Warren Buffett Quotes on Success, Life and Leadership
April 18, 2023 5:00 AM EST
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.
According to a study by the National Bureau of Economic Research, the average American’s happiness level has remained relatively stable over time despite significant increases in income and material wealth.
This statistic supports Warren Buffett’s belief that money and material possessions are not the keys to happiness and that focusing on relationships, personal growth, and meaningful work is more important.
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
A study by Payscale found that companies with high employee satisfaction tend to have better financial performance than those with low employee satisfaction.
This research supports Warren Buffett’s emphasis on the importance of investing in high-quality companies with strong management teams and positive company cultures.
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.
You will also enjoy our article on 50 cent quotes.
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.
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!
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!
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!
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!
7. “Only when the tide goes out do you discover who’s been swimming naked.” – Warren Buffett
8. “Price is what you pay. Value is what you get.” – Warren Buffett
9. “It’s far better to buy a wonderful company at a fair price than a fair company at a wonderful price.” – Warren Buffett
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!
Warren Buffett Quotes About Business
A study by the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School found that CEOs who demonstrate emotional intelligence are more likely to be successful leaders than those who do not.
This research supports Warren Buffett’s emphasis on the importance of understanding human behavior and communication in leadership.
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
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.
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.
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
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 Stocks and Life
According to a study by Vanguard, the average investor underperforms the market by approximately 1.5% per year, highlighting the need for Warren Buffett quotes that emphasize the importance of long-term investing and patience.
This statistic underscores the importance of quotes that discourage short-term thinking and encourage individuals to invest for the long haul.
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
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
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.
Quotes by Warren Buffett about Success
According to a study by the Federal Reserve, the median net worth of American households is $121,700, emphasizing the need for Warren Buffett quotes that promote wealth creation and financial independence.
This statistic underscores the importance of quotes that encourage individuals to invest for the long-term and to build wealth through smart financial decisions.
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.
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
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
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.
22. Honesty is a very expensive gift, Don’t expect it from cheap people.” – Warren Buffett
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?
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
Warren Buffett Quotes about Leadership
A survey by Gallup found that only 30% of Americans are engaged at work, highlighting the need for Warren Buffett quotes that promote finding work that aligns with one’s passions and interests.
This statistic underscores the importance of quotes that encourage individuals to pursue careers that they are passionate about, and that align with their values and aspirations.
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.
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
According to Forbes, Warren Buffett’s net worth is $91.5 billion as of April 2021, making him the seventh richest person in the world.
This statistic demonstrates Buffett’s success as an investor and serves as motivation for those interested in personal finance and investing.
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
In 2020, Warren Buffett donated $2.9 billion to various charities, bringing his total charitable donations to over $37 billion throughout his lifetime.
This highlights Buffett’s philanthropic nature and the importance he places on giving back.
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
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
In a 2013 survey by Harris Interactive, Warren Buffett was ranked as the second most admired person in the world, behind only Nelson Mandela.
This speaks to the widespread respect and admiration Buffett has earned for his success as an investor and his philanthropic efforts.
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.” ―
72. “Go to bed a little smarter each day.” ―
73. “The key is having more information than the other guy – then analysing it right and using it rationally.” ―
74. “The happiest people do not necessarily have the best things. They simply appreciate the things they have.” ―
75. “Don’t work for money, make money work for you.” ―
76. “What the wise man does in the beginning, the fool does in the end” ―
77. “Risk comes from not knowing what you’re doing.” ―
78. “The best investment you can make is in yourself.”―
79. “The people who are most successful are those who are doing what they love.” ―
80. “If you buy things you don’t need, soon you will have to sell things you need.” ―
Which of these Warren Buffett quotes is your favorite?
Tell us in the comment section below!
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…
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
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. ”
April 30, 2019 at 12:12 AM
Opportunities come infrequently, when it rains gold put out the bucket not the thimble.
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!
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
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