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9 Rarely Heard Warren Buffett Quotes

By Daniel Sparks - Apr 25, 2013 at 8:00AM

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For your latest Buffett fix, here are some lines you might not be so familiar with.

Warren Buffett may be getting old, but his quotes will live on forever.

The Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A -0.22%) (BRK.B -0.31%) chairman is well known for his keen and quotable prose. Though the great investor has never written a book, his lengthy letters to shareholders (the 2012 letter fills 24 pages) have been compiled into more than one. Popular Buffett quotes are found easily with a simple Google search, but for the Buffett enthusiasts looking for some new material, here are nine rarely heard -- but still noteworthy -- quotes.

1. An undying love for "float"

If our premiums exceed the total of our expenses and eventual losses, we register an underwriting profit that adds to the investment income our float produces. When such a profit is earned, we enjoy the use of free money – and, better yet, get paid for holding it. That's like your taking out a loan and having the bank pay you interest. (2012 Berkshire Hathaway Annual Report)

2. Value matters

Whether we're talking about socks or stocks, I like buying quality merchandise when it is marked down. (2008 Berkshire Hathaway Annual Report)

3. What is value investing?

[W]e had learned from Ben Gaham that the key to successful investing was the purchase of shares in good businesses when the market prices were at a large discount from underlying business values. (1985 Berkshire Hathaway Annual Report)

4. Combining growth investing with value investing

[M]ost analysts feel they must choose between two approaches customarily thought to be in opposition: "value" and "growth." ... In our opinion, the two approaches are joined at the hip: Growth is always a component in the calculation of value. (1992 Berkshire Hathaway Annual Report)

5. Admitting mistakes

Overall, you would have been better off last year if I had regularly snuck off to the movies during market hours. (1998 Berkshire Hathaway Annual Report)

6. Erring in omission

During 2008 I did some dumb things in investments ... I made some errors of omission, sucking my thumb when new facts came in that should have caused me to reexamine my thinking and promptly take action. (2008 Berkshire Hathaway Annual Report)

7. The perfect amount of money to leave for your children

... enough money so that they would feel they could do anything, but not so much that they could do nothing. (Fortune magazine article, 1986)

8. Contrarianism

When investing, pessimism is your friend, euphoria the enemy. (2008 Berkshire Hathaway Annual Report)

9. Nothing is free

An investor cannot obtain superior profits from stocks by simply committing to a specific investment category or style. He can earn them only by carefully evaluating facts and continuously exercising discipline. (1998 Berkshire Hathaway Annual Report)

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