30 Splendid Quotes from The Intelligent Investor

Benjamin Graham authored, ‘The Intelligence Investor,’ focused on sharing the best tips to investing in businesses. Warren Buffet read this book when he was just 19 years old, implemented many of the strategies taught by Graham. Here is a look at some of the best quotes from ‘The Intelligence Investor.’

“A cynic once told G. K. Chesterton, the British novelist and essayist, “Blessed is he who expecteth nothing, for he shall not be disappointed.” Chesterton’s rejoinder? “Blessed is he who expecteth nothing, for he shall enjoy everything.”

“A stock is not just a ticker symbol or an electronic blip; it is an ownership interest in an actual business, with an underlying value that does not depend on its share price.”

“An investment operation is one which, upon thorough analysis promises safety of principal and an adequate return. Operations not meeting these requirements are speculative.”

“But investing isn’t about beating others at their game. It’s about controlling yourself at your own game.”

“But make sure you remember this: The people who now claim that the next “sure thing” will be health care, or energy, or real estate, or gold, are no more likely to be right in the end than the hypesters of high tech turned out to be.”

“If the reason people invest is to make money, then in seeking advice they are asking others to tell them how to make money. That idea has some element of naïveté.”


“It is no difficult trick to bring a great deal of energy, study, and native ability into Wall Street and to end up with losses instead of profits. These virtues, if channeled in the wrong directions, become indistinguishable from handicaps.”

“It’s time for everyone to acknowledge that the term “long-term investor” is redundant. A long-term investor is the only kind of investor there is. Someone who can’t hold on to stocks for more than a few months at a time is doomed to end up not as a victor but as a victim.”

“Know the price of everything, and the value of nothing.”

“Obvious prospects for physical growth in a business do not translate into obvious profits for investors.”

“On the other hand, investing is a unique kind of casino—one where you cannot lose in the end, so long as you play only by the rules that put the odds squarely in your favor.”

“People who invest make money for themselves; people who speculate make money for their brokers.”

“Plant trees that other men will sit under.”

“Rising prices allow Uncle Sam to pay off his debts with dollars that have been cheapened by inflation. Completely eradicating inflation runs against the economic self-interest of any government that regularly borrows money.”

“Something foolish, something creative and something generous.”

“The individual investor should act consistently as an investor and not as a speculator.”

“The intelligent investor is a realist who sells to optimists and buys from pessimists.”

“The intelligent investor realizes that stocks become more risky, not less, as their prices rise—and less risky, not more, as their prices fall. The intelligent investor dreads a bull market, since it makes stocks more costly to buy. And conversely (so long as you keep enough cash on hand to meet your spending needs), you should welcome a bear market, since it puts stocks back on sale.”

“The investment world nevertheless has enough liars, cheaters, and thieves to keep Satan’s check-in clerks frantically busy for decades to come.”

“The market is a pendulum that forever swings between unsustainable optimism (which makes stocks too expensive) and unjustified pessimism (which makes them too cheap). The intelligent investor is a realist who sells to optimists and buys from pessimists.”

“The psychologists Daniel Kahnerman and Amos Tversky have shown when humans estimate the likelihood or frequency of an event, we make that judgment based not on how often the event has actually occurred, but on how vivid the past examples are.”

“The stock investor is neither right or wrong because others agreed or disagreed with him; he is right because his facts and analysis are right.”

“The work of a financial analyst falls somewhere in the middle between that of a mathematician and of an orator.”

“There should be adequate though not excessive diversification. This might mean a minimum of ten different issues and a maximum of about thirty”

“Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”

“To achieve satisfactory investment results is easier than most people realize; to achieve superior results is harder than it looks.”

“We advised the readers to buy their stocks as they bought their groceries, not as they bought their perfume.”

“While enthusiasm may be necessary for great accomplishments elsewhere, on Wall Street it almost invariably leads to disaster.”

“With every new wave of optimism or pessimism, we are ready to abandon history and time-tested principles, but we cling tenaciously and unquestioningly to our prejudices. ”

“You must thoroughly analyze a company, and the soundness of its underlying businesses, before you buy its stock; you must deliberately protect yourself against serious losses; you must aspire to “adequate,” not extraordinary, performance.”

Here is a great review on ‘The Intelligence Investor,’ and how Graham concepts and core principles still hold true today.