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An investing education in 33 quotes

Buffett, Munger, Klarman, Roosevelt, Templeton and more explain in their own words how to invest intelligently.

The science of building wealth can be boiled down to eight key virtues: knowledge, saving, emotional control, understanding intrinsic value, forecasting, having a margin of safety, patience and, finally, spending your fortune wisely.

We explain these concepts in detail throughout our website but here we want to get back to basics and let some of the most successful investors in the world give you a crash course.


An investment in knowledge pays the best interest. – Benjamin Franklin

If you're going to live a long time, you have to keep learning. What you formerly knew is never enough. So if you don't learn to constantly revise your earlier conclusions and get better ones ... you're like a one-legged man in an ass-kicking contest. – Charlie Munger

An investor who has all the answers doesn’t even understand the questions. Success is a process of continually seeking answers to new questions. – John Templeton

It takes as much energy to wish as it does to plan. – Eleanor Roosevelt


A budget is telling your money where to go instead of wondering where it went. – Dave Ramsey

Do not save what is left after spending, but spend what is left after saving. – Warren Buffett

Try to save something while your salary is small; it’s impossible to save after you begin to earn more. – Jack Benny

Every time you borrow money, you're robbing your future self. – Nathan Morris

The habit of saving is itself an education; it fosters every virtue, teaches self-denial, cultivates the sense of order, trains to forethought, and so broadens the mind. – T.T. Munger

Emotional control 

You don’t need to have a high IQ in the investment business, but you do need emotional control. – Warren Buffett

I will tell you the secret to getting rich on Wall Street. You try to be greedy when others are fearful. And you try to be fearful when others are greedy. – Warren Buffett

I think we have one big advantage. A lot of other people are trying to be brilliant, and we're just trying to stay rational ... Trying to be brilliant is dangerous, particularly when gambling. – Charlie Munger

The trick of successful investors is to sell when they want to, not when they have to. –Seth Klarman

There are two requirements for success in Wall Street. One, you have to think correctly; and secondly, you have to think independently. – Benjamin Graham

Intrinsic value

When you buy a stock, get in the mental state that you would own the whole business. Think about what you would pay for the whole business. – Warren Buffett

Focus on value because most investors focus on outlooks and trends.  You must be a fundamentalist to be really successful in the market. – John Templeton

We have to deal in things we’re capable of understanding, and then once we're over that filter we need a business with intrinsic characteristics that give it a durable competitive advantage. Then, of course, we would vastly prefer a management in place with a lot of integrity and talent. And finally, no matter how wonderful it is, it isn’t worth an infinite price so we need a price that makes sense and gives a margin of safety considering the natural vicissitudes of life. It’s a very simple set of ideas. – Charlie Munger

Intrinsic value is an all-important concept that offers the only logical approach to evaluating the relative attractiveness of investments and businesses. Intrinsic value can be defined simply: It is the discounted value of the cash that can be taken out of a business during its remaining life. The calculation of intrinsic value, though, is not so simple. As our definition suggests, intrinsic value is an estimate rather than a precise figure, and it is additionally an estimate that must be changed if interest rates move or forecasts of future cash flows are revised. – Warren Buffett


The biggest mistake investors make is to believe that what happened in the recent past is likely to persist. They assume that something that was a good investment in the recent past is still a good investment. Typically, high past returns simply imply that an asset has become more expensive and is a poorer, not better, investment. – Ray Dalio

We need to stop pretending that we can divine the future, and instead concentrate on understanding the present, and preparing for the unknown. – James Montier

Look down, not up, when making your initial investment decision. If you don’t lose money, most of the remaining alternatives are good ones. – Joel Greenblatt

The four most expensive words in the English language are, ‘This time is different.’ – John Templeton

Margin of safety

The margin of safety is always a function of the price paid. It will be large at one price, small at some higher price, and non-existent and some still higher price. – Benjamin Graham

If you're driving a truck across a bridge that says it holds 10,000 pounds and you've got a 9,800 pound vehicle, if the bridge is six inches above the crevice it covers, you may feel okay. But if it's over the Grand Canyon, you may feel you want a little larger margin of safety in terms of driving only a 4,000 pound truck across. It depends on the nature of the underlying risk. – Warren Buffett

The function of the margin of safety is, in esscence, that of rendering unnecessary an accurate estimate of the future. – Benjamin Graham


If you took our top fifteen decisions out, we’d have a pretty average record. It wasn’t hyperactivity, but a hell of a lot of patience. You stuck to your principles and when opportunities came along, you pounced on them with vigor. – Charlie Munger

Investing should be more like watching paint dry or watching grass grow. If you want excitement, take $800 and go to Las Vegas. – Paul Samuelson

To achieve satisfactory investment results is easier than most people realise; to achieve superior results is harder than it looks. – Benjamin Graham

The stockmarket is designed to transfer money from the active to the patient. – Warren Buffett


Money is only a tool. It will take you wherever you wish, but it will not replace you as the driver. – Ayn Rand

There are people who have money and people who are rich. – Coco Chanel

It’s good to have money and the things that money can buy, but it’s good, too, to check up once in a while and make sure that you haven’t lost the things that money can’t buy. – George Lorimer

We make our living by what we get. We make our life by what we give. – Winston Churchill

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