Value Investing

25 Pages of the Best Value Investing Quotes (PAGE WILL LOAD SLOWLY)



“I know just enough about  thermodynamics to understand that if it takes too much fossil-fuel energy to create ethanol, that’s a very stupid way to solve an energy problem. [Laughter] ”

“The interesting thing is the field is so big — it’s enormous. One thing a modern civilization needs is energy.”



”People always underestimate the ability of earth to increase its carrying capacity.”



“The laws of thermodynamic s are such that if the water is getting warmer –  and I believe it is – the energy of the weather is going to go up. ”



 “…Missing out on some opportunity never bothers us. What’s wrong with someone getting a little richer than you? It’s crazy to worry about this….”

“Here’s one truth that perhaps your typical investment counselor would disagree with: if you’re comfortably rich and someone else is getting richer faster than you by, for example, investing in risky stocks, so what?! Someone will always be getting richer faster than you. This is not a tragedy.

“We have a higher percentage of the intelligentsia engaged in buying and selling pieces of paper and promoting trading activity than in any past era. A lot of what I see now reminds me of Sodomand Gomorrah. You get activity feeding on itself, envy and imitation. It has happened in the past that there came bad consequences.”

“Well envy/jealousy made, what, two out of the ten commandments? Those of you who have raised siblings you know about envy, or tried to run a law firm or investment bank or even a faculty? I’ve heard Warrensay a half a dozen times, “It’s not greed that drives the world, but envy.”

“Suppose, any one of you knew of a wonderful thing right now that you were overwhelmingly confident- and correctly so- would produce about 12% per annum compounded as far as you could see. Now, if you actually had that available, and by going into it you were forfeiting all opportunities to make money faster- there’re a lot of you who wouldn’t like that. But a lot of you would think, “What the hell do I care if somebody else makes money faster?” There’s always going to be somebody who is making money faster, running the mile faster or what have you. So in a human sense, once you get something that works fine in your life, the idea of caring terribly that somebody else is making money faster strikes me as insane.” 

“The idea of caring that someone is making money faster [than you are] is one of the deadly sins. Envy is a really stupid sin because it’s the only one you could never possibly have any fun at. There’s a lot of pain and no fun. Why would you want to get on that trolley?”

Estate Tax: 

“Personally, I’m against the estate tax at its current rate, with its rapid rise to 55%.  It hits owners of auto dealers, plumbers, etc. I think the exemption should be raised.  “I have no problem with this rate [for estates] in the hundreds of millions of dollars. I have no problem personally with the estate tax.”


“I think you’ll make more money in the end with good ethics than bad. Even though there are some people who do very well, like Marc Rich–who plainly has never had any decent ethics, or seldom anyway. But in the end, Warren Buffett has done better than Marc Rich–in money–not just in reputation.”

“I think the best single way to teach ethics is by example: take in people who demonstrate in all their daily conduct a good ethical framework.  But if your ethics slip and people are rewarded [nevertheless, then] it cascades downward.  Ethics are terribly important, but best taught indirectly by example.  If you just learn a few rules [by having ethics taught in school] so they can pass the test, it doesn’t do much. But if you see people you respect behaving in a certain way, especially under stress, [that has a real impact]. [   ] “The ethics of Wall Street will always average out to mediocre at best…. This doesn’t mean there aren’t some wonderful, intelligent people on Wall Street — there are, like those in this room — but everyone I know has to fight their own firm [to do the right thing].”


“I think there’s an awful lot of twaddle and bull$%#* on EVA. The whole game is to turn retained earnings into more earnings. EVA has ideas about cost of capital that make no sense. Of course, if a company generates high returns on capital and can maintain this over time, it will do well. But the mental system as a whole does not work.”


“Today, it seems to be regarded as the duty of CEOs to make the stock go up. This leads to all sorts of foolish behavior. We want to tell it like it is.”

“…People need to ask, “How do I play the hand that has been dealt me?” The world is not going to give you extra return just because you want it. You have to be very shrewd and hard working to get a little extra. It’s so much easier to reduce your wants. There are a lot of smart people and a lot of them cheat, so it’s not easy to win. (Nervous laughter)…”

“One of the smartest things a person can do is dampen investment expectations, especially with Berkshire. That would be mature and responsible. I like our model and we should do nicely.”

“I’ve heard that one-half of the students at elite schools want to go into private equity or hedge funds. They want to keep up with their age cohorts at Goldman. This can’t possibly end well in terms of meeting these expectations. ”