1.’It’s far better to buy a wonderful company at a fair price than a fair company at a wonderful price.’

Source: 1989 Letter to shareholders

This is one of Buffett’s more famous quotes, and it reflects one of the basic tenets of his investment strategy: He sticks with companies he can fully comprehend, and ones for which the intrinsic value is self-evident, regardless of the current state of their finances. It’s a philosophy that has served him well; if he weren’t prone to giving vast amounts of his money to charity, Buffett might be the single richest man in the world (and he was, in fact, in 2008, according to Forbes’ annual list).

Buffett’s interest in moneymaking began early. As a boy growing up in Omaha, Neb., he would sell chewing gum and magazines door to door, and he filed his first tax return at age 14 (marking deductions for his bicycle and watch, used on a paper route). In high school, Buffett and a friend bought a pinball machine and put in a local barber shop; they quickly expanded that enterprise to include several pinball machines around town.

Today, Buffett’s personal net worth hovers right around $55 billion and his investment firm, Berkshire Hathaway, owns a number of notable American companies outright, including: GEICO, Dairy Queen, Fruit of the Loom, Helzberg Diamonds, and half of Heinz.

2.’Rule No. 1: never lose money; rule No. 2: don’t forget rule No. 1′

Source: “The Tao of Warren Buffett” (2006)

3.’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)

A look at Berkshire Hathaway’s portfolio bears out this bit of advice: The firm invests primarily in companies that have been around a long time and can be explained in a brief sentence: Dairy Queen sells ice cream, GEICO sells insurance, and so on.

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Buffett’s relationship with GEICO dates back to 1952, when he discovered that one of his investment idols, Benjamin Graham, sat on the company’s board. During an attempt to meet Mr. Graham, Buffett had a chance meeting with then-GEICO vice president Lorimer Davidson, and the two became lifelong friends.

4.’I try to buy stock in businesses that are so wonderful that an idiot can run them. Because sooner or later, one will.’

Source: At a panel discussion after the premier of the documentary “I.O.U.S.A” (2008)

5.’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” (2006)

6.’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: 2008 Letter to shareholders