Buffett in 2005
|Born||Warren Edward Buffett
August 30, 1930
Omaha, Nebraska, U.S.
|Alma mater||University of Pennsylvania
University of Nebraskaâ€“Lincoln
|Occupation||Chairman & CEO of Berkshire Hathaway|
|Net worth||US$74.2 billion (December 2016)|
|Spouse(s)||Susan Thompson (1952â€“2004)
Astrid Menks (m. 2006)
We always live in an uncertain world. What is certain is that the United States will go forward over time.
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.
It's better to hang out with people better than you. Pick out associates whose behavior is better than yours and you'll drift in that direction.
If anything, taxes for the lower and middle class and maybe even the upper middle class should even probably be cut further. But I think that people at the high end – people like myself – should be paying a lot more in taxes. We have it better than we've ever had it.
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.
Look at market fluctuations as your friend rather than your enemy; profit from folly rather than participate in it.
Only buy something that you'd be perfectly happy to hold if the market shut down for 10 years.
It's never paid to bet against America. We come through things, but its not always a smooth ride.
You only have to do a very few things right in your life so long as you don't do too many things wrong.
I bought a company in the mid-'90s called Dexter Shoe and paid $400 million for it. And it went to zero. And I gave about $400 million worth of Berkshire stock, which is probably now worth $400 billion. But I've made lots of dumb decisions. That's part of the game.
I sent one e-mail in my life. I sent it to Jeff Raikes at Microsoft, and it ended up in court in Minneapolis, so I am one for one.
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.
Why not invest your assets in the companies you really like? As Mae West said, 'Too much of a good thing can be wonderful'.
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.
We've used up a lot of bullets. And we talk about stimulus. But the truth is, we're running a federal deficit that's 9 percent of GDP. That is stimulative as all get out. It's more stimulative than any policy we've followed since World War II.
We simply attempt to be fearful when others are greedy and to be greedy only when others are fearful.
I am quite serious when I say that I do not believe there are, on the whole earth besides, so many intensified bores as in these United States. No man can form an adequate idea of the real meaning of the word, without coming here.
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.
I don't look to jump over 7-foot bars: I look around for 1-foot bars that I can step over.
Economic medicine that was previously meted out by the cupful has recently been dispensed by the barrel. These once unthinkable dosages will almost certainly bring on unwelcome after-effects. Their precise nature is anyone's guess, though one likely consequence is an onslaught of inflation.
When you combine ignorance and leverage, you get some pretty interesting results.
I always knew I was going to be rich. I don't think I ever doubted it for a minute.
Today people who hold cash equivalents feel comfortable. They shouldn't. They have opted for a terrible long-term asset, one that pays virtually nothing and is certain to depreciate in value.
I would say the most satisfying thing actually is watching my three children each pick up on their own interests and work many more hours per week than most people that have jobs at trying to intelligently give away that money in fields that they particularly care about.
You know, people talk about this being an uncertain time. You know, all time is uncertain. I mean, it was uncertain back in – in 2007, we just didn't know it was uncertain. It was – uncertain on September 10th, 2001. It was uncertain on October 18th, 1987, you just didn't know it.
Someone is sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago.
It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you'll do things differently.
When a management with a reputation for brilliance tackles a business with a reputation for bad economics, it is the reputation of the business that remains intact.
There seems to be some perverse human characteristic that likes to make easy things difficult.
I just think that – when a country needs more income and we do, we're only taking in 15 percent of GDP, I mean, that – that – when a country needs more income, they should get it from the people that have it.
It's far better to buy a wonderful company at a fair price than a fair company at a wonderful price.
Americans are in a cycle of fear which leads to people not wanting to spend and not wanting to make investments, and that leads to more fear. We'll break out of it. It takes time.
We're still in a recession. We're not gonna be out of it for a while, but we will get out.
Basically, when you get to my age, you'll really measure your success in life by how many of the people you want to have love you actually do love you.
I am a huge bull on this country. We will not have a double-dip recession at all. I see our businesses coming back almost across the board.
The smarter the journalists are, the better off society is. For to a degree, people read the press to inform themselves – and the better the teacher, the better the student body.
There are 309 million people out there that are trying to improve their lot in life. And we've got a system that allows them to do it.
I think the most important factor in getting out of the recession actually is just the regenerative capacity of – of American capitalism.
The first rule is not to lose. The second rule is not to forget the first rule.
I think that both parties should declare the debt limit as a political weapon of mass destruction which can't be used. I mean, it is silly to have a country that has 237 years building up its reputation and then have people threaten to tear it down because they're not getting some other matter.
In the business world, the rearview mirror is always clearer than the windshield.
Someone is sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago.
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.'
If past history was all there was to the game, the richest people would be librarians.
Wall Street is the only place that people ride to in a Rolls Royce to get advice from those who take the subway.
Your premium brand had better be delivering something special, or it's not going to get the business.
In the 20th century, the United States endured two world wars and other traumatic and expensive military conflicts; the Depression; a dozen or so recessions and financial panics; oil shocks; a flu epidemic; and the resignation of a disgraced president. Yet the Dow rose from 66 to 11,497.
Chains of habit are too light to be felt until they are too heavy to be broken.
You do things when the opportunities come along. I've had periods in my life when I've had a bundle of ideas come along, and I've had long dry spells. If I get an idea next week, I'll do something. If not, I won't do a damn thing.
The business schools reward difficult complex behavior more than simple behavior, but simple behavior is more effective.
The only way to get love is to be lovable. It's very irritating if you have a lot of money. You'd like to think you could write a check: 'I'll buy a million dollars' worth of love.' But it doesn't work that way. The more you give love away, the more you get.
Wide diversification is only required when investors do not understand what they are doing.
The big question about how people behave is whether they've got an Inner Scorecard or an Outer Scorecard. It helps if you can be satisfied with an Inner Scorecard.
You have no ability, if you're a financial institution and you're threatened with criminal prosecution, you have no ability to negotiate.