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Warren Buffett Quotes on Success, Life and Leadership

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Looking for inspirational Warren Buffett quotes about wealth and success?

On August 30, 1930, Warren Edward Buffett was born as the only son in the family of Howard and Leila Stahl Buffett in Omaha, Nebraska.

Buffett’s interest in business and finances was apparently by the time he reached early childhood, which was emphasized by the fact that he was a mathematical prodigy.

He made his first investment at only eleven years old, and by thirteen, Buffett was running his own business as a paperboy while selling his horse racing tip sheet.

Also at thirteen, he filed his first tax return, with a thirty-five dollar tax deduction for his bike.

Buffett’s money-making ventures continued throughout his teen and high school years, and at the young age of only sixteen, he enrolled at the University of Pennsylvania to study business.

After two years there, he transferred to the University of Nebraska to finish his degree, with nearly $10,000 to spare from his childhood money-making ventures.

Warren Buffett: A Look Into His Life

In 1956, Buffet created the firm Buffett Partnership Ltd. In Omaha, his hometown.

Using the techniques learned, he was successful in becoming a millionaire.

In spite of the success Buffett found in Buffett Partnership, he dissolved the firm in 1969 to focus on Berkshire Hathaway’s development.

Berkshire Hathaway previously focused on textile manufacturing, but he phased that department out and instead bought assets like The Washington Post, GEICO, and Exxon.

He was so successful that he became known as the “Oracle of Omaha” and even turned around the scandal-ridden Salomon Brothers in 1987.

After Berkshire Hathaway heavily invested in Coca-Cola, Buffett was the director of the company from 1989 to 2006, along with being the director of Citigroup Global Markets Holdings, Graham Holdings Company and The Gillette Company for a number of years.

In June 2006, Buffett gave away “his entire fortune” to charity, 85 percent of which went to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, becoming the largest act of charitable giving in U.S. history.

Despite being diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2012, Buffett underwent treatment successfully and continues to rank near the top of the Forbes world billionaires list, due to his consistent buying and selling of companies.

If you’re looking for Warren Buffett quotes to inspire you in your endeavors, you’ve come to the right place.

Also, check out our list of real estate quotes that will inspire you to invest.

Check out our most popular quote article, a list of short inspirational quotes for daily inspiration. 

Check out our entire collection of motivational quotes here. 

Inspirational Warren Buffett Quotes about living a rich life

1. “In the business world, the rearview mirror is always clearer than the windshield.”– Warren Buffett 

Everyday Application: This doesn’t just apply to business! Hindsight is 20/20 in nearly every avenue. It is always easier to assess where we went wrong, then it is to figure out what to do when facing an uncertain future.

Warren Buffett Quotes about the business world

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2. “Wall Street is the only place that people ride to in a Rolls Royce to get advice from those who take the subway.” – Warren Buffett 

Everyday Application: Do not judge people by how they look, the things they have, or the image they present. Instead, judge people on their character, work ethic, and knowledge. That is good advice for nearly any situation in life.

Warren Buffett Quotes about wallstreet

3. “Predicting rain doesn’t count. Building arks does.” – Warren Buffett 

Everyday Application: Knowing something and being aware of challenges is only half the battle. The other part is preparing and taking action. Action is what moves you forward! 

Warren Buffett Quotes about preparation

4. “The first rule is not to lose. The second rule is not to forget the first rule.” – Warren Buffett 

Everyday Application: The only real way to lose is to give up and not learn anything. So, don’t lose. Adjust your plans, be prepared by doing your best, try again, learn and adapt. Change your mindset about what failure and losing is. And then don’t lose! 

Warren Buffett Quotes about life

5. “Risk comes from not knowing what you’re doing.” – Warren Buffett 

Everyday Application: You can lessen the risk associated with things by increasing your knowledge. Make a plan and prepare for things as best you can. There is always an element of risk to the unknown, but being diligent can help put you in a place where that risk is small! 

Warren Buffett Quotes about risk

6. “Chains of habit are too light to be felt until they are too heavy to be broken.” – Warren Buffett 

Everyday Application: This is a poetic reminder that just because something is comfortable does not mean it is good for you. Leave your comfortable habits in the past, and focus on your growth. You do not have to be chained to your habits or your past. You can break free. It will just take a lot of work, but it is worth it!

Warren Buffett Quotes about habits

7. “Only when the tide goes out do you discover who’s been swimming naked.” – Warren Buffett 

wise Warren Buffett Quotes about discover

8. “Price is what you pay. Value is what you get.” – Warren Buffett 

Warren Buffett Quotes about value is what you get

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

Warren Buffett Quotes about investing

10. “Someone is sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago.” – Warren Buffett 

Everyday Application: Sometimes, we do not get to reap the fruits of our labor. That doesn’t mean they were in vain though! The flipside of this is that we often get to receive the benefits from those who have come before us. Put in the work and take the risks! 

thoughtful Warren Buffett Quotes to reap the fruits of our labor

Warren Buffett Quotes About Business

11. 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. – Warren Buffett 

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Everyday Application: Knowing when to walk away from something is an important life skill, according to Warren Buffett and Kenny Rogers! This is not quitting. This is knowing when to adjust and adapt.

warren buffett quotes about chronically leaking boat

12. 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. – Warren Buffett 

Everyday Application: This is another one of those life lessons that most adults should have realized, whether they are politicians or not! You are not always going to get your way. Find ways to compromise or come up with a better idea than is being proposed. Don’t hold people hostage to get your way. You might just ruin the things that really matter.

warren buffett quotes about another one of those life lesson

13. 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. – Warren Buffett 

warren buffett quotes about give us more money and we'll go out and spend more

14. 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. – Warren Buffett 

Everyday Application: Money is important but as the old The Beatles song goes, “Money can’t buy me love.” If you are looking for love this advice is great! Love yourself more, and give more love away to other people. This article offers a great perspective if you are actively seeking love.

warren buffett quotes about worth of love

Warren Buffett Quotes about Stocks and Life

15. 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. – Warren Buffett 

warren buffett quotes about stocks and life

16. 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. – Warren Buffett 

warren buffett quotes about management with a reputation

17. 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. – Warren Buffett 

Everyday Application: Nothing in life can be known for certain. Investing, the stock market, even the state of the world can change in the blink of an eye. Learning this lesson in life can help you live life fully and be present and thankful for what you have right now.

warren buffett quotes about making money from stock market

Quotes by Warren Buffett about Success

18. There seems to be some perverse human characteristic that likes to make easy things difficult. – Warren Buffett 

Everyday Application: Why do we that? It is actually our brain’s fault! The human mind is wired to analyze, comprehend, solve, and draw conclusions about things. The brain is always working and it works quickly, thanks to things like our past experiences. Essentially, even though something might be so simple, your brain is going to tell you that there is no way it is really that easy.

warren buffett quotes that help you making money from stock market

19. 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. – Warren Buffett 

warren buffett quotes about Jeff Raikes at microsoft

20. 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. – Warren Buffett 

warren buffett quotes about unvertain time

21. “Somebody once said that in looking for people to hire, you look for three qualities: integrity, intelligence, and energy. And if you don’t have the first, the other two will kill you. You think about it; it’s true. If you hire somebody without [integrity], you really want them to be dumb and lazy.”  – Warren Buffett 

Everyday Application: Integrity matters because it is the measure of how honest, dependable, and accountable a person is. When looking for an employee (or even a friend) these are much needed qualities. From a leadership point, if your leaders do not have integrity, the rest of the organization will not follow them.

warren buffett quotes about looking for people

22. Honesty is a very expensive gift, Don’t expect it from cheap people.”  – Warren Buffett 

warren buffett quotes about honesty

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

Everyday Application: The person who planted that tree likely never had the opportunity to sit under it! However, they toiled the soil, dug the hole, and cared for the tree. Forethought is essential to progress. How can you make your mark on someone’s future today?

warren buffett quotes about tree plantation

24. “If you’re in the luckiest one per cent of humanity, you owe it to the rest of humanity to think about the other 99 per cent.”  – Warren Buffett 

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warren buffett quotes about humanity

 Warren Buffett Quotes about Leadership

25. “The most important thing to do if you find yourself in a hole is to stop digging.” – Warren Buffett 

Everyday Application: Learning when it is time to regroup and change direction is a valuable skill. You don’t want to just quit on a goal when things get tough, but you might want to start looking for a way to try a different approach. If digging is not working, look for a way to climb out and take whatever you learned and try again.

warren buffett quotes about the most important thing to do if you find yourself in a hole is to stop digging

26. “I insist on a lot of time being spent, almost every day, to just sit and think. That is very uncommon in American business. I read and think. So 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.” – Warren Buffett 

27. “Risk comes from not knowing what you’re doing”  – Warren Buffett 

28. “There’s class warfare, all right, but it’s my class, the rich class, that’s making war, and we’re winning.” – Warren Buffett 

29. “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 it will look good on your resume. Isn’t that a little like saving up sex for your old age?”  – Warren Buffett 

30. “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minuted to ruin it. If you think about that you’ll do things differently.”  – Warren Buffett 

31. “No matter how great the talent or efforts, some things just take time.”  – Warren Buffett 

More Warren Buffett Quotes

32. “Rule No. 1 : Never lose money. Rule No. 2 : Never forget Rule No. 1.”  – Warren Buffett 

33. “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.”  – Warren Buffett 

34. “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.”  – Warren Buffett 

35. “You never know who’s swimming naked until the tide goes out.”  – Warren Buffett 

36. “You can’t produce a baby in one month by getting nine women pregnant.”  – Warren Buffett 

37. “You only have to do a very few things right in your life so long as you don’t do too many things wrong.”  – Warren Buffett 

38. “I always knew I was going to be rich. I don’t think I ever doubted it for a minute. ”  – Warren Buffett 

Everyday Application: This is a great example of the power that comes with believing in yourself. If you truly believe in your goals, you will work hard to make them a reality. You will sacrifice things in the moment to build the future you want. It is much easier to do those things when you never doubt yourself.

39. What an investor needs is the ability to correctly evaluate selected businesses. Note that word “selected”: you don’t have to be an expert on every company, or even many. You only have to be able to evaluate companies within your circle of competence. The size of that circle is not very important; knowing its boundaries, however, is vital. – Warren Buffett 

40. “I’ve seen more people fail because of liquor and leverage — leverage being borrowed money. You really don’t need leverage in this world much. If you’re smart, you’re going to make a lot of money without borrowing.” – Warren Buffett 

Warren Buffett Quotes on Money and Success

41. “The difference between successful people and really successful people is that really successful people say no to almost everything.” – Warren Buffett 

42. “I tell college students, when you get to be my age you will be successful if the people who you hope to have love you, do love you.” – Warren Buffett 

43. “I will tell you how to become rich. Close the doors. Be fearful when others are greedy. Be greedy when others are fearful.” – Warren Buffett 

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

45. “I am a better investor because I am a businessman, and a better businessman because I am an investor.” – Warren Buffett 

46. “If you aren’t willing to own a stock for ten years, don’t even think about owning it for ten minutes. Put together a portfolio of companies whose aggregate earnings march upward over the years, and so also will the portfolio’s market value.” – Warren Buffett 

47. “Diversification is a protection against ignorance. It makes very little sense for those who know what they’re doing.” – Warren Buffett 

48. “Opportunities come infrequently. When it rains gold, put out the bucket, not the thimble.” – Warren Buffett 

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

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Everyday Application: Think before you act. Making a mistake won’t ruin your reputation, especially if you treat it like a learning opportunity. However, doing something wrong or unethical could derail everything you have built. Of course, people are more than their worst mistakes, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have repercussions.

50. “Our favorite holding period is forever.”  – Warren Buffett 

Powerful Warren Buffett quotes

51. “It’s only when the tide goes out that you discover who’s been swimming naked.”  – Warren Buffett 

52. “One can best prepare themselves for the economic future by investing in your own education. If you study hard and learn at a young age, you will be in the best circumstances to secure your future.”  – Warren Buffett 

53. “The best thing that happens to us is when a great company gets into temporary trouble…We want to buy them when they’re on the operating table.”  – Warren Buffett 

54. “Read 500 pages like this every day. That’s how knowledge works. It builds up, like compound interest. All of you can do it, but I guarantee not many of you will do it.”  – Warren Buffett 

55. “An investor should act as though he had a lifetime decision card with just twenty punches on it.”  – Warren Buffett 

56. “You are neither right nor wrong because the crowd disagrees with you. You are right because your data and reasoning are right.”  – Warren Buffett 

57. “I just sit in my office and read all day.”  – Warren Buffett 

58. “Don’t get caught up with what other people are doing. Being a contrarian isn’t the key but being a crowd follower isn’t either. You need to detach yourself emotionally.”  – Warren Buffett 

59. “The most important investment you can make is in yourself.”  – Warren Buffett 

Everyday Application: You are the beginning and the end of everything you achieve in your life. Invest in being the best person you can be. Invest in your education and your health. believe in yourself and put the work in. If you aren’t investing in your dreams and goals, then you will never get where you want to be.

60. “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.”  – Warren Buffett 

More Warren Buffett quotes

61. “What the wise do in the beginning, fools do in the end.” – Warren Buffett

Everyday Application: Anytime is the right time to change your life for the better. It is never too late. However, we could all save ourselves time, energy, and heartache if we learned to do what needs to be done sooner. Learn from those around you, believe in yourself, and take action.

62. “You’ve gotta keep control of your time, and you can’t unless you say no. You can’t let people set your agenda in life.” – Warren Buffett

63. “People always ask me where they should go to work, and I always tell them to go to work for whom they admire the most.” – Warren Buffett

64. “Every saint has a past. Every sinner has a future.” – Warren Buffett

65. “Life is like a snowball. The important thing is finding wet snow and a really long hill.” – Warren Buffett

66. “Never give up searching for the job that you are passionate about.” – Warren Buffett

67. “The more you learn, the more you earn.” – Warren Buffett

68. “The rich invest in time, the poor invest in money.” – Warren Buffett

69. “We don’t have to be smarter than the rest. We have to be more disciplined than the rest.” – Warren Buffett

Everyday Application: Discipline is something many people struggle with. However, it is a necessary skill that helps us understand delayed gratification, achieve our goals, and not get side tracked by distractions. Check out this article for tips on how you can improve your self-discipline.

70. “Do not save what is left after expending, but spend what is left after saving.” – Warren Buffett

Warren Buffett quotes to make you wiser

71. “Losing some money is an inevitable part of investing and there is nothing you can do to prevent it.” ― Warren Buffett

72. “Go to bed a little smarter each day.” ― Warren Buffett

73. “The key is having more information than the other guy – then analysing it right and using it rationally.” ― Warren Buffett

74. “The happiest people do not necessarily have the best things. They simply appreciate the things they have.” ― Warren Buffett

75. “Don’t work for money, make money work for you.” ― Warren Buffett

76. “What the wise man does in the beginning, the fool does in the end” ― Warren Buffett

77. “Risk comes from not knowing what you’re doing.” ― Warren Buffett

78. “The best investment you can make is in yourself.”― Warren Buffett

79. “The people who are most successful are those who are doing what they love.” ― Warren Buffett

80. “If you buy things you don’t need, soon you will have to sell things you need.” ― Warren Buffett

Which of these Warren Buffett quotes is your favorite?

Tell us in the comment section below!

Norbert Juma, Lead Editor
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  1. Altaf Khan

    September 29, 2021 at 12:31 PM

    60. “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.” i always follows thsi Rule…

  2. Lorraine

    September 10, 2021 at 9:23 PM

    every quote I read of Warrens is inspirational – what a truly amazing man he is – and to think his 1st ventures were giving racing tips and delivering papers – never stop learning

  3. syed

    January 23, 2020 at 8:27 AM

    Point- 38 “I always knew I was going to be rich. I don’t think I ever doubted it for a minute. ”

  4. Ken Blacks

    April 30, 2019 at 12:12 AM

    Opportunities come infrequently, when it rains gold put out the bucket not the thimble.

  5. Donburger

    December 28, 2018 at 4:39 PM

    Warren Buffets has neglected Kraft-Heinz shareholders violating his #1 rule: DON’T LOSE MONEY. Kraft-Heinz shareholders losing money leaving shareholders with empty pockets and bank accounts!

  6. Thomas

    December 26, 2018 at 9:04 PM

    This blog talks about all the positive things Mr. Buffett did to build his legacy but why not help the shareholders of Kraft and Heinz. The shareholders lost their homes. They are homeless on Xmas day. Their children will never get to college because college funds are empty. And the worst is our grandparents can’t retire successfully because they have nothing left in their retirement funds. Mr. Buffett left the board of Kraft-Heinz. Shares went down in price 40 % since the 2015 IPO. Please reach out to Mr. Buffett we need to save the shareholders.

  7. Linda Eric Khoza

    November 16, 2018 at 7:56 AM

    somethings just take time, no matter how talented or effort you put. For example,You cannot produce a baby by getting nine women pregnant

  8. jody

    November 2, 2018 at 7:23 AM

    there is a quote today 11-2-18 on FB from Warren ………………I don’t see it? it was amazing…………..

  9. Malia

    October 14, 2018 at 9:54 PM

    “I tell college students, when you get to be my age you will be successful if the people who you hope to have love you, do love you.” – Warren Buffett

  10. Harsh Tiwari

    September 16, 2018 at 3:13 AM

    I draw immense inspiration form him. Thanks Jeff for this detailed and insightful article.

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