23 Famous Investment Quotes to Help You Get Rich
Investing is essential to building long-term wealth. Take cues from investors who've conquered the market. Here are 23 inspiring quotes on what you should do when you're ready to invest.
1. Warren Buffett: Don't be a follower.
"I will tell you how to become rich. Close the doors. Be fearful when others are greedy. Be greedy when others are fearful."
Buffett is widely considered the most successful investor of the 20th century, and the Berkshire Hathaway CEO is known for nuggets of wisdom like this one. Letting fear drive your investment decisions may seem counterintuitive, but what he's really saying is to pay attention to the market, and be skeptical about what the crowd is doing.
2. Peter Lynch: Do your homework.
"If you don't study any companies, you have the same success buying stocks as you do in a poker game if you bet without looking at your cards."
Dubbed a legend in investing circles, Lynch is a man who knows how to make a smart investment. As head of Fidelity's Magellan Fund, he grew the fund's assets from $18 million to $14 billion, which is no small feat. The main driver behind his success is the idea that you should always invest in what you know and take the time to learn about what you don't.
3. Robert G. Allen: Thriving investors don't play it safe.
"How many millionaires do you know who have become wealthy by investing in savings accounts? I rest my case."
Investing is all about making money, and that's pretty tough to do if you're afraid to venture off the safe path. As a successful businessman who also enjoyed a brief stint in the U.S. House of Representatives, Allen wasn't afraid to take chances. The bottom line is if you're trying to build wealth, you can't afford to keep all your funds in savings accounts that are barely earning interest. To make money, there is some risk you will need to take on (only you can decide how much you can tolerate). After all, when there's no risk, there's no reward.
4. Jim Cramer: Trust your instincts.
"Every once in a while, the market does something so stupid it takes your breath away."
If you want investing advice delivered with lots of personality and no sugar coating, Cramer's your go-to guy. The Mad Money host doesn't shy away from pointing out the market's shortcomings, nor does he advocate following bad trends. That includes not panicking when it seems like everyone else is. If your gut's telling you something is a bad investment, don't let yourself be persuaded to buy into it.
5. John Neff: Look for the hidden gems.
"It's not always easy to do what's not popular, but that's where you make your money. Buy stocks that look bad to less careful investors and hang on until their real value is recognized."
Neff earned a reputation as a savvy fund manager during his tenure as the head of Vanguard's Windsor Fund. One of the reasons his investments have performed so well is that he's comfortable with swimming against the stream and choosing investments whose potential may be overlooked. What he's saying here, essentially, is don't be afraid to take a chance on the underdog.
6. Phillip Fisher: Don't confuse price with value.
"The stock market is filled with individuals who know the price of everything, but the value of nothing."
Fisher is heralded as the ultimate long-term investor, most notably for buying stock in Motorola all the way back in the 1950s. He held onto it until his death in 2004. If you're investing for the long haul, be prepared to look beyond the price for determining what a stock is really worth. In the end, the way a company is organized and the principles it operates on are a better indicator of its future success.
7. Sir John Templeton: Look back to go forward.
"The four most dangerous words in investing are: 'This time it's different.'"
The market moves in cycles, and understanding how the trends change is something Templeton knew all about. He reached billionaire status as a mutual fund investor by looking at how stocks had performed in the past, rather than relying on future speculation. Even if you're not a billionaire (yet), you can take a page out of Sir John's book by choosing investments based on their established performance, rather than what the experts are predicting.
8. Warren Buffett: Be selective.
"Wide diversification is only required when investors do not understand what they are doing."
You don't get a nickname like the "Oracle of Omaha" for nothing. Even though Buffett's already made our list once, we couldn't overlook this insight. When you're starting off as an investor, it's tempting to spread your money out into several different investments to see what works and what doesn't. Once you start to get the hang of it, however, you can, and should, narrow down your portfolio to just those investments that reflect your goals.
9. John Bogle: Know your limits.
"If you have trouble imagining a 20% loss in the stock market, you shouldn't be in stocks."
As founder and former CEO of The Vanguard Group, Bogle is a staunch advocate of using a common sense approach when it comes to investing. That means knowing whether stock or funds trading is even right for you to begin with. If you can't stomach the thought of losing money in the market, you may not be cut out to be a serious investor.
10. John Maynard Keynes: Go with what you know.
"As time goes on, I get more and more convinced that the right method of investment is to put fairly large sums into enterprises which one thinks one knows something about and in the management of which one thoroughly believes."
Keynes is best known for his theories on economic policy, and his views saw a resurgence in popularity in the wake of the 2009 financial crisis. Besides economics, he also knew a thing or two about investing. His basic formula for success? Choose companies that you recognize and whose mission you believe in.
11. Bill Gross: Don't think you need to go it alone.
"Finding the best person or the best organization to invest your money is one of the most important financial decisions you'll ever make."
Companies like E*Trade and Scottrade make it easy to start dabbling in the market, but if you want customized investment advice, you may be better off going with a full-service brokerage. According to Janus Capital Group bond fund manager Gross, when you decide whose hands can hold your money, you are setting the tone for your long-term outlook as an investor.
12. Benjamin Graham: It takes work to move beyond mediocre.
"To achieve satisfactory investment results is easier than most people realize; to achieve superior results is harder than it looks."
Graham is hailed as the father of "value investing," a strategy that advocates picking stocks that are consistently undervalued. A direct influence on other investing greats like Warren Buffett, he recognized the distinction between investing and investing well. Earning some money in the market isn't difficult, but if you want to reach the upper tier of success, you can't settle for results that are just "good enough."
13. John D. Rockefeller: Don't lose sight of the big picture.
"The person who starts simply with the idea of getting rich won't succeed; you must have a larger ambition."
The name "Rockefeller" is pretty much synonymous with wealth, and the family's distinguished legacy disguises a somewhat humble beginning. John D. Rockefeller spent the first part of his life building his fortune and the second part giving it away. The lesson investors of today can glean from his example is to look beyond simply making money and figure out how you can use it to leave a positive mark on the world around you.
14. George Soros: Take it seriously.
"If investing is entertaining, if you're having fun, you're probably not making any money. Good investing is boring."
Soros has gotten some flack in the past for his political views, but when it comes to investing, his insights are always on point. The image that most Americans have of investing is derived from movies and television shows. The reality is much different than cocky investors pumping their fists and whooting every day at their computer screens. If you want to move beyond being a hobby investor, there's no room for fun and games.
15. Warren Buffett: Stop overthinking it.
"If you have more than 120 or 130 I.Q. points, you can afford to give the rest away. You don't need extraordinary intelligence to succeed as an investor."
We couldn't help but sneak in one more Buffettism, and this one really speaks to one of the biggest problems people encounter with investing - themselves. Sure, you have to be willing to do the legwork when researching stocks or funds, but you have to know when enough is enough. If you're constantly analyzing and reanalyzing everything, you're never going to get around to actually investing.
16. Charlie Munger: Less really is more.
"All intelligent investing is value investing - acquiring more that you are paying for. You must value the business in order to value the stock."
As Buffett's second-in-command, Munger is another student of the value investing school. Like others who share his philosophy, good investing is all about figuring out an investment's true worth when everyone else around you doesn't seem to recognize it. Buying a stock for less than what the company is worth puts you ahead of the game once its value starts to climb. But, of course, you must believe in it to make such an investment.
17. Robert Arnott: Be willing to push your own boundaries.
"In investing, what is comfortable is rarely profitable."
Sticking to stocks that are a safe bet is fine and dandy, but don't be surprised if you're not raking in big bucks. Arnott has spent his entire career analyzing theories and methods that can help investors maximize their returns, and he sums up his principles pretty simply here. Sometimes, you have to be willing to step out on a limb - get out of your comfort zone - if you want to see a bigger payoff.
18. Howard Marks: Timing is everything.
"Smart investing doesn't consist of buying good assets but of buying assets well. This is a very, very important distinction that very, very few people understand."
Adding the right mix of investments to your portfolio is a no-brainer, but as Marks, chairman of Oaktree Capital Management, points out, the "how" of it is just as important as the "what." It's not enough to buy a solid stock or mutual fund; you also have to pay attention to what's going on in the market so you're making your purchase at the most opportune moment.
19. Peter Lynch: There will be bumps in the road.
"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."
Unless you're just completely oblivious, you've seen firsthand the shake-ups in the market that followed the financial crisis. For younger investors who had never been through a recession before, the experience was a real eye-opener. If you heed Lynch's words and remember that ups and downs are bound to happen, it's a little easier to weather the storms that inevitably come along.
20. T. Boone Pickens: Stay focused.
"The older I get, the more I see a straight path where I want to go. If you're going to hunt elephants, don't get off the trail for a rabbit."
Oil magnate Pickens has never been known to mince words and here, he cuts straight to the point. If you start out with specific investing goals, don't let yourself be pulled down other paths if it means taking your eyes off the bigger prize.
21. David Tepper: Be patient.
"This company looks cheap, that company looks cheap, but the overall economy could completely screw it up. The key is to wait. Sometimes the hardest thing to do is to do nothing."
Appaloosa Management founder Tepper built his career on investing in distressed companies, and he's something of an expert at bargain hunting. What will set your investing strategy apart, as he explains here, is knowing whether something is really a deal before you sink any money into it. If you jump the gun and invest too soon, your potential goldmine could turn out to be a dud.
22. Bruce Kovner: Take your feelings out of the equation.
"The emotional burden of trading is substantial; on any given day, I could lose millions of dollars. If you personalize these losses, you can't trade."
Money triggers different emotions in different people. If you're especially attached to yours, suffering a big loss the first time you invest may be enough to scare you away from the market for good. Commodities trader Kovner learned about the risks of getting emotionally involved after taking some major hits early on. If you want to stick with investing, you have to disconnect your feelings from what's happening in the market.
23. Carlos Slim: Seize the day.
"Anyone who is not investing now is missing a tremendous opportunity."
If you tell yourself that you need to wait for the perfect time to invest, you're going to be waiting a while. Meanwhile, the chance to start growing your money is steadily passing you by. Slim didn't become a tech and telecommunications investing giant (not to mention the second wealthiest man in the world) by sitting around on his hands. The message here is clear: if you're thinking of investing, there'll never be a better time than the present, so what are you waiting for?