The Wisdom of Warren

As a veteran banking  professional and former senior executive leader at Wells Fargo Bank, I have been a student and follower of the teachings of Warren Buffett for many years.  Its no secret that Warren and his company Berkshire Hathaway are one of the largest investors in Wells Fargo Bank and have been for quite some time.

Certainly, you are aware that throughout his lifetime, Mr. Buffett has amassed nearly $55 billion in wealth – through his success in business and a common sense approach towards fiscal responsibility and financial acumen.  He is a very giving man, truly a philanthropist – it is reported that Warren will distribute his wealth to various organizations that help support people and communities in need through thoughtful, planned charitable giving.

Today, his wisdom and advice are shared through a number quotes attributed to him in an article by Heidi Moore of the Guardian while she worked at the Wall Street Journal in 2008.  If you were lucky enough to exposed to this wisdom over 5 years ago – you would agree these  32 quotes are simple, easy to understand and very powerful in developing healthy habits.

Words of Wisdom from Warren Buffett

1. “Wishing makes dreams come true only in Disney movies; it’s poison in business.”
2. “Every tomorrow has been uncertain.”
3. “Never risk what you have and need, for what you don’t have and don’t need.”
4. “More people fail because of liquor and leverage – leverage being borrowed money.”
5. “You do smart things, you eventually get very rich.”
6. “Turnarounds seldom turns around.”
7. “Should you find yourself in a chronically leaking boat, energy devoted to changing vessels is likely to be more productive than energy devoted to patching leaks.”
8. “There seems to be some perverse human characteristic that likes to make things difficult.”
9. “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it.  If you think about that, you’ll do things differently.”
10. “It’s better to hang out with people better than you.”
11. “Someone’s sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago.”
12. “Let blockheads read what blockheads wrote.”
13. “Don’t pass up something that’s attractive today because you think you will find something way more attractive tomorrow.”
14. “You do things when the opportunities come along.  I’ve had periods in my life when I’ve had a bundle of ideas come along, and I’ve had long dry spells. If I get an idea next week, I’ll do something.  If not, I won’t do a damn thing.”
15. “Your premium brand had better be delivering something special, or it’s not going to get the business.”
16. “I don’t worry too much about pointing fingers at the past.  I operate on the theory that every saint has a past, every sinner has a future.”
17. “I’ve never swung at a ball while it’s still in the pitcher’s glove.”
18. “No matter how great the talent or efforts, some things just take time.  You can’t product a baby in one month by getting nine women pregnant.”
19. “You can’t make a good deal with a bad person.”
20. “You do not adequately protect yourself by being half awake when others are sleeping.”
21. “The past is only useful to give you insights into the future, but sometimes there’s no insight.”
22. “Losing some money is an inevitable part of investing and there is nothing you can do to prevent it.”
23. “The stock market, like the Lord, helps those who help themselves.”
24. “The most common cause of low prices is pessimism.”
25. “Problems in a company are like cockroaches in the kitchen. You will never find just one.”
26. “Avoiding the dumb things is the most important.  Learn more, know limitations, avoid the dumb things.”
27. “I read a lot: daily publications, annual reports, 10Ks, 10Qs, business magazines, etc.”
28. “You should focus on what’s important and knowable.”
29. “Emotional makeup is more important than technical skill.”
30. “The best thing is to learn from other guys’ mistakes.”
31. “We will reject interesting opportunities rather than over-leverage our balance sheet.”
32. “You know, if I’m playing bridge and a naked woman walks by, I don’t even see her. Don’t test me on that!”

Enjoy putting into practice what we learn from Warren.

Vince Liuzzi

Executive Leader, Greater Philadelphia Community

One response to “The Wisdom of Warren”

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