My Top 10 Favorites Quotes About Investing

I’m a big fan of quotes.

I’m fascinated how a good quote — through turn of a phrase or an apt metaphor — can summarize a lifetime of wisdom in a few words.

In fact, I’ve been actively collecting quotes in my journals for over a decade. I refer to my favorite ones regularly. I find that they help me to get my head above the daily noise of the financial markets. That’s also why I include a new quote in each issue of The Alpha Investor Letter.

In assembling 10 of my favorite investment-related quotes below, I’ve tried to include ones that you have probably not heard before.

You won’t see any quotes from the oft-cited Warren Buffett. And you’ll see only one from the English economist John Maynard Keynes.

So read each quote and think about the lesson it contains.

Understanding that single lesson could make — or save — you millions of dollars over your investment lifetime.

On Investing

“There are an infinite number of ways of making money in the market. It’s just that each of us has to find our own way.”

-Van Tharp

On the 1987 Stock Market Crash

In 1987, a reporter asked Stanford University Professor William Sharpe to explain the stock-market crash.

His response?

“It’s weird.”

His mother called him on the phone to berate him:

“Fifteen years of education, three advanced degrees, and all you can say is, ‘It’s weird?’”

Sharpe went on to win the Nobel Prize in Economics in 1990.

On George Soros, “The Master of Speculation”

Soros: “The Myth”

Soros’ “The Alchemy of Finance” is a seminal investment book… it should be read, underlined, and thought out page-by-page, concept-by-idea. He’s the best pure investor ever… probably the finest analyst of the world in our time.”

-Barton Biggs

Soros: “The Reality”

“My father will sit down and give you theories to explain why he does this or that. But I remember seeing it as a kid and thinking, Jesus Christ, at least half of this is B.S., I mean, you know the reason he changes his position in the market or whatever is because his back starts killing him. It has nothing to do with reason. He literally goes into a spasm, and it’s his early warning sign.”

-George Soros’ son, Robert

George Soros on Himself

“My approach works not by making valid predictions but by allowing me to correct false ones.”

-George Soros

Soros and Exits

“When George is wrong, he gets the hell out. He doesn’t say, ‘I’m right, they’re wrong.’ He says, ‘I’m wrong,’ and he gets out, because if you have a bad position on, it eats you away. All you do is think about it — at night, at your home. It consumes you. Your eye is off the ball completely. This is a tough business. If it were easy, meter maids would be doing it.”

– Alan Raphael (Ex-Soros CIO)

On Hedge Fund Investing

“In real estate, the key is location, location, location. With money management, the key is risk control, risk control, risk control.”

-Bruce Kovner

“I’m very concerned about the need to survive, and not to take risks that could actually destroy me.”

-George Soros