesting environments. But it can't change how many people love you or how healthy you are.
For some reason people take their cues from price action rather than from values. Price is what you pay. Value is what you get.
The most common cause of low prices is pessimism -- sometimes pervasive, sometimes specific to a company or industry. We want to do business in such an environment, not because we like pessimism but because we like the prices it produces.
If you've been playing poker for half an hour and you still don't know who the patsy is, you're the patsy.
Cash never makes us happy, but it's better to have the money burning a hole in Berkshire's pocket than resting comfortably in someone else's.
Investors making purchases in an overheated market need to recognize that it may often take an extended period for the value of even an outstanding company to catch up with the price they paid.
The stock market is a no-called-strike game. You don't have to swing at everything -- you can wait for your pitch.
When asked how he became so successful in investing, Buffett answered: 'we read hundreds and hundreds of annual reports every year.
The patient that's on the floor with the cardiac arrest is not Wall Street. It's the American economy.
Do what you love and work for whom you admire the most, and you've given yourself the best chance in life you can.
The .350 hitter expects, and also deserves, a big payoff for his performance -- even if he plays for a cellar-dwelling team. And a .150 hitter should get no reward -- even if he plays for a pennant winner.
When you're associating with the people that you love, doing what you love, it doesn't get any better than that.
Never give up searching for the job that you're passionate about.
Never give up searching for the job that you're passionate about. Try to find the job you'd have if you were independently rich. Forget about the pay. When you're associating with the people that you love, doing what you love, it doesn't get any better than that.
The key to investing is not assessing how much an industry is going to affect society, or how much it will grow, but rather determining the competitive advantage of any given company and, above all, the durability of that advantage.
Too often, executive compensation in the U.S. is ridiculously out of line with performance. That won't change, moreover, because the deck is stacked against investors when it comes to the CEO's pay.
Too often, executive compensation in the U.S. is ridiculously out of line with performance. That won't change, moreover, because the deck is stacked against investors when it comes to the CEO's pay. The upshot is that a mediocre-or-worse CEO -- aided by his handpicked VP of human relations and a consultant from the ever-accommodating firm of Ratchet, Ratchet and Bingo -- all too often receives gobs of money from an ill-designed compensation arrangement.
If I taught a class, on my final exam I would take an Internet company and ask, 'How much is this company worth?' Anyone who would answer, I would flunk.
You don't need to have extraordinary effort to achieve extraordinary results. You just need to do the ordinary, everyday things exceptionally well.
I believe the chance of any event causing Berkshire to experience financial problems is essentially zero. We will always be prepared for the thousand-year flood; in fact, if it occurswe will be selling life jackets to the unprepared.
I look for businesses in which I think I can predict what they're going to look like in ten to fifteen years time. Take Wrigley's chewing gum. I don't think the internet is going to change how people chew gum.
It's important to have the right monetary policy. It's important for, to have the right fiscal policy. But it's nowhere near as important as just the normal regenerative capacity of American capitalism.
I will give you two pieces of advice. Invest as much in yourself as you can; you are your own best asset by far. Then follow your passion; you want to be really excited to get out of bed every morning.
If you've got the power to raise prices without losing business to a competitor, you've got a very good business. And if you have to have a prayer session before raising the price by a tenth of a cent, then you've got a terrible business. I've been in both, and I know the difference.
You'd get very rich if you thought of yourself as having a card with only twenty punches in a lifetime, and every financial decision used up one punch. You'd resist the temptation to dabble. You'd make more good decisions and you'd make more big decisions.
We have learned to turn out lots of goods and services, but we haven't learned as well how to have everybody share in the bounty. The obligation of a society as prosperous as ours is to figure out how nobody gets left too far behind.
Most investors, both institutional and individual, will find that the best way to own common stocks (shares') is through an index fund that charges minimal fees. Those following this path are sure to beat the net results (after fees and expenses) of the great majority of investment professionals.
If you invested in a very low cost index fund -- where you don't put the money in at one time, but average in over 10 years -you'll do better than 90% of people who start investing at the same time.
A low-cost index fund is the most sensible equity investment for the great majority of investors. My mentor, Ben Graham, took this position many years ago, and everything I have seen since convinces me of its truth.
The best way in my view is to just buy a low-cost index fund and keep buying it regularly over time, because you'll be buying into a wonderful industry, which in effect is all of American industry... People ought to sit back and relax and keep accumulating over time.
By periodically investing in an index fund, the know-nothing investors can actually outperform most investment professionals.
You get what I call the natural progression, the three Is. The innovators, the imitators, and the idiots.
The speed at which a business success is recognized, furthermore, is not that important as long as the company's intrinsic value is increasing at a satisfactory rate. In fact, delayed recognition can be an advantage: It may give us the chance to buy more of a good thing at a bargain price.
The critical investment factor is determining the intrinsic value of a business and paying a fair or bargain price.
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.
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.
Investors should remember that excitement and expenses are their enemies.
Investors should remember that excitement and expenses are their enemies. And if they insist on trying to time their participation in equities, they should try to be fearful when others are greedy and greedy only when others are fearful.
It isn't given to man to be able to run a financial institution where different interest-rate scenarios will prevail on all of that so as to produce kind of smooth, regular earnings from a very large base to start with.
We do not have, nor have had, and never will have an opinion about where the stock market, interest rates, or business activity will be a year from now.
I do not like debt and do not like to invest in companies that have too much debt, particularly long-term debt. With long-term debt, increases in interest rates can drastically affect company profits and make future cash flows less predictable.
They say the chains of habit are too light to be felt until they are too heavy to be broken. The chains you put around yourself now have enormous consequences as you go through life.
John Maynard Keynes essentially said, don't try and figure out what the market is doing. Figure out a business you understand, and concentrate.
We have embraced the 21st century by entering such cutting-edge industries as brick, carpet, insulation and paint. Try to control your excitement.
Just imagine living on 21,000 a year. I mean you have 20 percent of the population doing that. So you don't have to worry about guys like me.
Businesses always have opportunities to improve service, product lines, manufacturing techniques, and the like, and obviously these opportunities should be seized. But a business that constantly encounters major change also encounters many chances for major error.
We have usually made our best purchases when apprehensions about some macro event were at a peak. Fear is the foe of the faddist, but the friend of the fundamentalist.
I don't want to hold out false hopes that the -- by some magic moment, that things will turn around in a couple months because they wouldn't, Charlie. I mean, and it's a big mistake to try and mislead people.