Warren Buffett, the fourth richest person in the world and the man widely thought to be the greatest investor of the past century, celebrates his birthday Aug. 30.
Buffett's interest in moneymaking began early. As a boy growing up in Omaha, Neb., he would sell chewing gum and magazines door to door, and he filed his first tax return at age 14 (marking deductions for his bicycle and watch, used on a paper route). In high school, Buffett and a friend bought a pinball machine and put in a local barber shop; they quickly expanded that enterprise to include several pinball machines around town.
As well regarded for his folksy wisdom as his monetary acumen, Mr. Buffett has been regaling investors with helpful nuggets of advice for decades. Here are some of Warren Buffet's best investment tips (but be forewarned: the Oracle of Omaha doesn't give out stock picks).
#1. 'It's far better to buy a wonderful company at a fair price than a fair company at a wonderful price.'
Source: 1989 Letter to shareholders
This is one of Buffett's more famous quotes, and it reflects one of the basic tenets of his investment strategy: He sticks with companies he can fully comprehend, and ones for which the intrinsic value is self-evident, regardless of the current state of their finances. It's a philosophy that has served him well; if he weren't prone to giving vast amounts of his money to charity, Buffett might be the single richest man in the world (and he was, in fact, in 2008, according to Forbes' annual list).
#2. 'Rule No. 1: Never Lose Money; Rule No. 2: don't forget rule No. 1'
Source: "The Tao of Warren Buffett" (2006)
#3. 'Our approach is very much profiting from lack of change rather than from change. With Wrigley chewing gum, it's the lack of change that appeals to me. I don't think it is going to be hurt by the Internet. That's the kind of business I like.'