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The 25 best Warren Buffett quotes in one infographic

by Jeff Desjardins | posted with permission of Visual Capitalist | August 28, 2019

Warren Buffett is famous for his wit, and will likely go down in history as one of the most quotable and influential investors of all time.

With this week marking his 89th birthday, Visual Capitalist thought it was a good time to highlight the 25 best Warren Buffett quotes accumulated through his lengthy and prestigious career.

This infographic highlights the smartest and most insightful quotes from Buffett on investing, business and life.

It’s the fifth and final part of the Warren Buffett Series, which Visual Capitalist did in partnership with, a personal finance site that helps people make better decisions—whether they want to find the right credit card or become the next big value investor.


The 25 best Warren Buffett quotes in one infographic


After sifting through hundreds of quotes from the Oracle of Omaha, we’ve chosen the best 25 and sorted them into a few select categories:

Keeping it simple

Buffett is known for putting his money in “no-brainer” businesses (i.e. Coca-Cola) that are simple to run, with long-term competitive advantages.

Buffett quotes on keeping it simple

#1. “Never invest in a business you cannot understand.”

#2. “I don’t look to jump over seven-foot bars. I look around for one-foot bars that I can step over.”

#3. “I try to buy stock in businesses that are so wonderful that an idiot can run them. Because sooner or later, one will.”

#4. “A ham sandwich could run Coca-Cola.”

#5. “Beware of geeks bearing formulas.”

#6. “You don’t need to be a rocket scientist. Investing is not a game where the guy with the 160 IQ beats the guy with 130 IQ.”

#7. “Rule No. 1: Never lose money. Rule No. 2: Never forget rule No. 1.”


For Buffett, how someone responds to different situations is far more important than actual skills or knowledge. Investors must not care what the crowd thinks, and they must be patient, focused and decisive to maximize their potential.

Buffett quotes on temperament

#8. “The most important quality for an investor is temperament, not intellect. You need a temperament that neither derives great pleasure from being with the crowd or against the crowd.”

#9. “It’s only when the tide goes out that you learn who has been swimming naked.”

#10. “Our favourite holding period is forever.”

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

#12. “An investor should act as though he had a lifetime decision card with just twenty punches on it.”


Buffett’s decision-making is driven by an assessment of value. Is the asset he is buying worth way more than it is currently being priced at by the fickle Mr. Market? If so, he’ll lay down his chips.

Buffett quotes on value

#13. “Price is what you pay; value is what you get.”

#14. “Be fearful when others are greedy and greedy when others are fearful.”

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


A Midwestern gentleman, Buffett follows a simple and friendly style of business conduct, with deals often bounded by one’s promise or a simple handshake.

Buffett quotes on conduct

#16. “You can’t make a good deal with a bad person.”

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


At 89 years old, Buffett knows a thing or two about business and life. As a result, he’s developed some unique perspectives.

Buffett quotes on perspective

#18. “In the business world, the rear view mirror is always clearer than the windshield.”

#19. “If past history was all that is needed to play the game of money, the richest people would be librarians.”

#20. “Failing conventionally is the route to go; as a group, lemmings may have a rotten image, but no individual lemming has ever received bad press.”

#21. “In my view, derivatives are financial weapons of mass destruction, carrying dangers that, while now latent, are potentially lethal.”

Life and success

How did he build such a successful career, and how does one man generate so much wisdom?

Buffett quotes on life and success

#22. “The most important investment you can make is in yourself.”

#23. “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.”

#24. “I do more reading and thinking, and make less impulse decisions than most people in business. I do it because I like this kind of life.”

#25. “My life couldn’t be happier. In fact, it’d be worse if I had six or eight houses. So, I have everything I need to have, and I don’t need any more.”

With $89.5 billion to his name, Warren Buffett is not only known for his self-made wealth and investing acumen, but also his wit and quotability. We hope this selection of the best Warren Buffett quotes helps you think about life and investing differently, and that the legendary investor continues to share his wisdom with the world.

Want more Buffett?

Don’t forget to check out the other parts of Visual Capitalist’s Buffett infographic series:

Posted with permission of Visual Capitalist.

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