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Quotes

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

– Theodore Roosevelt

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“Here’s a tricky one that I worry about. Everybody wants to live longer and I don’t know what that means, to live longer. Suppose you could live 10,000 years. Then, what’s your urge to get out of bed the next morning. There’s no time pressure on you to achieve, to accomplish, to love. When you give flowers to a loved one on a special occasion, are they made of plastic so they live forever? No, they are made of flower petals. There’s a pistil, there’s a stamen, there’s a stalk, and that will all die. And it’s the fact that it dies that empowers our emotions to appreciate it that much more. So, the finiteness of life forces me to appreciate every sunrise that I wake up every day. And if I live forever, I don’t know that I would have those emotions or those feelings or the sense that the day awaits my energy.”

– Neil deGrasse Tyson

Found via Business Insider

Great list of quotes from Henry Ford.  Go check out the full article 21 Quotes From Henry Ford On Business, Leadership And Life over at Forbes.

  • There is one rule for the industrialist and that is: make the best quality goods possible at the lowest cost possible, paying the highest wages possible.
  • Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success.
  • Don’t find fault, find a remedy.
  • Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently.
  • Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t – you’re right.
  • Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty.  Anyone who keeps learning stays young.
  • Employers only handle the money – it is the customer who pays the wages.
  • Thinking is the hardest work there is, which is probably the reason so few engage in it.
  • The only real mistake is the one from which we learn nothing.
  • If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said ‘faster horses.’
  • You can’t build a reputation on what you are going to do.
  • If there is any one secret of success, it lies in the ability to get the other person’s point of view and see things from that person’s angle as well as from your own.
  • Enthusiasm is the yeast that makes your hopes shine to the stars.
  • Vision without execution is just hallucination.
  • There is no man living who isn’t capable of doing more than he thinks he can do.
  • A business that makes nothing but money is a poor business.
  • I cannot discover that anyone knows enough to say what is and what is definitely not possible.
  • A business absolutely devoted to service will have only one worry about profits.  They will be embarrassingly large.
  • You don’t have to hold a position in order to be a leader.
  • Quality means doing it right when no one is looking.
  • To do more for the world than the world does for you – that is success.

Excerpts from Bob Dylan’s Let Me Die In My Footsteps .  This song was written in the early 1960s – seems we’re yet to learn our lesson.

There’s been rumors of war and wars that have been
The meaning of life has been lost in the wind
And some people thinkin’ that the end is close by
“Stead of learnin’ to live they are learning to die.

I don’t know if I’m smart but I think I can see
When someone is pullin’ the wool over me
And if this war comes and death’s all around
Let me die on this land ‘fore I die underground.

There’s always been people that have to cause fear
They’ve been talking of the war now for many long years
I have read all their statements and I’ve not said a word
But now Lawd God, let my poor voice be heard.

If I had rubies and riches and crowns
I’d buy the whole world and change things around
I’d throw all the guns and the tanks in the sea
For they are mistakes of a past history.

“What is REAL?” asked the Rabbit one day, when they were lying side by side near the nursery fender, before Nana came to tidy the room.  “Does it mean having things that buzz inside you and a stick-out handle?”

“Real isn’t how you are made,” said the Skin Horse.  “It’s a thing that happens to you.  When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real.”

“Does it hurt?” asked the Rabbit.

“Sometimes,” said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful.  “When you are Real you don’t mind being hurt.”

“Does it happen all at once, like being wound up,” he asked, “or bit by bit?”

“It doesn’t happen all at once,” said the Skin Horse.  “You become.  It takes a long time.  That’s why it doesn’t happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept.  Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in your joints and very shabby.  But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.”

From Security Analysis, 1940 edition:

“Analysis is concerned primarily with values which are supported by the facts and not with those which depend largely upon expectations. In this respect the analyst’s approach is diametrically opposed to that of the speculator, meaning thereby one whose success turns upon his ability to forecast or to guess future developments. Needless to say, the analyst must take possible future changes into account, but his primary aim is not so much to profit from them as to guard against them. Broadly speaking, he views the business future as a hazard which his conclusions must encounter rather than as the source of his vindication.”Source: Value Investing World

A treasure trove of good Buffett quotes.  Found via The Big Picture

“To invest successfully, you need not understand beta, efficient markets, modern portfolio theory, option pricing or emerging markets. You may, in fact, be better off knowing nothing of these. That, of course, is not the prevailing view at most business schools, whose finance curriculum tends to be dominated by such subjects. In our view, though, investment students need only two well-taught courses
-How to Value a Business, and How to Think About Market Prices.”
Source: Chairman’s Letter, 1996

“The best thing that happens to us is when a great company gets into temporary trouble…We want to buy them when they’re on the operating table.”
Source: Businessweek, 1999

“None of this means, however, that a business or stock is an intelligent purchase simply because it is unpopular; a contrarian approach is just as foolish as a follow-the-crowd strategy. What’s required is thinking rather than polling. Unfortunately, Bertrand Russell’s observation about life in general applies with unusual force in the financial world: “Most men would rather die than think. Many do.”
Source: Chairman’s Letter, 1990

“Over the long term, the stock market news will be good. In the 20th century, the United States endured two world wars and other traumatic and expensive military conflicts; the Depression; a dozen or so recessions and financial panics; oil shocks; a flu epidemic; and the resignation of a disgraced president. Yet the Dow rose from 66 to 11,497.”
Source: The New York Times, October 16, 2008

“The line separating investment and speculation, which is never bright and clear, becomes blurred still further when most market participants have recently enjoyed triumphs. Nothing sedates rationality like large doses of effortless money. After a heady experience of that kind, normally sensible people drift into behavior akin to that of Cinderella at the ball. They know that overstaying the festivities ¾ that is, continuing to speculate in companies that have gigantic valuations relative to the cash they are likely to generate in the future ¾ will eventually bring on pumpkins and mice. But they nevertheless hate to miss a single minute of what is one helluva party. Therefore, the giddy participants all plan to leave just seconds before midnight. There’s a problem, though: They are dancing in a room in which the clocks have no hands.”
Source: Letter to shareholders, 2000

“You don’t need to be a rocket scientist. Investing is not a game where the guy with the 160 IQ beats the guy with 130 IQ.”
Source: Warren Buffet Speaks, via msnbc.msn

“I have pledged – to you, the rating agencies and myself – to always run Berkshire with more than ample cash. We never want to count on the kindness of strangers in order to meet tomorrow’s obligations. When forced to choose, I will not trade even a night’s sleep for the chance of extra profits.”
Source: Letter to shareholders, 2008

“Your goal as an investor should simply be to purchase, at a rational price, a part interest in an easily-understandable business whose earnings are virtually certain to be materially higher five, ten and twenty years from now. Over time, you will find only a few companies that meet these standards – so when you see one that qualifies, you should buy a meaningful amount of stock. You must also resist the temptation to stray from your guidelines: If you aren’t willing to own a stock for ten years, don’t even think about owning it for ten minutes. Put together a portfolio of companies whose aggregate earnings march upward over the years, and so also will the portfolio’s market value.”
Source: Chairman’s Letter, 1996

“When we own portions of outstanding businesses with outstanding managements, our favorite holding period is forever.”
Source: Letter to shareholders, 1988

“Investors should remember that excitement and expenses are their enemies. And if they insist on trying to time their participation in equities, they should try to be fearful when others are greedy and greedy only when others are fearful.”
Source: Letter to shareholders, 2004

“It’s far better to buy a wonderful company at a fair price than a fair company at a wonderful price.”
Source: Letter to shareholders, 1989

“The stock market is a no-called-strike game. You don’t have to swing at everything–you can wait for your pitch. The problem when you’re a money manager is that your fans keep yelling, ‘Swing, you bum!’”
Source: The Tao of Warren Buffett via Engineeringnews.com

“We will continue to ignore political and economic forecasts, which are an expensive distraction for many investors and businessmen. Thirty years ago, no one could have foreseen the huge expansion of the Vietnam War, wage and price controls, two oil shocks, the resignation of a president, the dissolution of the Soviet Union, a one-day drop in the Dow of 508 points, or treasury bill yields fluctuating between 2.8% and 17.4%.
“But, surprise – none of these blockbuster events made the slightest dent in Ben Graham’s investment principles. Nor did they render unsound the negotiated purchases of fine businesses at sensible prices. Imagine the cost to us, then, if we had let a fear of unknowns cause us to defer or alter the deployment of capital. Indeed, we have usually made our best purchases when apprehensions about some macro event were at a peak. Fear is the foe of the faddist, but the friend of the fundamentalist.
Source: Chairman’s Letter, 1994

“Long ago, Sir Isaac Newton gave us three laws of motion, which were the work of genius. But Sir Isaac’s talents didn’t extend to investing: He lost a bundle in the South Sea Bubble, explaining later, “I can calculate the movement of the stars, but not the madness of men.” If he had not been traumatized by this loss, Sir Isaac might well have gone on to discover the Fourth Law of Motion: For investors as a whole, returns decrease as motion increases.”
Source: Letters to shareholders, 2005

“Long ago, Ben Graham taught me that ‘Price is what you pay; value is what you get.’ Whether we’re talking about socks or stocks, I like buying quality merchandise when it is marked down.”
Source: Letter to shareholders, 2008

“After all, you only find out who is swimming naked when the tide goes out.”
Source: Letter to shareholders, 2001

“Our investments continue to be few in number and simple in concept: The truly big investment idea can usually be explained in a short paragraph. We like a business with enduring competitive advantages that is run by able and owner-oriented people. When these attributes exist, and when we can make purchases at sensible prices, it is hard to go wrong (a challenge we periodically manage to overcome).
“Investors should remember that their scorecard is not computed using Olympic-diving methods: Degree-of-difficulty doesn’t count. If you are right about a business whole value is largely dependent on a single key factor that is both easy to understand and enduring, the payoff is the same as if you had correctly analyzed an investment alternative characterized by many constantly shifting and complex variables.”
Source: Chairman’s Letter, 1994

“I am a better investor because I am a businessman, and a better businessman because I am an investor.”
Source: Forbes.com – Thoughts On The Business Life

“SUPPOSE that an investor you admire and trust comes to you with an investment idea. “This is a good one,” he says enthusiastically. “I’m in it, and I think you should be, too.”
Would your reply possibly be this? “Well, it all depends on what my tax rate will be on the gain you’re saying we’re going to make. If the taxes are too high, I would rather leave the money in my savings account, earning a quarter of 1 percent.” Only in Grover Norquist’s imagination does such a response exist.”
Source: New York Times

“Our approach is very much profiting from lack of change rather than from change. With Wrigley chewing gum, it’s the lack of change that appeals to me. I don’t think it is going to be hurt by the Internet. That’s the kind of business I like.”
Source: Businessweek, 1999

“Rule No. 1: never lose money; rule No. 2: don’t forget rule No. 1″
Source: The Tao of Warren Buffett

“Time is the friend of the wonderful business, the enemy of the mediocre.”
Source: Letters to shareholders 1989

“Wall Street is the only place that people ride to in a Rolls-Royce to get advice from those who take the subway.”
Source: The Tao of Warren Buffett