August 30th was America’s most-loved business tycoon’s 89th birthday. He made his fortune (US$82 billion as of July 18, 2019) investing in and helping to build American businesses.

I won’t waste your time diving into Buffett’s background (Wikipedia does a good job), but I will say his wisdom on investing, money and business management is sought by many (including President Barack Obama, as you can see in the pic above).

Here are some of his best gems:

“Beware the investment activity that produces applause; the great moves are usually greeted by yawns.”

“Calling someone who trades actively in the market an investor is like calling someone who repeatedly engages in one-night stands a romantic.”

“The stock market is designed to transfer money from the active to the patient.”

“The business schools reward difficult complex behavior more than simple behavior, but simple behavior is more effective.”

“Forecasts may tell you a great deal about the forecaster; they tell you nothing about the future.”

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

“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.”

“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.”

“The investor of today does not profit from yesterday’s growth.”

“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.” (Note: Interestingly, Buffett’s company, Berkshire Hathaway, currently holds about $122b in cash.)

“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.”

“Be Fearful When Others Are Greedy and Greedy When Others Are Fearful”

“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?”

“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.”

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