New and experienced investors alike can learn a lot by studying the advice of the world’s most successful investors. These gurus have tried and true strategies and understand what it takes to succeed in the market.
Thankfully for everyday investors, investing giants like Warren Buffet, Peter Lynch, and others have been outspoken about their approaches. In this guide, we’ll highlight 12 of the best investing quotes from top investors and explain how you can incorporate them into your own investing strategy.
Top Investing Quotes – Highlights
Below are some of the highlights from our selection of investment quotes:
- “Know what you own, and know why you own it.” — Peter Lynch
- “My efforts are devoted to finding undervalued securities.” — Warren Buffett
- “You need to keep raw, irrational emotion under control.” — Charlie Munger
- “The simplest way to upgrade your investment returns is to double your average holding period.” — David Gardner
- “Don’t confuse luck with skill.” — Carl Icahn
“Know what you own, and know why you own it.” — Peter Lynch
Peter Lynch points out that behind every stock is a company. Investors should not only know what that company does, but why they think it has value right now. Over time, investors should reassess the assets in their portfolio and ask whether they still make sense to own.
“Be fearful when others are greedy. Be greedy when others are fearful.” — Warren Buffett
Warren Buffett became one of the world’s most successful investors in part by being contrarian. He suggests that investors be wary when the market is high, which could indicate that a bubble is forming. At the same time, Buffett suggests that when investors are afraid of a stock and cause it to be potentially undervalued, that is the best time to buy.
“It’s not whether you’re right or wrong that’s important, but how much money you make when you’re right and how much you lose when you’re wrong.” — George Soros
George Soros highlights one of the most important tenets of investing: maximize your profits and minimize your losses. When investors find a winning company, Soros suggests that they should double down on it. When investors pick a losing company, Soros suggests that it’s better to cut losses early and live to invest another day. With this strategy, investors can come out ahead in the long run even if they make only a handful of excellent investments.
“The individual investor should act consistently as an investor and not as a speculator.” — Benjamin Graham
Benjamin Graham is known as the father of value investing, and his writings lay the groundwork for many of today’s long-term investors. According to Graham, investors should focus solely on investing and not get distracted by the short-term ups and downs of the market. In other words, investors need to research companies, think critically about valuations, and keep their long-term investing goals in mind.
“The idea that a bell rings to signal when to get into or out of the stock market is simply not credible. After nearly fifty years in this business, I don’t know anybody who has done it successfully and consistently. I don’t even know anybody who knows anybody who has.” — John C. Bogle
John C. Bogle was the founder of Vanguard and the strongest advocate for passive index investing. He points out that very few investors are able to perfectly time the market or beat the market’s performance. The corollary is that investors should instead strive to simply match the market’s performance by investing in low-cost index funds.
“I make no attempt to forecast the market—my efforts are devoted to finding undervalued securities.” — Warren Buffett
Buffett makes the point that trying to guess which direction the market is headed next is often futile. Investors are better served by finding undervalued companies to buy, which can generate above-average returns as the company realizes its potential regardless of which way the market is moving.
“A lot of people with high IQs are terrible investors because they’ve got terrible temperaments. You need to keep raw, irrational emotion under control.” — Charlie Munger
Charlie Munger is the business partner of Warren Buffett and an accomplished investor in his own right. Munger has spoken often about the importance of patience in investing. He suggests that patience is one of the most important traits an investor can have and that keeping emotion out of investing is essential to success.
“The simplest way to upgrade your investment returns is to double your average holding period.” — David Gardner
David Gardner is the co-founder of The Motley Fool and one of the most successful growth investors of the 21st century. Gardner’s strategy revolves around long-term investing, and he suggests that many investors make the mistake of selling good stocks too soon. According to Gardner, simply holding onto winning investments for longer is one of the best ways to boost your investment return. This has worked well for Gardner and the team of analysts at Motley Fool who have beaten the S&P 500 for the past two decades (as of September, 13, 2022).
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“Don’t confuse luck with skill when judging others, and especially when judging yourself.” — Carl Icahn
Carl Icahn is an activist investor who has frequently shared his views on corporate America and the quality of corporate managers. He says investors should be cautious about attributing their success to skill when there may be luck involved. This mistake can lead to overconfidence and a potentially large loss down the road.
“A market downturn doesn’t bother us. It is an opportunity to increase our ownership of great companies with great management at good prices.” — Warren Buffett
Warren Buffett considers market downturns a chance to double down on high-quality investments. If investors have a company that they think is undervalued, market turmoil offers a chance to pick up more shares at a lower price. In addition, many companies that were previously fairly valued or slightly overvalued may become undervalued during a market downturn.
“You get recessions, you have stock market declines. If you don’t understand that’s going to happen, then you’re not ready, you won’t do well in the markets.” — Peter Lynch
Peter Lynch offers a warning to investors: market downturns will happen. It’s not a matter of if, but when. So, investors need to be prepared for the worst. That means building a diversified portfolio, keeping some cash in reserve, and having a plan for what to do when the market takes an unexpected turn.
“The best way to measure your investing success is not by whether you’re beating the market but by whether you’ve put in place a financial plan and a behavioral discipline that are likely to get you where you want to go.” – Benjamin Graham
Benjamin Graham reminds investors that the goal of investing isn’t to beat the market – rather, it’s to reach your financial goals. Your investing strategy should always be focused on what will help you get closer to meeting your long-term goals.
Conclusion: Investing Quotes
The world’s most successful investors have a lot to teach everyday investors about how to approach the market and how to find success for themselves. These 12 quotes offer important lessons about how to invest for the long term, how to evaluate investments, and how to build a strong and durable portfolio.