By Stephen Gandel
February 28, 2015

On Saturday morning, Berkshire Hathaway released CEO and legendary investor Warren Buffett’s annual letter to shareholders. In it he admitted some blunders, and also said his successor has been picked. Buffett followers read the letters closely for the investing wisdom he dispenses in his annual missives. But over the years, along with his market knowledge, Buffett has also come to be known for his folksy one-liners. For example, in 2001, on being lucky versus being good at investing, he wrote in his annual letter, “After all, you only find out who is swimming naked when the tide goes out.” In last year’s letter he wrote, “A bull market is like sex. It feels best just before it ends.”

This year’s letter doesn’t disappoint. Here are the best Buffett one-liners in this year’s essay.

Why managers have to be objective when investing

We could not find a picture of Warren Buffett riding a horse.
Photograph by Chris Machian — Bloomberg via Getty Images

“If horses had controlled investment decisions, there would have been no auto industry.”

On how experience in business can make you a better investor, and vice versa

Warren Buffett and friends
Photograph by Daniel Acker — Bloomberg via Getty Images

“‘There are certain things that cannot be adequately explained to a virgin either by words or pictures.'” (Buffett quoting a Peter Arno cartoon.)

Why Wall Street always wants more deals

Warren Buffett
Photo: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg/Getty

“Don’t ask the barber whether you need a haircut.”

On whether he's run out of places to invest

Warren Buffett and his Cherry Coke.
Photograph by Daniel Acker — Bloomberg via Getty Images

“Berkshire now owns 9 1/2 companies that would be listed on the Fortune 500 were they independent (Heinz is the 1/2). That leaves 490 1/2 fish in the sea. Our lines are out.”

How CEOs can avoid killing a good business

Warren Buffett
Photograph by Carlos Barria — Reuters

“He must never forget Charlie’s plea: ‘Tell me where I’m going to die, so I’ll never go there.'”


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