Top 10 Warren Buffett Quotes

By: GenXinvestor

Warren BuffettWarren Buffett is the world’s most successful investor and the fourth richest person on the planet with a net worth of over $58 billion according to Forbes.

As the global economic outlook darkens and doom and gloom once again fill the news headlines, I thought it would be rather timely to reflect on some of the wisdom offered by the oracle of Omaha.

Here are my top 10 Warren Buffett Quotes:

1. “investing is forgoing consumption now in order to have the ability to consume more at a later date.” (2011 Letter to Shareholders)

2. “You only learn who has been swimming naked when the tide goes out.” (2007 Letter to Shareholders)

3. “we much prefer owning a non-controlling but substantial portion of a wonderful company to owning 100% of a so-so business; it’s better to have a partial interest in the Hope diamond tan to own all of a rhinestone.” (2013 Letter to Shareholders)

4. “a climate of fear is your friend when investing; a euphoric world is your enemy.” (2013 Letter to Shareholders)

5. “unquestionably, some people have become very rich through the use of borrowed money.  However, that’s also been a way to get very poor.” (2010 Letter to Shareholders)

6. “Be fearful when others are greedy, and be greedy when others are fearful.” (New York Times Op Ed piece October 16, 2008.)

7. “It’s far better to buy a wonderful company at a fair price than a fair company at a wonderful price.” (1989 Letter to Shareholders)

8. “when we own portions of outstanding businesses with outstanding managements, our favorite holding period is forever.” (1988 Letter to Shareholders)

9. “Long ago Ben Graham taught me that ‘price is what you pay; value is what you get’.” (2008 Letter to Shareholders)

10. [gold] is an asset that will never produce anything…If all of [the world’s] gold were melded together, it would form a cube of about 68 feet per side…[and] its value [at 2011 prices] would be $9.6 trillion…For that, we could buy all U.S. cropland (400 million acres with output of about $200 billion annually), plus 16 Exxon Mobils (the world’s most profitable company, one earning more than $40 billion annually).  After these purchases, we would have about $1 trillion left over for walking around money.

A century from now the 400 million acres of farmland will have produced staggering amounts of corn, wheat, cotton, and other crops – and will continue to produce that valuable bounty, whatever the currency may be.  Exxon Mobil will probably have delivered trillions of dollars in dividends to its owners and will also hold assets worth many more trillions (and, remember, you get 16 Exxons).  The gold will be unchanged in size and still incapable of producing anything…I’m confident, however, that the $9.3 trillion current valuation of [the gold] will compound over the century at a rate far inferior to that achieved by [the alternative]. (2011 Letter to Shareholders)

Photo Credit: Public Domain courtesy of Mark Hirschey (Work of Mark Hirschey) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

4 thoughts on “Top 10 Warren Buffett Quotes

  1. Clay

    Buffett’s letters are always a breeze to read because he writes so well and it all clicks. #10 is definitely one of my favorites since investing in gold has never made any sense to me.

    1. GenXinvestor Post author

      Warren Buffett certainly offers some sound investing advice. I also thought that his comment about gold as an investment was probably the best case against gold that I’ve ever read.

  2. Liquid

    These are great quotes 🙂 Almost makes me want to invest in Berkshire Hathaway shares just so I can receive his annual letters lol. I also like this quote he said from back in the 1990s.
    “If you understood a business perfectly and the future of the business, you would need very little in the way of a margin of safety.”
    I think that’s very true. One can reduce the risk of investing in a company by simply learning more about how that business works.

    1. GenXinvestor Post author

      Thanks Liquid. I see the class B Berkshire Hathaway shares are trading at US $136 so you may wanna pick some up lol. After having read through a lot of the annual letters, I thought Buffett really does offer so much timeless advice on so many investing topics.


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