Best Value Investing Quotes from the greats. Big h/t to my friend Phil. This page will probably take a LONG time to load (25 pages). Feel free to copy and paste anything you want from here.

  1. Collection of Quotations on Investing — since I started reading and learning about value investing I’ve been collecting some of the most trenchant quotations and soundbites on the topic as I came across them. I’ve since learned that other people have found this useful as well (notably, Santangel’s Review has mailed out some great collections) and so I thought I’d share this. I also need to apologize in advance, because this document is huge and it’s a mess. It’s mostly unorganized, it’s not uniformly formatted, and only in the past year or two did I think to footnote things as I added them. Hopefully you can still scroll through it and find some nuggets of wisdom (or “CTRL + F” to find something specific). I tried to group some of the “best of the best” in first 25 pages; later you’ll see large collections that were usually sourced by someone else and organized around a theme or a particular person/source. Starting on page 26, the sections include: Ben Graham; Warren Buffett (p.28); Seth Klarman (56); Charlie Munger (65); Misc./Other (121); Michael Burry (132); Jim Chanos (138); Joel Greenblatt (139); Howard Marks (140); Charles Kindleberger (149); Peter Cundill (150); James Montier (153); and David Dreman (155), among others.
    • There are bound to be a lot of mistakes — when you find errors, duplicates, or missing attributions, please let me know. Even better, if you have additions and recommendations, please pass those along as well.

“Confronted with a challenge to distill the secret of sound investment into three words, we venture the motto, Margin of Safety.” – Ben Graham

 

“Price is what you pay; value is what you get.” – Ben Graham

 

“Investment is most intelligent when it is most businesslike.” – Ben Graham

 

“The single greatest edge an investor can have is a long-term orientation.”- Seth Klarman

 

“Compound interest is the eighth wonder of the world.” – Various

 

“Compound interest is the eighth wonder of the world. He who understands it, earns it … he who doesn’t, pays it.”? Albert Einstein

 

“Value investing is the discipline of buying securities at a significant discount from their current underlying values and holding them until more of their value is realized. The element of a bargain is the key to the process.” – Seth Klarman, Margin of Safety

 

“Value investing is at its core the marriage of a contrarian streak and a calculator.” – Seth Klarman[1]

 

“To be a value investor, you have to be willing [and able] to suffer pain.” – Jean Marie Eveillard

 

“You can’t predict, [but] you can prepare.” – Howard Marks

 

“Invert, always invert.” – Jacobi (and Charlie Munger)

 

“Since we have emphasized that analysis will lead to a positive conclusion only in the exceptional case, it follows that many securities must be examined before one is found that has any real possibilities for the analyst. By what practical means does he proceed to make his discoveries? Mainly by hard and systematic work.” – Graham and Dodd, Security Analysis

 

“The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easier person to fool.” – Richard Feynman

 

“I always start [investing] from a position of fear.” – Warren Buffett

 

“It is remarkable how much long-term advantage people like us have gotten by trying to be consistently not stupid, instead of trying to be very intelligent.”  –Charlie Munger

 

“Activity is the enemy of investment returns.” – Warren Buffett

 

“The plan itself is opportunism. There is no plan before that.” – Warren Buffett

 

“[T]he secret to investing is to figure out the value of something – and then pay a lot less.” – Joel Greenblatt[2]

 

“One of the advantages of a fellow like Buffett is that he automatically thinks in terms of decision trees.” – Charlie Munger

“In the short run, the market is a voting machine, but in the long run it is a weighing machine.” – Ben Graham

 

“Every [individual] decision increases the prospect that a mistake will be made.” – Unknown

 

“The stock market is filled with individuals who know the price of everything but the value of nothing.” – Phil Fisher

 

“It just seems logical that sticking to investing in only a small number of companies that you understand well, rather than moving down the list to your thirtieth or fiftieth favorite pick, would create a much greater potential to earn above-average investment returns.” – Joel Greenblatt[3]

 

“There are three important principles to Graham’s approach. [The first is to look at stocks as fractional shares of a business, which] gives you an entirely different view than most people who are in the market. [The second principle is the margin-of-safety concept, which] gives you the competitive advantage. [The third is having a true investor’s attitude toward the stock market, which] if you have that attitude, you start out ahead of 99 percent of all the people who are operating in the stock market – it’s an enormous advantage.”[4] – Warren Buffett

 

“If you’re an investor, you’re looking at what the asset – in our case, businesses – will do. If you’re a speculator, you’re primarily forecasting on what the price will do independent of the business.”[5] – Warren Buffett

 

“The true investor scarcely ever is forced to sell his shares and at all other times is free to disregard the current price quotation.” – Ben Graham

 

“I’ve learned mainly by reading myself. So I don’t think I have any original ideas. Certainly, I talk about reading Graham. I’ve read Phil Fisher. So I’ve gotten a lot of my ideas from reading. You can learn a lot from other people. In fact, I think if you learn basically from other people, you don’t have to get too many new ideas on your own. You can just apply the best of what you see.”[6] – Warren Buffett

 

“Take the probability of loss times the amount of possible loss from the probability of gain times the amount of possible gain. That is what we’re trying to do. It’s imperfect, but that’s what it’s all about.” – Warren Buffett

 

“Risk is not inherent in an investment; it is always relative to the price paid. Uncertainty is not the same as risk. Indeed, when great uncertainty – such as in the fall of 2008 – drives securities prices to especially low levels, they often become less risky investments.” – Seth Klarman[7]

 

“It is impossible to produce superior performance unless you do something different from the majority.” – John Templeton

 

“If you want to shoot rare, fast-moving elephants, you should always carry a loaded gun.” – Warren Buffett

 

“No wise pilot, no matter how great his talent and experience, fails to use his checklist.” – Charlie Munger

 

“It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends on his not understanding it.” – Upton Sinclair

 

“Markets can remain irrational a lot longer than you and I can remain solvent.” – John Maynard Keynes[8]

 

“Neither a short-term borrower nor a long-term lender be.” – attributed to Polonius

 

“Of the maxims of orthodox finance none, surely, is more anti-social than the fetish of liquidity, the doctrine of that it is a positive virtue on the part of investment institutions to concentrate their resources upon the holding of ‘liquid’ securities. It forgets that there is no such thing as liquidity of investment for the community as a whole.” – John Maynard Keynes[9]

 

Speculation is the attempt to forecast changes in the psychology of the market. – adapted from J.M. Keynes, General Theory

 

“Do not trust financial market risk models. Despite the predilection of some analysts to model the financial markets using sophisticated mathematics, the markets are governed by behavioral science, not physical science.” – Seth

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