Securities

Once you attain competency, diversification is undesirable. One or two, or at most three or four, securities should be bought.

Gerald M. Loeb – American investor (1899-1974), from “The Battle for Investment Survival” (1935), Quotations book 2019

Raise the bar

Competent investors will never be satisfied beating the averages by a few small percentage points.

Gerald M. Loeb – American investor (1899-1974), from “The Battle for Investment Survival” (1935), Quotations book 2019

Brands

Brand managers no longer own ‘their brand’. Brands are owned by the people who love them.

Kevin J. Roberts – British consultant and coach, 1997-2014 CEO of Saatchi & Saatchi (b. 1949), Quotations book 2019

Leader

A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way.

John C. Maxwell – American leadership expert, author and speaker (b. 1947), from “The Right to Lead: Learning Leadership Through Character and Courage” (2010)

Law of process

Leadership is developed daily, not in a day.

John C. Maxwell – American leadership expert, author and speaker (b. 1947)

Taking away

The trick isn’t adding stuff, it’s taking away.

attributed to Mark Zuckerberg – American company founder: facebook (b. 1984)

Profit instead of volume

Volume is vanity, profit is sanity.

Wilhelm Zeller – German manager, 1996-2009 CEO at Hannover Rück (b. 1944)

Change and growth

Change is constant, growth is optional.

Kim Butcher – American investor (b. 1958)

Businessculture

Culture eats strategy for lunch.

business wisdom, often attributed to Peter F. Drucker – Austrian-born American management expert (1909-2005), Quotations book 2019

Scrutinize

The time to reflect on your investing methods is when you are most successful, not when you are making the most mistakes.

Sir John Marks Templeton – British value investor and philanthropist (1912-2008)

Be responsible, be involved, participate

No reward without responsibility,
no investment without involvement,
no profit without participation.

Dr. Michael Schluter – British economist, author, speaker and social entrepreneur (b. 1947), during his presentation at the European Economic Summit Declaration 2014

Brand

Any damn fool can put on a deal, but it takes genius, faith and perseverance to create a brand.

David Ogilvy – legendary British advertising executive and entrepreneur (1911-1999), from “The Unpublished David Ogilvy” (1988), Quotations book 2018

Expensive habit

The seven most expensive words in any business are: “We have always done it that way!”

Catherine DeVrye – Australian motivational speaker and entrepreneur: Greatmotivation, Quotations book 2019

Build people

You don’t build a business – you build people – and then people build your business.

Zig Ziglar – American author, motivational speaker and entrepreneur (1926-2012), Quotations book 2018

Best executive

The best executive is one who has sense enough to pick good people to do what he wants done, and self-restraint enough to keep from meddling with them while they do it.

Thaddeaus Hammond – American banker and former farmer, president of the Farmers’ National Bank and the Rotary Club Overton, from J. R. Sprague’s “Big Business-itis”, in “The Rotarian” N° 27 (3. September 1925)

The right man at the right time

If you accept my thesis that many aging tech companies resemble the Walking Dead, you should also accept the follow-up proposition that what these companies need are not “visionary” CEOs but pragmatic ones, less Steve the visionary, and more Larry the Liquidator, a person with limited ambitions and a readiness to preside over the dismantling of an enterprise.

Prof. Aswath Damodaran – Indian-American accountant, manager and financial educator at New York University (b. 1957), in hi blog “The Yahoo! Chronicles! Is this the End Game?” (7.12.2015)

Building companies

The builders of visionary companies tend to be clock builders, not time tellers. They concentrate primarily on building an organization – building a ticking clock – rather than on hitting a market just right with a visionary product idea.

James C. “Jim” Collins – American business consultant, author and academic (b. 1958), in “Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies” (2002), Quotations book 2018

Sell eqipment instead of digging for gold

Since the Industrial Revolution began, going downstream – investing in businesses that will benefit from new technology rather than investing in the technology companies themselves – has often been the smarter strategy.

Ralph Wanger – American fund manager (b. 1933), Quotations book 2019

Come further

What got me here won’t get me where I want to go.

motivation from business

Greatness

If you always hire people who are smaller than you are, we shall become a company of dwarfs. If, on the other hand, you always hire people who are bigger than you are, we shall become a company of giants.

David Ogilvy – legendary British advertising executive and entrepreneur (1911-1999), Quotations books 2002 + 2018

Staff selection

Hire people who are better than you are, then leave them to get on with it.

David Ogilvy – legendary British advertising executive and entrepreneur (1911-1999), Quotations book 2018

Customer-focus

If you’re competitor-focused, you have to wait until there is a competitor doing something. Being customer-focused allows you to be more pioneering.

Jeffrey P. “Jeff” Bezos – American company founder: Amazon (b. 1964), from an U.S.-News-interview with David LaGesse (2008), Quotations book 2018

Homerun

If you’re looking for a home run – a great investment for five years or ten years or more – then the only way to beat this enormous fog that covers the future is to identify a long-term trend that will give a particular business some sort of edge.

Ralph Wanger – American fund manager (b. 1933), Quotations book 2019

Leadership

Leadership is discovering the company’s destiny and having the courage to follow it … companies that endure have a noble purpose.

Joseph “Joe” Jaworski – American lawyer and business advisor, American Leadership Forum (b. 1934), Quotations book 2018

Bear risks

It’s the investor’s job to intelligently bear risk for profit. Doing it well is what separates the best from the rest.

Howard S. Marks – American investor and company founder (b. 1946), from “The Most Important Thing Illuminated: Uncommon Sense for the Thoughtful Investor” (2012), Quotations book 2018

Better decisions

The most important investment judgements at most big institutions and for most large portfolios are made by committees, but few realize the negative dynamics of group interaction.
I think that, in most instances, groups of intelligent people have so many inherent liabilities that a lone individual has a far better chance of making good decisions.
The collective intelligence of the group is surely less than the sum of its parts, and the more people on a committee, the less chance it has to be wise and crisp in its decision making.

Barton M. Biggs – American investment strategist (1932-2012), from “Hedgehogging” (2006), Quotations book 2019

Initiative

Business is not about ideas, it’s about initiatives.

Sergio Zyman – Mexican marceting executive and Company founder, advisor for Coca Cola (b. 1945), Quotations book 2017

Evolution of a crisis

The crisis takes a much longer time coming than you think, and then it happens much faster than you would have thought.

Prof. Dr. Rüdiger “Rudi” Dornbusch – German-born American economist (1942-2002), in an interview for “Frontline” (PBS, 1995), Quotations book 2018

Business valuation

Managers and investors alike must understand that accounting numbers are the beginning, not the end, of business valuation.

Warren Buffett – American investor, Chairman of Berkshire Hathaway (b. 1930), in his letter to the stockholders from March 3rd, 1983, Quotations book 2017

Analysis

The time to reflect on your methods is when you are most successful, not when you are making the most mistakes.

Sir John Marks Templeton – British value investor and philanthropist (1912-2008), Quotations book 2017

Philanthropy

Philanthropy is harder than business. You are tackling important problems that people with intellect and money have tackled in the past and had a tough time solving.

Warren Buffett – American investor, Chairman of Berkshire Hathaway (b. 1930), from ” The Snowball: Warren Buffett and the Business of Life” by Alice Schroeder (2008), Quotations book 2017

Niche

As an investor you never have perfect information, and the biggest profits are always available when competition and information are scarce.

Seth A. Klarman – American investor, president and CEO: The Baupost Group, LLC (b. 1957), Quotations book 2017

Customer focus

I am not the boss – the readers are.

Patrick Joseph McGovern, Jr. – American publisher, founder of the media, research and venture capital organization IDG (1937-2014), Quotations book 2017

Idealism

There is indeed little merit in being idealistic if the provision of the material means required for these idealistic aims is left to somebody else. It is only where a person can himself choose to make a material sacrifice for a nonmaterial end that he deserves credit.

Friedrich August von Hayek – Austrian economist and social philosopher, Nobel Memorial Prize in economic sciences 1974 (1899-1992), from “The moral Element in Free Enterprise” (1962)

Supervision

The directors of companies, however, being the managers rather of other people’s money than of their own, it cannot well be expected that they should watch over it with the same anxious vigilance (…) .

Negligence and profusion, therefore, must always prevail, more or less, in the management of the affairs of such a company.

Adam Smith – English economist (1723-1790), from “n Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations”, Book V, Chapter 1, Part 3 (1776)

True independence

True independence – meaning the willingness to challenge a forceful CEO when something is wrong or foolish – is an enormously valuable trait in a director. It is also rare. The place to look for it is among high-grade people whose interests are in line with those of rank-and-file shareholders – and in line in a very big way.

Warren Buffett – American value investor, Chairman of Berkshire Hathaway (b. 1930), Quotations book 2016

Consumer

An educated consumer is our best consumer.

Sy Syms – American businessman and company founder: SYMS clothing store chain (1926-2009)

Removing costs

Removing unnecessary costs is a service to civilization.

Charlie Munger – Vice Chairman of Berkshire Hathaway (b. 1924), Quotations book 2016

Committee decisions

Committees can criticize, but they cannot create. Search all the parks in all your cities. You’ll find no statues of committees.

David Ogilvy – legendary British advertising executive and entrepreneur (1911-1999)

Industries

Instead of ceaselessly lamenting the loss of the old industries, we must simply face up the adventure to develop new ones.

John Naisbitt – American scientist in the area of futures studies, who popularized the term “globalization” (b. 1929)

Property

Property … is the only solution men have yet discovered to the problem of reconciling individual freedom with the absence of conflict. Law, liberty, and property are an inseparable trinity.

Friedrich August von Hayek – Austrian economist and social philosopher, Nobel Memorial Prize in economic sciences 1974 (1899-1992), from “Law, Legislation And Liberty”, Volume 1 (1973), Quotations book 2015

Engagement

It isn’t the number of people employed in a business that makes it successful it is the number working.

Wisdom from business life – Quotations book 2015

Family business

We do not inherit the family business from our parents, we borrow it from our children.

Slogan by Hermès International S.A., Paris – Quotations book 2015

Free enterprise

We believe that business is good because it creates value,
it is ethical because it is based on voluntary Exchange,
it is noble because it can elevate our existence,
and it is heroic because it lifts people out of poverty and creates prosperity.
Free-enterprise capitalism is the most powerful system for social cooperation and human progress ever conceived.
It is one of the most compelling ideas we humans have ever had.

John Mackay – American Company founder: Whole Foods (b. 1953), Quotations book 2015

Business leaders

Business leaders are called to engage the contemporary economic and financial world in light of the principles of human dignity and the common good.

Among these principles, we recall the principle of meeting the needs of the world with goods which are truly good and which truly serve..

Peter K. A. Cardinal Turkson – Catholic theologian, 1992-2009 Archbishop of Cape Coast, Ghana, since 2010 president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace (b. 1948), from “Vocation of the Business Leaders. A reflection” (2012), Quotations book 2015

Longterm

Most Money will be made in the future – as has been in the past – by owning businesses and not by selling and buying them.

Benjamin Graham – born as Benjamin Großbaum, American investor and inventor of systematic stocks analysis (1894-1976), following “The Intelligent Investor” (1949), Quotations book 2015

Quality

The customer still thinks on the quality of our products, when he has long forgotten the price.

Business slogan – Quotations book 2015

Persuasion indstead of punishment

The great art lies to discern in what the law is to bid restraint and punishment, and in what things persuasion only is to work.

John Milton – English poet and political theorist (1608-1674), from “Areopagitica” (1644), Quotations book 2015

Honest and fair

In the long term, an honest and fair approach to doing business will always be the most profitable. And the business world holds such an approach in much higher esteem than is generally imagined.

Robert Bosch – German entrepreneur (1861-1942), from “Lebenserinnerungen” (1921), Quotations book 2014

Achieving collaboratively

Firms come into being in order to enable human beings to achieve collaboratively what they could not achieve alone.

Prof. Morten T. Hansen/Prof. Nitin Nohria – Professor at University of California (b. 196?)/Deacan at Harvard Business School (b. 1962), from “How to Build Collaborative Advantage” (MIT Sloan Management Review, 2004)

Businesses

Bad businesses throw problems at you. Good businesses throw cash flow.

from business

Growth

People create growth, companies report it.

Brian Joffe – South African company founder: Bidvest Group (b. 1947)

Financial analysts

Financial analysts are like politicians, never there to be counted when they’re wrong.

Brian Joffe – South African company founder: Bidvest Group (b. 1947)

Make use of success

Who rests on the success of a good article, leaves the field open to the competitors for improvements and runs the risk to bore his regular coustumers.

Inge G. Thulin – Swedish manager, Chairman and CEO at 3M (b. 1953)

Inflation

The most important thing to remember is that inflation is not an act of God, that inflation is not a catastrophe of the elements or a disease that comes like the plague. Inflation is a policy.

Ludwig von Mises – Austrian economist (1881-1973), from “Economic Policy; Thoughts for Today and Tomorrow” (1979)

Looking forward

100 % of the information we have about a company reflects the past, while 100 % of its value depends on the future.

Bill Miller – American portfolio manager (b. 1950), Quotations book 2016

Business opportunities

Business opportunities are like buses, there’s always another one coming.

Sir Richard Branson – British company founder (Virgin) and adventurer (b. 1950)

Learn, earn, return

You learn, you earn and you return.

American proverb, slogan for Prof. Dr. h.c. Roland Berger, business consultant – German entrepreneur, benefactor and foundation curator (b. 1937), Quotations book 2014

Resources

There is no shortage of financial capital. The scarce resource is human capital.

Michael Milken – American financer, benefactor and innovator in medical science (b. 1946)

Power of Money

To the question how money can stop wars: When two opposing sides each have enough money, the usually don’t make war.

Irving Kahn – American value investor, founder of Kahn Brothers & Company, Inc. (1905-2015)

Complecancy

The greatest threat to the future of a successful company is not the competitors or the market or technical developments, but in most cases the internal complacency.

Robert M. Tomasko – American Business Consultant, author and professor at the American University (b. 1948), Quotations book 2014

Performance

The best performance is produced by a person, not a committee.

Sir John Marks Templeton – British value investor and philanthropist (1912-2008), Quotations book 2014

Reasons

People don’t buy for logical reasons. They buy for emotional reasons.

Zig Ziglar – American author, motivational speaker and entrepreneur (1926-2012)

Capitalism

Capitalism without failure is like religion without sin.

Allan H. Meltzer – American economist (1928-2017)

Development

Little else is requisite to carry a state to the highest degree of opulence from the lowest barbarism but peace, easy taxes and a tolerable administration of justice: all the rest is being brought about by the natural order of things.

Adam Smith – English economist (1723-1790), Quotations book 2013

Commerce

The pursuit of commerce reconciles nations, calms wars, strengthens peace, and commutes the private good of individuals into the common benefit of all. (…)
Commerce penetrates the secret places of the world, approaches shores unseen, explores fearful wildernesses, and in tongues unknown…carries on the trade of mankind.

Hugh of St. Victor – Christian medieval theologian  (1096-1141), from “Didascalicon” (c. 1128), Quotations book 2013

Speed

I’ve always found that the speed of the boss is the speed of the team.

Lee Iacocca – American entrepreneur, savior of Chrysler (b. 1924)

Justice and taxes

A king gives stability to the land by justice;
but one who imposes heavy taxes tears it down.

The Bible, Proverbs 29:4 (CEB) – Quotations book 2013

Satisfied costumers

No one can guarantee you a job other than satisfied customers. That’s the only thing that works. Nothing creates work other than products and services you provide that create satisfied customers.

Jack Welch – born John Francis Welch jr., legendary Anerican manager (General Electric), Fortune 1999: Manager of the Century (b. 1935), Quotations book 2013

Competitiveness

If you don’t have a competitive advantage, don’t compete.

Jack Welch – born John Francis Welch jr., legendary Anerican manager (General Electric), Fortune 1999: Manager of the Century (b. 1935)

Values

There is a continuum that runs from character to productivity. Who you are and what you believe make a difference to those who look to you for leadership. The values you live will reach the bottom line of your company.

Walter Wright – American Business journalist (b. 1942), Quotations book 2013

Longterm investment

Enduring wealth comes from owning great companies for a long time.

Company Slogan of Jensen Investment Management – American asset management company

Competitive advantage

The only sustainable competitive advantage is the ability to learn faster than the competition.

Arie de Geus – Dutch author, former head of Shell International Petroleum (b. 1930)

Competitive advantage

The key to investing is not assessing how much an industry is going to affect society, or how much it will grow, but rather determining the competitive advantage of any given company and, above all, the durability of that advantage.

Warren Buffett – American value investor, Chairman of Berkshire Hathaway (b. 1930), Quotations book 2012

Trust instead of diversification

As time goes on, I get more and more convinced that the right method in 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. It is a mistake to think that one limits one’s risk by spreading too much between enterprises about which one knows little and has no reason for special confidence… One’s knowledge and experience are definitely limited and there are seldom more than two or three enterprises at any given time in which I personally feel myself entitled to put full confidence.

John Maynard Keynes – British economist and investor (1883-1946), in a letter to Francis Scott, Chairman of Provincial Insurance on August 15th, 1934, Quotations book 2012

As Keynes’ assets were only £ 7,815 at the end of 1929, they reached their height with £ 506,522 in 1936. In the subsequent stock market crisis the assets collapsed to about £ 200,000. At the end of 1945 his assets were £ 411,238, which converted to current conditions would approximate € 22 million.

Sell

One can sell anything, if it is in fashion. The problem is making it fashionable in the first place.

Ernest Dichter – American social scientist, pioneer of market psychology (1907-1991), Quotations book 2012

Corporate goal

Many people assume, wrongly, that a company exists simply to make money. While this is an important result of a company’s existence, we have to go deeper and find the real reasons for our being. People get together and exist as a company so that they are able to accomplish something collectively that they could not accomplish separately – they make a contribution to society.

David Packard – founder of Hewlett-Packard (1912-1996), in an address to HP Managers on March 8th, 1960, Quotations book 2012

Turnover

Turnover is vanity, profit is sanity, overhead walks on two legs.

Felix Dennis – British publisher and company founder (b. 1947), ZQuotations book 2012

Manage and invest

There’s really a lot of overlap between managing and investing. Being a manager has made me a better investor, and being an investor has made me a better manager.

Warren Buffett – American value investor, Chairman of Berkshire Hathaway (b. 1930), from “Warren Buffett’s Managment Secrets” (2009), Quotations book 2012

Self directed

The hourly wages are in fact four times higher in Denmark, but our employees there are four times as productive as their colleagues in Hungary and the Czech Republic as well. Labour costs only make up one third of the production costs. In Billund for example we need only one executive for 80 employees because they are highly qualified and can lead themselves.

Jørgen Vig Knudstorp – Danish manager, LEGO (b. 1968), Quotations book 2012

Fail faster

Once companies try to “reduce the number of screw-ups”, innovation usually grinds to a halt. The key to more efficient innovation is failing faster, not less often.

Robert I. Sutton – American Management academic (b.1954), in “Weird Ideas That Work: 11 1/2 Practices for Promoting, Managing and Sustaining Innovation” (2001), Quotations book 2012

Realism

Anyone who believes a growth rate in excess of 15% per annum over the long term is attainable, should pursue a career in sales, but avoid one in mathematics.

Warren Buffett – American value investor, Chairman of Berkshire Hathaway (b. 1930), Quotations book 2012

A question of attitude

You don’t want to be in business with people who need a contract to be motivated to perform.

Warren Buffett – American value investor, Chairman of Berkshire Hathaway (b. 1930), from “Warren Buffett’s Management Secrets” (2009), Quotations book 2012

Management questions

What is our Mission?
Who is our customer?
What does the customer value?
What are the results?
What is our plan?

Peter F. Drucker – Austrian-born American management expert (1909-2005), from “The Five Most Important Questions You Will Ever Ask Your Organization” (2008), Quotations book 2011

Circle of competence

Draw a circle around the businesses you understand and then eliminate those that fail to qualify on the basis of value, good management, and limited exposure to hard times.

Warren Buffett – American value investor, Chairman of Berkshire Hathaway (b. 1930), Quotations book 2011

Property

Property is the fruit of labor – property is desirable – it is a positive good in the world. That some should be rich, shows that others may become rich, and hence is just encouragement to industry and enterprise.

Abraham Lincoln – American politician, 1861-65 16th president (1809-1865), from a speech at the New York Workingmen’s Democratic Republican Association, after they appointed him honorary president (merch 21st, 1864), Quotations book 2010

Profit and cash

Net profit is an opinion.

Cash is a fact.

Whitney R. Tilson – American hedge fonds manager (b. 1966), Quotations book 2010

Moral Values

Without commonly shared and widely entrenched moral values and obligations, neither the law, nor democratic government, nor even the market economy will function properly.

Vaclav Havel – Czech writer and politician, 1993-2003 president of the Czech Republik (1936-2011)

Market-economy

Though my heart may be left of centre, I have always known that the only economic system that works is a market economy, in which everything belongs to someone – which means that someone is responsible for everything. It is a system in which complete independence and plurality of economic entities exist within a legal framework, and its workings are guided chiefly by the laws of the marketplace. This is the only natural economy, the only kind that makes sense, the only one that can lead to prosperity, because it is the only one that reflects the nature of life itself..

Vaclav Havel – Czech writer and politician, 1993-2003 president of the Czech Republik (1936-2011)

Economic Growth

Economic growth not only increases material living standards; it shapes the moral character of people and society.

Benjamin M. Friedman – American economist (b. 1944)

Risk

These people risked something they had and needed for something they did not have and did not need.

Warren Buffett – American value investor, Chairman of Berkshire Hathaway (b. 1930), on the collaps of the LTCM hedge fonds (Long Term Capital Management), found on youtube: “Warren Buffett MBA talk”

Investments

The art of investing in public companies successfully is little different from the art of successfully acquiring subsidiaries. In each case you simply want to acquire, at a sensible price, a business with excellent economics and able, honest management. Thereafter, you need only monitor whether these qualities are being preserved.

Warren Buffett – American value investor, Chairman of Berkshire Hathaway (b. 1930)

Beta-risk

If someone starts talking to you about beta, zip your pocketbook … there are two kinds of risk: 1) The risk that you could get a better return on your money elsewhere (opportunity cost) and 2) the risk of permanent capital impairment (financial health).

Warren Buffett – American value investor, Chairman of Berkshire Hathaway (b. 1930)

Sound investing

(Benjamin Graham) wasn’t about brilliant investments and he wasn’t about fads or fashion. He was about sound investing and I think sound investing can make you very wealthy if you’re not in too big of a hurry. And it never makes you poor, which is better.

Warren Buffett – American value investor, Chairman of Berkshire Hathaway (b. 1930)

Arbitrage

Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach him how to arbitrage and you feed him forever.

Warren Buffett – American value investor, Chairman of Berkshire Hathaway (b. 1930)

Reputation

When a management with a reputation for brilliance tackles a business with a reputation for bad economics, it is the reputation of the business that remains intact.

Warren Buffett – American value investor, Chairman of Berkshire Hathaway (b. 1930)

Market fluctuations

Look at market fluctuations as your friend rather than your enemy; profit from folly rather than participate in it.

Warren Buffett – American value investor, Chairman of Berkshire Hathaway (b. 1930)

Simplicity

The business schools reward difficult complex behavior more than simple behavior, but simple behavior is more effective.

Warren Buffett – American value investor, Chairman of Berkshire Hathaway (b. 1930)

Cut-throat competition

It is hard to make money where others are prepared to loose it.

Warren Buffett – American value investor, Chairman of Berkshire Hathaway (b. 1930)

Quality of Managemant

We do not wish to join with managers who lack admirable qualities, no matter how attractive the prospects of their business. We’ve never succeeded in making a good deal with a bad person.

Warren Buffett – American value investor, Chairman of Berkshire Hathaway (b. 1930)

Margin of Safety

You have to have the knowledge to enable you to make a very general estimate about the value of the underlying business. But you do not cut it close. That is what Ben Graham meant by having a margin of safety. You don’t try and buy businesses worth $83 million for 80$ million. You leave your self an enormous margin.

Warren Buffett – American value investor, Chairman of Berkshire Hathaway (b. 1930)

Economic moat

Look for the durability of the franchise. The most important thing for me is figuring out how big a moat there is around a business. What I love, of course, is a big castle and a big moat with piranhas and crocodiles.

Warren Buffett – American value investor, Chairman of Berkshire Hathaway (b. 1930)

Lifelong investing

To invest successfully over a lifetime does not require a stratospheric IQ, unusual business insight, or inside information. What’s needed is a sound intellectual framework for decisions and the ability to keep emotions from corroding that framework.

Warren Buffett – American value investor, Chairman of Berkshire Hathaway (b. 1930), Quotations book 2005

Quality

Quality in a product or service is not what the supplier puts in. It is what the customer gets out and is willing to pay for. A product is not quality because it is hard to make and costs a lot of money, as manufacturers typically believe. This is incompetence. Customers pay only for what is of use to them and gives them value. Nothing else consitutes quality.

Peter F. Drucker – Austrian-born American management expert (1909-2005), Quotations book 2005

Enough

Well, I think there’s one big truth that the typical investment counselor will have difficulty recognizing, but the guy who’s investing his own money ought to have no trouble recognizing. If you’re comfortably rich and you’ve got a way of investing your money that is overwhelmingly likely to keep you comfortably rich and someone else finds some rapidly growing something-or-other and is getting richer a lot faster than you are, that is not a big tragedy.

Charlie Munger – Vice Chairman of Berkshire Hathaway (b. 1924)

Invest

Invest at the point of maximum pessimism.

Sir JohnMarks Templeton – British value investor and philanthropist (1912-2008), Quotations book 2005

Expensive words

The five most expensive words in investing are, this time it is different.

Sir John Marks Templeton – British value investor and philanthropist (1912-2008)

Poverty

The poor stay poor not because they are lazy, but because they have no access to capital.

attributed to Milton Friedman – American economist, Nobel Memorial Prize in economic sciences 1976 (1912-2006)

Constraints in conglomerates

There ain’t no nice guys in big business.

attributed to Carl Cecilian Icahn – american millionaire and investor (b. 1936)

Venture Capital

I must say that a small investment company is one of the toughest things I ever attempted to do. There’s no business in this world that’s more difficult than backing bright young engineers and guys who think they’ve got a new product but aren’t good businessmen.

Royal Little – American entrepreneur, founded Textron in 1923, father of modern conglomerate companies (1896-1989)

Investment

All intelligent investing is value investing – to acquire more than you are paying for. Investing is where you find a few great companies und then sit on your ass.

Charlie Munger – Vice Chairman of Berkshire Hathaway (b. 1924), at the Berkshire Annual General Meeting 2000

Moral and economy

If moral represents an ideal world, economy shows the real world.

Steven D. Levitt – American economist and author (b. 1967)

Basic Value

Start each day from last night’s close, not your original costs.

Trading rule

Theorists

If economists wished to study the horse, they wouldn´t go and look at horses. They´d sit in their studies and say to themselves, “what would I do if I were a horse?”

attributed to Ely Devon – british economist (1913-1967)

Investing

Investing in a market sector simply because “it’s done so well” is like choosing to plant corn in October because your neighbor’s corn has grown so well since April.

Ronald H. “Ron” Muhlenkamp – American investor, fund Manager and author, founder of Muhlenkamp & Company (b. 1944)

Creating value

Many managers wonder why we create value where they don’t succeed. That is due to the factors we talked about: The 100-day plan, the measuring systems, entrepreneurial mentality that we encourage and our way of control.

Henry Kravis – American private equity manager (KKR) (b. 1944)

Leader

The leader is the servant who removes the obstacles that prevent people from doing their jobs.

Business wisdom

Charitable giving

Charitable giving should be a spiritual, rather than economic, decision. Economically, charitable giving never pays.

Ron Blue – Christian financial advisor (b.1942)

Independence

You can’t do right in investments unless you think independently. And the truth is, you’re neither right nor wrong because people agree with you. You’re right because your facts and your reasoning are right..

Warren Buffett – American value investor, Chairman of Berkshire Hathaway (b. 1930),Quotations book 2004

Contrarian

Be fearful when the world is greedy and be greedy when the world is fearful..

Warren Buffett – American value investor, Chairman of Berkshire Hathaway (b. 1930), Quotations book 2004

Donate

What I discovered is that you’ve got to put in the same amount of work, and exercise the same degree of judgement, in giving money away as you do in making it..

William H. “Bill” Gates – American software entrepreneur, Microsoft (b. 1955), Quotations book 2004

Don’t have others do the talking for you

We didn’t really need all that fancy legal stuff. The lawyers have a way of dragging you in and making things more complicated than they are. We were paying huge legal bills at that time, and I don’t think any of that would have affected the outcome. When the dust settles, you find out it was all just a huge waste of time, energy and money.

Robert “Bob” Warren Miller – American businessman, co-founder of the DFS Duty Free Shops (b. 1933), about his try to prevent the sell of his partner’s Shares at LVMH, Quotations book 2009

Private enterprise

Some regard private enterprise as a predatory tiger to be shot. Others look on it as a cow they can milk. Only a handful see it for what it really is – the strong and willing horse that pulls the whole cart.

Sir Winston L. Churchill – British politician, 1940-45 and 1951-55 Prime Minister, Nobel Prize in literature 1953 (1874-1965), in a speech from October 29th, Quotations book 2009

Outperformance

My observation over the past two decades is that most investors who significantly outperform the market over the longer run, do so because of their implicit or explicit utilization of good theories along the way. In using these, they prove less wrong than the consensus and thus end up richer.

Dr. Horace “Woody” Brock – American business consultant, founder and president of Strategic Economic Decisions, Inc. (b. 1945), Quotations book 2009

Capital

The highest use of capital is not to make more money, but to make money do more for the betterment of life.

Henry Ford – American engineer and industrialist (1863-1947), from “My life and work” (1922), Quotations book 2009

Free market economy

The great virtue of a free market system is that it does not care what color people are; it does not care what their religion is; it only cares whether they can produce something you want to buy.

It is the most effective system we have discovered to enable people who hate one another to deal with one another and help one another..

Milton Friedman – American economist, Nobel Memorial Prize in economic sciences 1976 (1912-2006), Quotations book 2009

Change agents

We are change agents, we change managers into entrepreneurs, we teach them long-term thinking.

Henry Kravis – American private equity manager: KKR (b. 1944), Quotations book 2009

Performance

It is impossible to produce superior performance unless you do something different from the majority.

Sir John Marks Templeton – British value investor and philanthropist (1912-2008), Quotations book 2006

Endurance

What should you be doing in running your business? Just what you always do: Widen the moat, build enduring competitive advantage, delight your customers, and relentlessly fight costs.

Warren Buffett about hard times in Business – American value kinvestor, Chairman of Berkshire Hathaway (b. 1930), Quotations book 2003

Mediocrity

Time is the friend of the wonderful business, the enemy of the mediocre.

Warren Buffett – American value investor, Chairman of Berkshire Hathaway (b. 1930), Quotations book 2003

Boardroom atmosphere

Too often boardroom atmosphere means that collegiality trumps independence.

Warren Buffett – American value investor, Chairman of Berkshire Hathaway (b. 1930), Quotations book 2005

Comprehensible accounting

If I can’t understand the accounting, they don’t want me to.

Warren Buffett – American value investor, Chairman of Berkshire Hathaway (b. 1930)

Earnings

Earnings can be pliable as putty when a charlatan heads the company reporting them.

Warren Buffett – American value investor, Chairman of Berkshire Hathaway (b. 1930), Quotations book 2005

Circle of competence

Answer to the question why Warren Buffett is better than investors with a higher IQ: We know better what we know and what we do not know.

Warren Buffett – American value investor, Chairman of Berkshire Hathaway (b. 1930)

Synergy

Synergy: A term widely used in business to explain an acquisition that otherwise makes no sense.

Warren Buffett – American value investor, Chairman of Berkshire Hathaway (b. 1930), from: “Essays by Warren Buffet”, page 65, in “Letter to stock holders 1985”

Business cycles

Every business cycle has three phases. In the first, innovators get rich. In the second, imitators get rich. In the third, idiots get rich – and then lose it.

attributed to Warren Buffett – American value investor, Chairman of Berkshire Hathaway (b. 1930)

Good business

Never count on making a good sale. Have the purchase price be so attractive that even a mediocre sale gives good results.

Warren Buffett – American value investor, Chairman of Berkshire Hathaway (b. 1930)

History

If history books were the key to riches, the Forbes 400 would consist of librarians.

Warren Buffett – American value investor, Chairman of Berkshire Hathaway (b. 1930), Quotations book 2002

Wonderful company

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

Warren Buffett – American value investor, Chairman of Berkshire Hathaway (b. 1930), Quotations book 2006

Professional Investment

The game of professional investment is intolerably boring and over-exacting to anyone who is entirely exempt from the gambling instinct; whilst he who has it must pay to this propensity the appropriate toll.

attributed to John Maynard Keynes – British economist and ivestor (1883-1946)

Markets

Markets can remain irrational longer than you can remain solvent.

John Maynard Keynes – British economist and investor (1883-1946), Quotations book 2006

Depression

This is a nightmare, which will pass away with the morning. For the resources of nature and men’s devices are just as fertile and productive as they were.

The rate of our progress towards solving the material problems of life is not less rapid. We are as capable as before of affording for everyone a high standard of life—high, I mean, compared with, say, twenty years ago—and will soon learn to afford a standard higher still.

We were not previously deceived. But today we have involved ourselves in a colossal muddle, having blundered in the control of a delicate machine, the working of which we do not understand. The result is that our possibilities of wealth may run to waste for a time—perhaps for a long time.

John Maynard Keynes – British economist and investor (1883-1946), from “The Great Slump of 1930”

Real world

In all my years in investing, there’s one rule I’ve prized beyond every other: Always bet against central banks and with the real world. In the seventies, the central banks were defending the United States’ artificially low price of gold. Central banks and governments always try to maintain artificial levels, high or low, whether of a currency, a metal, wool, whatever. When a central bank is defending something – whether it’s gold at thirty-five dollars or the lira at eight hundred to the dollar – the smart investor always goes the other way.

It may take a while but I promise you you’ll come out ahead. It’s a golden rule of investing..

James “Jim” Rogers – American investor (b. 1942), Quotations book 2008

State

The state is the great fictitious entity by which everyone seeks to live at the expense of everyone else.

Frédéric Bastiat – French Economist and Journalist (1801-1850), Quotations book 2008

Market economy

At the bottom of many criticisms of the market economy is really lack of belief in freedom itself.

Milton Friedman – American economist, Nobel-Memorial Prize in economic sciences 1976 (1912-2006), Quotations book 2008

Investment advantage

Your investment advantage is usually at its greatest immediately before, during and right after the corporate event or change.

Joel Greenblatt – American hedge fonds manager and honorary professor at Columbia University (b. 1957), Quotations book 2008

Joy of business

The joy of business lies in the drive to succeed for the sake, not of the fruits of success but of success itself, in the will to conquer, in the impulse to fight for what’s right, and in the thrill of exercising our energy and ingenuity.

following Joseph Alois Schumpeter – Austrian economist (1883-1950), Quotations book 2008

Owners

Companies should act as if they have owners, because they do, and investors should act like they are owners, because they are.

Investor’s slogan – Quotations book 2008

Investments

The best investments are on main street, not Wall Street.

Robert Miles – American investmentor, author and Warren Buffett expert (b. 1955)

Respect

Treating people with respect will gain one wide acceptance and improve the business.

Tao Zhu Gong – Born Fan Li, Chinese advisor to the emperor of Yue (500 BC), second business principle

Taxes and civilization

Taxes are the price that we pay for a civilized society.

Oliver Wendell Holmes jr. – American Supreme Court justice (1841-1935), Quotations book 2006

Overreaction

Markets always overreact.

Markets wisdom

Wealth

It is precisely the ability to foresee both the needs of others and the combinations of productive factors most adapted to satisfying those needs that constitutes another important source of wealth in modern society.

Pope John Paul II – born Karol Wojtyla, 1978-2005 Holy Father (1920-2005), from “Centesimus Annus” (1991), Quotations book 2006

The way families invest

“Compared with other institutional investors, ‘families are more adventurous about where they invest their capital,’ says a managing director at one advisory firm whith a large wealthy client base. ‘They’re quicker in their decision-making, and sometimes don’t have hard and fast rules like pension funds do.'”

from: The Private Equity Analyst – March 2004, Quotations book 2006

Art of investing

The art of investing in public companies is… simply to acquire, at a sensible price, a business with excellent economics and able, honest management. Thereafter you need only monitor whether these qualities are being preserved.

Charlie Munger – Vice-Chairman of Berkshire Hathaway (*1924), Quotations book 2005

Public finances

Of all the enemies to public liberty war is, perhaps, the most to be dreaded, because it comprises and develops the germ of every other. War is the parent of armies; from these proceed debts and taxes; and armies and debts and taxes are the known instruments for bringing the many under the domination of the few. In war, too, the discretionary power of the Executive is extended; its influence in dealing out offices, honours, and emoluments is multiplied; and all the means of seducing the minds, are added to those of subduing the force, of the people … (There is also an) inequality of fortunes, and the opportunities of fraud, growing out of a state of war, and … degeneracy of manners and of morals … No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare.

Marcus Tullius Cicero – Roman politician (106-43 BC)

Choosing a manager

The best way to choose a manager – like the best way to choose a son-in-law – is by character or culture. You should only go with a manager who aims to do what you too intend. Never try to change the way a manager manages. Only hire a manager you really expect to stay with for a very long time – at least 20 years – because the cost to change managers is high.

Charley Ellis – American Investment acountant and author (b. 1937), Quotations book 2005

Power of Managers

In the modern corporation the decisive power, that of the managers, is derived from no one but the managers themselves controlled by nobody and nothing and responsible to no one. It is in the most literal sense unfounded, unjustified, uncontrolled and irresponsible power.

Peter F. Drucker – Austrian-born American Management expert (1909-2005), Quotations book 2007

Wait a while

There is an old adage in investment lore that says, “Buy when blood is in the streets.” Actually, it is sometimes best to wait a while. An investor did not have to buy during the riots in the streets of Watts; a year later was time enough to catch the lowest prices and make a fortune.

James “Jim” Rogers – American star-investor (b. 1942)

Decision to invest

The decision to invest in one place rather than another, in one productive sector rather than another, is always a moral and cultural choice.

Pope John Paul II – born Karol Wojtyla, Holy Father 1978-2005 (1920-2005), from “Centesimus Annus” (1991), Quotations book 2003

Businessmotivation

Obviously, what motivates a businessman is profits. But what gives us comfort and – why not say it? – makes us proud, is to see that our business activities are making a contribution to the economic and social development of the country.

Olacyr Francisco de Moraes – Brazilian entrepreneur, who offers a free healthcare at his firmbranches (1931-2015), Quotations book 2004

Venture Capital

We back jockeys, not horses.

Motto of venture investors – Quotations book 2005

Attitude of managers

As partial owners of a dozen plus companies we are by necessity absentee owners. Consequently, our first and overriding task in evaluating an investment is to determine whether management would work for us. Would they do what an owner with a long-term view would do with their knowledge of the business?

Arthur D. Clarke – American Investment Advisor (b. 1942), Quotations book 2005

Long-term investments

Referring to 1913: Even in these earlier times, finding the really outstanding companies and staying with them through all the fluctuations of a gyrating market proved far more profitable to far more people than did the more colorful practice of trying to buy them cheap and sell them dear.

Philip A. Fisher – American Growth-Investor and Mentor for Warren Buffett (1907-2004), Quotations book 2005

Integrity

Does the company have a management of unquestionable integrity?

Philip A. Fisher – American Growth-Investor and Mementor for Warren Buffett (1907-2004)

Committees

Committees should be small and in odd numbers, preferably below three.

Wisdom

Income statement

A firm’s income statement may be likened to a bikini – what it reveals is interesting, but what it conceals is vital.

Burton G. Malkiel – American economist, professor for economy at Princeton University (b. 1932), Quotations book 2005

Entrepreneur

Being an entrepreneur means having a different view of the future.

Ludwig von Mises – Austrian economist (1881-1973), Quotations book 2006

Expensive Social Assistance State

By intervening directly and depriving society of its responsibility, the Social Assistance State leads to a loss of human energies and an inordinate increase of public agencies, which are dominated more by bureaucratic ways of thinking than by concern for serving their clients, and which are accompanied by an enormous increase in spending.

Pope John Paul II – born Karol Wojtyla, Holy Father 1978-2005 (1920-2005), from “Centesimus Annus” (1991), Quotations book 2006

Law suit

Law suits always undervalue companies.

Business wisdom

World

All of the good in the world is not done by foundation donations. Much more good is done via ordinary business operations of the corporations in which they invest.

Charlie Munger – Vice Chairman of Berkshire Hathaway (b. 1924), Quotations book 2002

Honesty

I think you’ll make more money in the end with good ethics than bad.

Charlie Munger – Vice Chairman of Berkshire Hathaway (b. 1924), in “Harvard Law Bulletin” (Summer 2001), Quotations book 2002

Consumers

If I’d listened to my consumers, I’d have given them a faster horse.

Henry Ford – American engineer and industrialist (1863-1947), Quotations book 2004