Great Market Quotes

In light of the recent market action, this collection of market quotes is quite apropos:

"Markets can remain irrational longer than you can remain solvent."
— John Maynard Keynes

"The only thing that can console one for being poor is extravagance."
— Oscar Wilde

"It is pretty hard to tell what does bring happiness; poverty and wealth have both failed."
— Kin Hubbard

"The key to making money in stocks is not to get scared out of them."
— Peter Lynch

"If you owe the bank $100 that’s your problem. If you owe the bank $100 million, that’s the bank’s problem."
— JP Getty

"You try to be greedy when others are fearful, and fearful when others are greedy."
— Warren Buffett

"A cynic is a man who knows the price of everything, and the value of nothing."
— Oscar Wilde

"Do you know the only thing that gives me pleasure? It is to see my dividends coming in."
— John D. Rockefeller

"A gold miner is a liar standing beside a hole in the ground."
— Mark Twain

"There was a time when a fool and his money were soon parted, but now it happens to everybody."
— Adlai Stevenson

"It is generally agreed that casinos should, in the public interest,
be inaccessible and expensive. And perhaps the same is true of Stock
— John Maynard Keynes

"The safe way to double your money is to fold it over once and put it in your pocket. "
— Frank Hubbard

"Save a little money each month and at the end of the year you’ll be surprised at how little you have."
— Ernest Haskins

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What's been said:

Discussions found on the web:
  1. Bill aka NO DooDahs! commented on Jul 30

    “You try to be greedy when others are fearful, and fearful when others are greedy.” That would imply we all should have bought on Thursday and Friday of last week, wouldn’t it?


    BR: Depends upon your definition of greed and fear — I don’t know about you, but I certainly do not define any market within 4% of its all time highs as one that is filled with fear.

  2. Grodge commented on Jul 30

    “…the experience of years as a stock operator has convinced me that no man can consistently and continuously beat the stock market though he may make money in individual stocks on certain occasions… There is no asphalt boulevard to success in Wall Street or anywhere else.” –Jesse Livermore

  3. LAWMAN commented on Jul 30

    The point is, ladies and gentlemen, that greed, for lack of a better word, is good. Greed is right. Greed works.

    Gordon Gekko


    BR: I am amazed how many people quote that, forgetting that Gordon Gekko was morally bankrupt, goes to jail, and loses everything.

    He is not a hero, but an anti-hero.

  4. Fred commented on Jul 30

    “Whether you think you can, or you can’t — you’re right!”

    Henry Ford

  5. KirkH commented on Aug 8

    “He who sees the empty glass as half full is not an optimist”

    Rodolfo Zanzibar

  6. Red Ocean commented on Aug 8


    I appreciate you pointing out that Gekko’s philosophy is not something to be emulated. It seems to me the same kind of Greed he is talking about is exactly the type of greed that lead to the Enrons, and WorldComs behavior in the very late 90’s that led to their collapse in the 2000’s and the eventual loss of many thousands by many individuals while the few at the helm of those companies had already gotten rich off of what can only be described as their greedy schemes.

    In the past, I worked at a place where the movie “Boiler Room” was heralded as a model for sales. I wasn’t in the sales department but it was talked about so much that I needed to see the movie. After I saw it, I was sick to my stomach knowing that was be used as a model for sales where I was working. Glen Garry Glen Ross was also talked about a fair amount although not nearly as much as Boiler Room as was the movie Dot Com. I have not seen either of those but am almost scared to. Luckily I am no longer there so it might be instructive in hindsight to see those as well.

  7. MarkTX commented on Aug 8

    “There are more fools in the world than there are people.” – Heinrich Heine

    explains everything!!!!!

  8. michael schumacher commented on Aug 8

    Coffee??? Coffee is for closers…now get back to work.

    Glengary Glenross

    or Hank Paulsen FTM…


  9. John F. commented on Aug 8

    “Maria Bartimoro and Richard Branson on a plane together: what was CNBC thinking?”

    – Anonymous

  10. MarkTX commented on Aug 8

    Looks like Hank was at work in the last 30 minutes today…..or was it a fat thumb….

    same ol’ same ol’

  11. ajmstilt commented on Aug 8

    Is the glass half empty, or half full?

    Niether, the Glass is too big.

    -me circa 1999

  12. michael schumacher commented on Aug 8

    someone emailed me that a rumor was that Goldman was supposedly announcing that one of it’s quant funds had failed.

    No idea where it came from but that would explain some of the action of the last 1.5 hours.


  13. GerryL commented on Aug 8

    I’ve always said I want to buy a company that any fool can run because eventually one will.

    Peter Lynch

  14. MarkTX commented on Aug 8

    so in other words…..


  15. Schizohedron commented on Aug 8

    “October. This is one of the peculiarly dangerous months to speculate in stocks in. The others are July, January, September, April, November, May, March, June, December, August, and February.”
    —Mark Twain

  16. Kp commented on Aug 8

    Capitalism, the system that is supposed to help the greater good by encouraging everyone to keep as much as they can for themselves!

    It’s Pure Unadulterated Genius!

  17. JAN commented on Aug 8

    “In the long run we are all dead”

  18. Ted Craig commented on Aug 8

    “If something cannot go on forever, it will stop.” – Herbert Stein.

    By the way, Barry, about the Gecko quote. Many people also enjoy the quote from Shakespeare “First, let’s kill all the lawyers.” It was delivered by one of the play’s villains, describing how he would take over the kingdom.

  19. ECONOMISTA NON GRATA commented on Aug 8

    How about… “No market collapses unless you are long…” or “Once a trend is established, it will change….”

    Yeah..! That was some close, Aye…?

    Talk about painting the picture…..

    Good luck to all,


  20. LAWMAN commented on Aug 8

    BR: I am amazed how many people quote that, forgetting that Gordon Gekko was morally bankrupt, goes to jail, and loses everything.

    He musn’t lose everything…he’s coming back in Wall Street II.

    And its a great quote, still as timely today as it was then. See, e.g., BSC, LEND, AHM, etc., etc., etc.

  21. mote commented on Aug 8

    “Rumor travels faster, but it don’t stay put as long as truth.”

    Will Rogers

  22. randy commented on Aug 8

    ot, just wondering if any of you folks had some stats on the last 30 mins. (dow) volume,bid/ask. are bernanke and paulson saying one thing and doing another?

  23. John commented on Aug 8

    The fluctuation in the USD/JPY –“Yen Carry Trade” seems to have ruled the game again today. It is comforting to know that our undervalued, cheap stock market — backed by a “strong” and “prosperous” thriving economy (ALL DUE to the Bush Tax Cuts– Of Course) can be thrown around like a rag doll based upon the current fluctuations in this exchange rate. At least the bond market (10 year) seems to have acted rationally today… Why treasury yields dropped to these levels in the first place– I have no idea (although if I had to take a stab at it I’d say the BOJ was buying treasuries hand over fist).
    Did anyone really believe B.S. Bernanke was going to Hint at a rate cut in the FEDS speech, given the fact that Inflation (even understated as it is) remains a thorn in the FEDS side— and that, at least according to the Majority of the Experts on CNBS, the Housing Bust and recent “Credit Market Dislocation” is “well contained”.
    The Chinese and Australian governments are both concerned about Inflation. I’m not sure about Japan but according to this article from Bloomberg (take it for whatever it’s worth) it looks as though the Japanese Central Bank may be raising rates too…
    August 2 – Bloomberg (Lily Nonomiya and Masahiro Hidaka): “Japanese companies may increase spending at the fastest pace in 17 years, the Development Bank of Japan said, adding to evidence that the central bank may raise interest rates as soon as this month. Companies plan to increase spending 11% in the year ending March 31…”
    With Interest Rates rising in the U.K., China, Australia etc. one would think this would further exacerbate the problems in the Credit Markets.
    With (a hint of) interest rates set to rise in Japan, one would also think the Yen would start rising against the Dollar…

  24. KirkH commented on Aug 8

    Kp,Keynes said something similar…

    “Capitalism is the astounding belief that the most wickedest of men will do the most wickedest of things for the greatest good of everyone.”

    My rebuttal:
    “Capitalism is the belief that wickedest of men will get jobs as politicians.”

  25. Dan commented on Aug 8

    Greed is good, as long as you stay within the rules of the game. Wall Street was about what happens when you play outside of the rules.

  26. Winston Munn commented on Aug 8

    “Sometimes you are the hammer, and sometimes you are the anvil. You have to know which time is which.”

    Pete’s mom.

  27. bucky katt commented on Aug 8



  28. michael schumacher commented on Aug 8

    SO what wonderful news will be released once everyone is in bed?? Gotta think something is coming….you had a $12.5 billion gift from Hank to the brokers today (if the market is up because China is buying equities then what would be the need for that amount in such a short time frame-over $68 billion in about two weeks time).

    The Goldman Rumor being denied…….POTUS trotted out to “calm, nervous, investors”. Like investors have anything to do with the action of late…they are merely affected by it.

    I think some negative piece of news is forthcoming and these “officials” are in over-drive to help “soften the landing”.

    Bush’s comments on the economy are just so funny……recover?? recover from what? according to your own minions we have’nt had anything to recover from……


  29. mhm commented on Aug 8

    John, the GS rumor was the “fat thumb” of the day, apparently. The carry trade continues:

    “Three central banks spoke … and the message from all three was that global growth remained strong and the problems in the credit market aren’t severe enough to warrant a change in central bank policy. … Investors have taken the central bank messages as an all-clear siren and have returned to doing what they had done…
    “”” (reduced quote from Thomson Financial)

  30. Bob A commented on Aug 8

    Somebody mentioned Greed. Well I would say:
    “In our society Greed is worshipped.. as long as you keep winning”

    Is Bill Gates not greedy? Or is he just a samaritan out to do good all around the world?

    “You can fool too many of the people too much of the time”

    James Thurber

  31. Sven commented on Aug 8

    “Greed is good, as long as you stay within the rules of the game.”

    How, exactly, is it good? For 2500 years it has been considered a detriment to virtue and character.

    And it still is, unless you are a Wall Street frat boy from the Jerz living on the UES hanging out at Jake’s Dilemma wearing your ball cap backwards.

  32. wunsacon commented on Aug 8

    >> …greed … is good.

    My spin: “greed is good…but not ‘great'”

    Enough greed to motivate people to contribute to society is good. More greed than that leads to cutting corners and excessive leveraging of power.

    >> “Whether you think you can, or you can’t — you’re right!”
    >> Henry Ford

    That’s just not true. Take any sports figure who didn’t win the “big one” and ask them whether they thought they could. Many thought they would. Many dotcommers thought they could build lasting value. Many traders think they can beat the market and don’t. So many people who “think they can do _X_” actually fail.

    If “belief” was as much a determinant of outcome as Henry Ford suggests, Iraq would be the success anticipated by the Project for a New American Century signatories.

  33. Dirk van Dijk commented on Aug 8

    “The stock market will continue to fluctuate”

    J.P. Morgan (the actual man, not the bank)

    2 rules for portfolio management:
    Rule #1: Don’t lose money
    Rule #2: Dont forget rule number 1

    Warren Buffet

    “the three most important words in investing: Margin of Safety”
    Ben Graham

  34. m3 commented on Aug 9

    “Russell, do you know why stock brokers never become rich in this business?”

    I confessed that I didn’t know.

    He explained, “They don’t get rich because they never believe their own bullshit.”

    – Richard Russell

  35. Bob Dobalina commented on Aug 9

    BR– I’m pretty sure that Keynes never said the first quote you attribute to him.

    Sven– Jake’s is on the UWS, not the UES. And Columbia grad students frequent the place more than frat boys these days.

  36. Bill aka NO DooDahs! commented on Aug 9

    Lotta fear the morning of August 9th. We should probably be greedy …

  37. kharris commented on Aug 9

    I was also gonna ask about the Keynes quote. It ended up on DeLong’s website a few years back, and spurred an effort by several of its denizens to track down the source of the quote. Over and over, we found it as “attributed” but I don’t recall that anybody ever found an original source for it. Some of the attributions speculated that the quote in question was overheard in conversation, rather than being written by the Great Man.

  38. Bill aka NO DooDahs! commented on Aug 9

    “The key to making money in stocks is not to get scared out of them.” Good advice for today, eh?

  39. Michael Schumacher commented on Aug 9


    I’m sure that most people who were duped by the “all is well” comments from POTUS and Hank wish they were scared…..yesterday.

    Keep drinking that purple water in front of you.


  40. Winston Munn commented on Aug 9

    Although not originally a market quote, it may serve as one in the future:

    “Houston, we have a problem.”

  41. missedit commented on Aug 9

    Let’s not forget Benjamin Graham:

    “Wall Street people learn nothing and forget everything.”

    Perhaps his response to the quant fund meltdowns:

    “I am no longer an advocate of elaborate techniques of security analysis in order to find superior value opportunities.”

  42. gusman commented on Nov 23

    The best quote i ever heard ” the stock market is a finely balanced mechanism which transfers wealth from the impatient to the patient”

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