From ‘swimming naked’ to the ‘manic-depressive’ market to the billionaires whose inner jerk came out, here are Warren Buffett’s best quotes from the last 93 years

It’s hard to understate Warren Buffett’s impact on the economy or on American business, along with his partner at Berkshire, Charlie Munger.

Warren Buffett was born in Omaha in 1930. He developed an interest in the business world and investing at an early age, including in the stock market. Buffett started his education at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania before moving to the University of Nebraska where he received an undergraduate degree in business administration. He later went to the Columbia Business School where he earned his graduate degree in economics. [1]

Story By Jane Thier|Fortune| It’s hard to understate Warren Buffett’s impact on the economy or on American business—Or on Fortune, for that matter. The magazine is just a few months older than the Oracle of Omaha himself, who turned 93 on August 30, and after a particularly impressive interview, he tapped former Fortune editor Carol Loomis to edit his annual Berkshire Hathaway shareholder letter.

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With his right-hand man Charlie Munger, the investing legend has led one of the world’s most profitable holding companies, Berkshire Hathaway, for almost 60 years, and become one of the world’s richest men in the process. Buffett has grown from a schoolboy with a penchant for entrepreneurship (he once sold chewing gum and Coca-Cola door to door) to an investment salesman, stockbroker, securities analyst, and even a student of Dale Carnegie’s public speaking course.

But along the way, he’s been known for his alternately folksy and insightful quotes. He doesn’t have the nickname Sage of Omaha for no reason, after all. Take his most famous line: “Only when the tide goes out do you discover who’s swimming naked.” It sums up financial wisdom back to the dawn of the modern age, as market bubbles form and, to paraphrase an older quote, fools rush in. Consider the crypto winter of 2022, a longtime target of Buffett and (more often) Munger. Lots of skinny-dipping was happening as the crypto market cap shrank from $3 trillion to a little over $1 trillion in just a few months.

Buffett took control of Berkshire Hathaway, then a textile manufacturing company, in 1970, and has driven it to the seventh spot on the Fortune 500 list (and 14th globally), with revenue at just over $302 billion. As for his net worth, thanks to his decades of savvy investments, it stands at roughly $118 billion as of publication.

While many hopeful investors and business moguls take any of the Nebraskan’s words as gospel, Fortune has rounded up a handful of the Oracle’s sagest wisdom and quotes from over the years.

READ NEXT: Warren Buffett’s Apple bet is worth $158 billion or 22% of Berkshire Hathaway’s total market value.

On investing:

“The first rule of an investment is don’t lose (money). And the second rule of an investment is don’t forget the first rule. And that’s all the rules there are.”

“Price is what you pay. Value is what you get.”

“Remember that the stock market is a manic depressive.”

“Beware the investment activity that produces applause; the great moves are usually greeted by yawns.”

“Risk comes from not knowing what you are doing. Never invest in a business you cannot understand.”

“Someone’s sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago.”

“There is nothing wrong with a ‘know nothing’ investor who realizes it. The problem is when you are a ‘know nothing’ investor, but you think you know something.”

“A simple rule dictates my buying: Be fearful when others are greedy and greedy when others are fearful.”

On life and relationships:

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

“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.”

“By far the best investment you can make is in yourself.”

“Being given unconditional love is the greatest benefit you can ever get.”

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“Lose money for the firm, and I will be understanding. Lose a shred of reputation for the firm, and I will be ruthless.”

“What we learn from history is that people don’t learn from history.”

“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.”

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

“Time is the friend of the wonderful company, the enemy of the mediocre.”

“You want to associate with people who are the kind of person you’d like to be. You’ll move in that direction. And the most important person by far in that respect is your spouse. Marry the right person. I’m serious about that. It will make [a bigger] difference in your life. It will change your aspirations, all kinds of things.”

“If you get to my age in life and nobody thinks well of you, I don’t care how big your bank account is, your life is a disaster.”

On playing cards—and going to prison:

“Bridge is such a sensational game that I wouldn’t mind being in jail if I had three cellmates who were decent players and who were willing to keep the game going twenty-four hours a day.”

SOURCE: This story was originally featured on

OTHER Sources: 

  1. Investopedia, and its link to Warren’s Biography. “Warren Buffett.”
  2. The featured image is from Investopedia, and specifically, Alison Czinkota / Investopedia

Charlie Munger: 100 Years Of Wisdom Summed Up In 1,000 Words

Credit: From Steve Burns at

It’s hard to understate Warren Buffett’s impact on the economy or on American business, along with his partner at Berkshire, Charlie Munger.Decades of knowledge, distilled into a few insightful nuggets, can transform our approach to life and investing. Charlie Munger is one individual whose wisdom transcends time and continues to be influential in various spheres of life, particularly in investing. Known as Warren Buffett’s right-hand man and the vice-chairman of Berkshire Hathaway, Munger’s insights into human nature, decision-making, and long-term value investing is a rich trove of knowledge worth exploring. This article dives into the world of a century’s knowledge and wisdom, revealing the essence of living an intelligent life and investing wisely. READ MORE



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