Turnarounds seldom turn.
Happiness does not buy you money.
A stock doesn't know that you own it.
Praise by name, criticize by category.
Accounting is the language of business.
Our favourite holding period is forever.
If at first you do succeed, quit trying.
Never ask a barber if you need a haircut.
It's hard to teach a young dog old tricks.
Anything that can't go on forever will end.
You can't make a good deal with a bad person.
Risk comes from not knowing what you're doing.
It's not greed that drives the world, but envy.
Risk comes from not knowing what you are doing.
Profit from folly rather than participate in it.
I buy expensive suits. They just look cheap on me.
A public-opinion poll is no substitute for thought.
If you don't make mistakes, you can't make decisions.
My idea of a group decision is to look in the mirror.
You should invest like a Catholic marries — for life.
If a business does well, the stock eventually follows.
You should look at stocks as small pieces of a business.
I buy stocks when the lemmings are headed the other way.
That which goes up doesn't necessarily have to come down.
If principles become dated, they're no longer principles.
The smarter the journalists are, the better off society is.
You don't have to make money back the same way you lost it.
That which is not worth doing at all is not worth doing well.
The investor of today does not profit from yesterday's growth.
The smartest side to take in a bidding war is the losing side.
Rule No. 1: Never lose money. Rule No. 2: Never forget rule No. 1.
I've never swung at a ball while it's still in the pitcher's glove.
What we learn from history is that people don't learn from history.
You pay a very high price in the stock market for a cheery consensus.
It is easier to stay out of trouble than it is to get out of trouble.
Investment must be rational; if you don't understand it, don't do it.
Forecasts usually tell us more of the forecaster than of the forecast.
Be fearful when others are greedy, and greedy when others are fearful.
Uncertainty, actually, is the friend of the buyer of long-term values.
I'd be a bum on the street with a tin cup if the markets were efficient.
If you understand an idea, you can express it so others can understand it.
It's only when the tide goes out that you learn who's been swimming naked.
Wall Street makes its money on activity. You make your money on inactivity.
It's not necessary to do extraordinary things to get extraordinary results.
The reaction of weak management to weak operations is often weak accounting.
If you hit a hole in one on every hole, you wouldn't play golf for very long.
I made my first investment at age eleven. I was wasting my life up until then.
If they need my help to manage the enterprise, we are probably both in trouble.
It is impossible to unsign a contract, so do all your thinking before you sign.
In the business world, the rearview mirror is always clearer than the windshield.
With enough inside information and a million dollars, you can go broke in a year.
Never be afraid to ask for too much when selling or offer too little when buying.
The most important thing to do if you find yourself in a hole is to stop digging.
In the business world, the rear view mirror is always clearer than the windshield.
The chains of habit are too light to be felt until they are too heavy to be broken.
There is nothing like writing to force you to think and get your thoughts straight.
It won't be the economy that will do in investors; it will be investors themselves.
You can always juice sales by going down-market, but it's hard to go back upmarket.
When you combine ignorance and borrowed money, the consequences can get interesting.
Someone is sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago.
If past history was all there was to the game, the richest people would be librarians.
You should invest in a business that even a fool can run, because someday a fool will.
Wide diversification is only required when investors do not understand what they are doing.
To many on Wall Street, both companies and stocks are seen only as raw materials for trades.
There seems to be some perverse human characteristic that likes to make easy things difficult.
We enjoy the process far more than the proceeds, though I have learned to live with those also.
Only buy something that you'd be perfectly happy to hold if the market shut down for ten years.
I don't try to jump over seven foot bars; I look around for one foot bars that I can step over.
If we can't find things within our circle of competence, we don't expand the circle. We'll wait.
I want to be able to explain my mistakes. This means I do only the things I completely understand.
It's far better to buy a wonderful company at a fair price than a fair company at a wonderful price.
You want to learn from experience, but you want to learn from other people's experience when you can.
We simply attempt to be fearful when others are greedy and to be greedy only when others are fearful.
I am a better investor because I am a businessman, and a better businessman because I am an investor.
A simple rule dictates my buying: Be fearful when others are greedy, be greedy when others are fearful.
You only have to do a very few things right in your life so long as you don't do too many things wrong.
The fact that people are full of greed, fear, or folly is predictable. The sequence is not predictable.
Read Ben Graham and Phil Fisher, read annual reports, but don't do equations with Greek letters in them.
When proper temperament joins up with the proper intellectual framework, then you get rational behavior.
The key is that the stock market basically just sets prices, so it exists to serve you, not instruct you.
We have never bought a new issue of a junk bond. The only time to buy these is on a day with no "y" in it.
If calculus or algebra were required to be a great investor, I'd have to go back to delivering newspapers.
Wall Street is the only place that people ride to in a Rolls-Royce to get advice from those who take the subway.
Any business craving of the leader, however foolish, will be quickly supported by studies prepared by his troops.
Diversification is a protection against ignorance. It makes very little sense for those who know what they're doing.
Marrying for money is probably a bad idea under any circumstances, but it is absolutely nuts if you are already rich.
Lose money for the firm, and I will be understanding. Lose a shred of reputation for the firm, and I will be ruthless.
Look at stock market fluctuations as your friend rather than your enemy; profit from folly rather than participate in it.
If you let yourself be undisciplined on the small things, you will probably be undisciplined on the large things as well.
The business schools reward difficult, complex behavior more than simple behavior, but simple behavior is more effective.
A pin lies in wait for every bubble, and when the two eventually meet, a new wave of investors learn some very old lessons.
Consistently buy an S&P 500 low-cost index fund I think is the thing that makes the most sense practically all of the time.
Why not invest your assets in the companies you really like? As Mae West said, 'Too much of a good thing can be wonderful.'
For some reason people take their cues from price action rather than from values. Price is what you pay. Value is what you get.
We also believe candor benefits us as managers: The CEO who misleads others in public may eventually mislead himself in private.
In a difficult business, no sooner is one problem solved than another surfaces—never is there just one cockroach in the kitchen.
It takes twenty years to build a reputation and five minutes to lose it. If you think about that, you will do things differently.
The less prudence with which others conduct their affairs, the greater the prudence with which we should conduct our own affairs.
The difference between successful people and very successful people is that very successful people say "no" to almost everything.
Good business leaders create a vision, articulate the vision, passionately own the vision, and relentlessly drive it to completion.
With each investment you make, you should have the courage and the conviction to place at least 10% of your net worth in that stock.
You have to think for yourself. It always amazes me how high IQ people mindlessly imitate. I never get good ideas talking to other people.
No matter how great the talent or effort, some things just take time: You can't produce a baby in one month by getting nine women pregnant.
The market, like the Lord, helps those who help themselves. But unlike the Lord, the market does not forgive those who know not what they do.
As far as I am concerned, the stock market doesn't exist. It is only there as a reference to see if anybody is offering to do anything foolish.
Recommending something to be held for thirty years is a level of self- sacrifice you'll rarely see in a monastery, let alone a brokerage house.
The trick is not to pick the right company. The trick is to essentially buy all the big companies through the S&P 500 and to do it consistently.
We don't go into companies with the thought of effecting a lot of changes. That doesn't work any better in investments than it does in marriages.
Money, to some extent, sometimes lets you be in more interesting environments. But it can't change how many people love you or how healthy you are.
Great investment opportunities come around when excellent companies are surrounded by unusual circumstances that cause the stock to be misappraised.
Managing your career is like investing—the degree of difficulty does not count. So you can save yourself money and pain by getting on the right train.
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.
There is a huge difference between the business that grows and requires lots of capital to do so and the business that grows and doesn't require capital.
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.
We do not have, never have had, and never will have an opinion about where the stock market, interest rates, or business activity will be a year from now.
A friend of mine spent twenty years looking for the perfect woman; unfortunately, when he found her, he discovered that she was looking for the perfect man.
The great personal fortunes in this country weren't built on a portfolio of fifty companies. They were built by someone who identified one wonderful business.
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.
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.
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.
Of the seven deadly sins, envy is the silliest, because if you have it, you don't feel better. You feel worse. I've had some good times with gluttony. We won't get into lust.
When management with a reputation for brilliance tackles a business with a reputation for poor fundamental economics, it is the reputation of the business that remains intact.
The really good business manager doesn't wake up in the morning and say, 'This is the day that I am going to cut costs,' any more than he wakes up and decides to practice breathing.
I can't be involved in fifty or seventy-five things. That's a Noah's ark way of investing; you end up with a zoo that way. I like to put meaningful amounts of money in a few things.
At the beginning, prices are driven by fundamentals, and at some point, speculation drives them. It's that old story: What the wise man does in the beginning, the fool does in the end.
Our method is very simple. We just try to buy businesses with good-to-superb underlying economics run by honest and able people and buy them at sensible prices. That's all I'm trying to do.
Can you really explain to a fish what it is like to walk on land? One day on land is worth a thousand years talking about it, and one day running a business has exactly the same kind of value.
If I can't make money in a $5 trillion U.S. market, it may be a little bit of wishful thinking to think that all I have to do is get a few thousand miles offshore and I'll start showing my stuff.
We never look back. We just figure there is so much to look forward to that there is no sense thinking of what we might have done. It just doesn't make any difference. You can only live life forward.
When a chief executive officer is encouraged by his advisers to make deals, he responds much as would a teenage boy who is encouraged by his father to have a normal sex life. It's not a push he needs.
The stock market is a no-called-strike game. You don't have to swing at everything—you can wait for your pitch. The problem when you're a money manager is that your fans keep yelling, 'Swing, you bum!'
Chapter 8 in Ben Graham's The Intelligent Investor about the attitude towards stock market fluctuations and chapter 20 on the margin of safety are the two most important essays ever written on investing.
Costs really matter in investments. If returns are going to be 7 or 8 percent and you're paying 1 percent for fees, that makes an enormous difference in how much money you're going to have in retirement.
In the search for companies to acquire, we adopt the same attitude one might find appropriate in looking for a spouse: It pays to be active, interested, and open-minded, but it does not pay to be in a hurry.
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.
In looking for someone to hire, you look for three qualities: integrity, intelligence, and energy. But the most important is integrity, because if they don't have that, the other two qualities, intelligence and energy, are going to kill you.
The rich are always going to say that, you know, just give us more money and we'll go out and spend more and then it will all trickle down to the rest of you. But that has not worked the last 10 years, and I hope the American public is catching on.
I learned that it pays to hang around with people better than you are, because you will float upward a little bit. And if you hang around with people that behave worse than you, pretty soon you'll start sliding down the pole. It just works that way.
A good managerial record is far more a function of what business boat you get into than it is of how effectively you row. 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.
There comes a time when you ought to start doing what you want. Take a job that you love. You will jump out of bed in the morning. I think you are out of your mind if you keep taking jobs that you don't like because you think that it will look good on your résumé. Isn't that a little like saving up sex for your old age?
I'm very suspect of the person who is very good at one business—it also could be a good athlete or a good entertainer—who starts thinking they should tell the world how to behave on everything. For us to think that just because we made a lot of money, we're going to be better at giving advice on every subject—well, that's just crazy.
Wouldn't it be great if we could buy love for $1 million. But the only way to be loved is to be lovable. You always get back more than you give away. If you don't give any, you won't get any. There's nobody I know who commands the love of others who doesn't feel like a success. And I can't imagine people who aren't loved feel very successful.
Imagine that you had a car and that was the only car you'd have for your entire lifetime. Of course, you'd care for it well, changing the oil more frequently than necessary, driving carefully, etc. Now, consider that you only have one mind and one body. Prepare them for life, care for them. You can enhance your mind over time. A person's main asset is themselves, so preserve and enhance yourself.
Stocks are the things to own over time. Productivity will increase and stocks will increase with it. There are only a few things you can do wrong. One is to buy or sell at the wrong time. Paying high fees is the other way to get killed. The best way to avoid both of these is to buy a low-cost index fund, and buy it over time. Be greedy when others are fearful, and fearful when others are greedy, but don't think you can outsmart the market.