8 Best Warren Buffett Quotes of All Time

Berkshire Hathaway Inc.’s (ticker: BRK.A, BRK.B) next annual shareholder meeting in Omaha, Nebraska, is not until May 3, 2025, but fans of Berkshire founder and legendary investor Warren Buffett don’t have to wait till then to revisit his top quotes from his long reign on Wall Street. Buffett is known for his approachability and wisdom, which he has displayed in lengthy question-and-answer sessions with the audience at Berkshire’s annual meetings.

So kick back, crack a Diet Coke, play some ukulele background music on the Apple device of your choice and review some of the best adages from the man many regard as the greatest investor in history:

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On making money.

“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.”

This is the table-setter for all of Buffett’s comments on investing. The 1985 quote, which sets the philosophical stage for everything that comes afterward, is Buffett’s golden rule that capital preservation is the top priority for any investor

. While Buffett has certainly backed his share of losing investments (former positions in ConocoPhillips (COP) and Tesco PLC (TSCO.L) come to mind), his track record certainly backs up the sentiment that the Berkshire Hathaway portfolio has stacked way more winners than losers.

On being patient as an investor.

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

As a stock picker whose every portfolio selection makes headlines, Buffett has long preached the importance of patience when building a solid stock portfolio. Taking the long view

is as big a deal to Buffett as choosing the best stocks.

On value.

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

Buffett is widely celebrated as the greatest value investor of all time — and with good reason. That’s exactly why this 2008 quote resonates. Buffett has historically prioritized finding deeply discounted stocks of good (i.e., value) companies and hanging on to them for the long haul. If you can dig up good companies at a low price, you’re Warren Buffett’s kind of investor.

[READ: Top Nancy Pelosi Stocks to Buy.]

On the jitters.

“Fear is the most contagious disease you can imagine. It makes the virus look like a piker.”

Warren Buffett isn’t shy about running into financial fires when others are rushing out, as he made clear in this quote from the 2020 Berkshire shareholder meeting. By using the term “contagious,” the Oracle of Omaha is coyly suggesting that following the herd is no way to find the value-discounted companies

that build great investment portfolios.

Going where the herd fears to tread, on the other hand? That’s a future Buffett bonanza.

On believing in your investments.

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

In his 1989 letter to Berkshire Hathaway shareholders, Buffett weighed in on the commitment and faith needed to succeed on Wall Street. By “buying a wonderful company at a fair price,” Buffett is signaling that once you’ve done your homework and stepped up to the plate, you can stand firm knowing the company you’re buying is worth your commitment — and your faith.

On the proper times for fear and greed.

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

In a 2008 interview with the New York Times, Buffett returns to his theme about fear and investing and, specifically, his firm stance on not following the herd. By encouraging investors to go their own way and not be deterred by temporary headlines, Buffett is laying out his vision for buying low and selling high. If you know your stuff, go ahead and buy when others aren’t, and don’t be afraid to sell when others are buying.

On the worst kind of business.

“The worst sort of business is one that grows rapidly, requires significant capital to engender the growth and then earns little or no money.”

Buffett wrote this in his 2007 shareholder letter. He is not a fan of companies that emphasize speed over slow and steady growth and that can’t turn a profit — and he said the airline industry

is loaded with them. Such companies won’t make it into a Berkshire Hathaway portfolio.

On betting against Uncle Sam.

“It’s never paid to bet against America. We come through things, but it’s not always a smooth ride.”

Buffett said the above line in a 2009 interview with NBC’s Tom Brokaw, as the U.S. began climbing out of the Great Recession

. The Oracle indicated that the U.S. will take its lumps but always gets up off the canvas ready to fight.

Even in a more divided, post-pandemic America, Buffett has made comments publicly that reiterate his confidence in U.S. capitalism. “We love to complain about wherever we are,” the 93-year-old told CNBC in 2023. “But the world has changed so much for the better in terms of how well off people are compared to any other time in history … it’s man’s nature to be dissatisfied, and politics does stir that up.”

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8 Best Warren Buffett Quotes of All Time originally appeared on usnews.com

Update 06/14/24: This story was published at an earlier date and has been updated with new information.

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