Top 20 trading quotes of all times
Trading quotes are little nuggets of wisdom from experienced top traders. Just as with any wise saying, trade quotes can hold a lot of value. They can inspire us as traders and they can open our eyes to see things in a different way.
Most of the trading quotes are a result of either comments from the traders in a book or in an interview. As traders, the trading quotes can be a great source of inspiration to many. These are small but powerful statements that hold a lot of meaning.
You might be wondering if it is worth paying attention to such trading quotes. The fact is quite simple. For example, if one of the great leaders or a very successful businessman spoke, wouldn’t you sit up and take notice?
It is the same case with the quotes from some famous traders as well.
Just like the ancient Chinese or African proverbs, trading quotes can be a powerful way to inspire yourself. Maybe you just took a big hit to your account, or you are still struggling to make the cut as a trader. Whatever the reasons may be, the top 20 trading quotes of all times will no doubt help to not only inspire you but also to stand up on your own two feet after you have been knocked down.
Here are the top 20 trading quotes that will inspire you and help you to become a better trader. We also add a brief background about the traders who said these quotes in order to know who they really area and what success they have achieved in their trading.
1. Warren Buffett
"I will tell you how to become rich. Close the doors. Be fearful when others are greedy. Be greedy when others are fearful."
Also known as the Oracle of Omaha, Buffett is perhaps one of the best all time investors of our times. Known for picking the right stocks, Buffett has taken value investing to new heights with his firm, Berkshire Hathaway.
He has become a cult-like god among some circles in the financial markets. His followers are not just investors but also regular average day to day traders as well. His phrase about be greedy when others are fearful is perhaps his most famous. It is widely quoted in just about every other article about investing and in inspirational books.
Buffett came out unscathed during various bubbles such as the dot com and the 2008 global financial crisis. Today, his company along with his partner Charlie Munger is one of the most successful investment firm.
2. John Maynard Keynes
“The market can remain irrational longer than you can remain solvent.”
John Maynard Keynes is a British economist who challenged the fundamental thinking of economics. But before he became an economist, he was also a trader. After taking a series of losses in the markets over some highly leveraged traders, Keynes is attributed to the above phrase.
Keynes is attributed to developing his own line of economies, which is often referred to as Keynesian economists.
If you think about it, the quote is very appropriate. Many traders believe that the market is rational, but on the contrary, the markets are very irrational. If you think you can beat the market all the time, think again.
To rephrase Keynes’ quote in a different way, don’t fight the market and expect to win all the time. This is a very important phrase to remember and something that you will be reminded of quite frequently.
3. Benjamin Graham
“But investing isn’t about beating others at their game. It’s about controlling yourself at your own game.”
Benjamin Graham is considered to be the father of Value investing. The guru who taught Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger. Graham is also famously known for his book, Value investing.
One of these well-known phrases is stated above. Investing, or for that matter, trading is all about controlling yourself (your emotions). It is no surprise why that trading psychology is such an important aspect in day trading.
As Graham aptly put it, trading or investing is all about controlling yourself, one trade after another. And in fact, it is basically just that. Knowing when to enter and exit the trade and knowing when to stay away from the markets is just as important as making winning or losing trades.
As traders, it is often easy to get tempted by the markets and keep on trading, only to realize that this is not the way to get consistent results in the market.
4. Nicolas Darvas
“I believe in analysis, not forecasting”
This is probably one of the simplest of all statements yet resonates powerfully. As traders, in the daily work of trading, analysis is an important aspect. Yet, over time, we tend to forget this and try to forecast or predict what the markets will do.
You can find traders arguing where the price of currency would in a few days’ time, or argue about what price will do. You can easily get sucked into this rabbit hole and end up forecasting rather than analyzing the markets.
Traders end up focusing too much on the forecast of price rather than really understand (or analyze) price to get a better context.
Nicolas Darvas is a well-known name in the trading circles. He taught himself how to trade and later went on to make over $2 million in profits in the stock markets. Darvas is familiar for his work on Box analysis which is widely used by some traders today. It is also known as the Darvas Box.
5. Jim Cramer
“Every once in a while, the market does something so stupid it takes your breath away.”
Jim Cramer is one of the more famous hosts on CNBC, with his show Mad Money. Cramer’s quote perhaps aptly sums up something about the markets that we get to see every now and then.
Have you followed a currency or a instrument so closely that you begin to predict every next move? In such times you have noticed that the markets become erratic (by overreacting to good or bad news?)
This is exactly what Cramer is talking about. In trading, another name given to this is the market shake up, when all logic and past work is thrown out of the window and the markets do something totally weird.
This is an important quote to bear in mind. Never get too complacent about the markets. Traders need to be always cautious to avoid times like this which has the potential to wipe out your hard-earned money.
6. Jesse Livermore
“A loss never bothers me after I take it. I forget it overnight. But being wrong - not taking the loss - that is what does damage to the pocketbook”
Jesse Livermore is one of the legends. He was an investor and an analyst, known for making and losing multi-millions by investing and speculating. He started from humble beginnings as an office boy to become the poster boy of Wall Street.
The above quote is attributed to his commentary in the famous book, Reminiscences of a Stock Operator.
His quote above is something that will resound with every day trader. Losses are a part and parcel of trading. But he brilliantly puts it that being wrong is not about losing but ignoring the fact and hoping that the market will turn in your favor.
This is one of the most common mistakes many beginners make and it only takes a lot of time and practice to overcome something like this.
7. Paul Tudor Jones
“I'm always thinking about losing money as opposed to making money. Don't focus on making money, focus on protecting what you have”
Paul Tudor Jones’ comment above hits right to the point. Look around and you will see that all that traders care about is making money. This is an incorrect approach to day trading or investing.
There are many different variations of the above quote, the simplest of all being that good traders manage risk, bad traders chase profits. Risk management is one of the most important things when you are trading.
While profits make a difference, the ability to manage risk and not end up losing big on a trade also matter. Paul Tudor Jones is a well-known hedge fund manager, managing his investment fund, Tudor Management.
As a fund manager and as someone who has been in the front seat of trading, his words of wisdom cannot be simply ignored. If you are struggling just like every other trader, then the above quote is something that you should remember all the time.
8. George Soros
“I’m not better than the next trader, I’m only just quicker at admitting my mistakes and moving on to the next opportunity.”
George Soros needs to introduction. Dubbed, the man who broke the Bank of England, Soros is one of the most successful speculators of all times, taking on the bigwigs and winning big.
Soros’ quote is very apt for traders these days who are not very good at accepting their mistakes. Mistakes in the context of trading is about getting out when the markets prove you wrong. This is something that takes a lot of practice and self-discipline.
When you admit when you are wrong, you are essentially cutting your losses short rather than let your emotions get the better of you. Emotions can wreak havoc with your trading and this is something that many traders have to deal with day in and day out.
Trading with an objective mind and knowing when you are wrong can help to protect your capital and allows you a chance to get back at the market on another day.
9. Ray Dalio
“To make money in the markets, you have to think independently and be humble”
Ray Dalio is a hedge fund investor and a billionaire. He is the founder of Bridgewater Associates, one of the largest hedge funds in the world. It is also one of the very successful hedge funds as well. He is also one of the top 100 wealthiest people in the world.
Dalio’s quote about thinking independently is something that traders need to keep in mind at all times. Now a days when opinions about the markets are so many, it can be easy to get influenced by the thinking of others. It can end up to a point that you shun your own analysis for the opinion of others.
It pays to have an independent opinion of yourself, but at the same time do not let tat get to your head. Humility is something that is not often the case with traders. If you are not humble, the markets will at some point keep you in check.
10. Stanley Druckenmiller
“The way to build superior long-term returns is through preservation of capital and home runs. When you have tremendous conviction on a trade, you have to go for the jugular. It takes courage to be a pig.”
Stanley Druckenmiller is a hedge fund manager and an investor. He founded his company Duqesne Capital in 1981. The company posted 30% returns annually over consecutive years. Eventually, Druckenmiller closed his business due to the emotional toll on his personal life.
Many believe Druckenmiller to be one of the top names in the world of trading and investing. His quote above could probably be one of the mission statements for your trading. You need to first focus on preserving your capital and then when you have a strong conviction on a trade, you got for it.
In simple terms, Druckenmiller talks about taking only those trades that you know has a high probability. Struggling with overtrading? The above quote has something to say about that too.
11. Carl Ichan
“Some people get rich studying artificial intelligence. Me, I make money studying natural stupidity.”
Carl Ichan is an activist investor and the founder of Ichan Enterprises, a holding company with diversified interests. Ichan’s way of investing is similar to that of Buffett’s where he invests in the value of the company. Some of his big holdings includes Apple Inc. His tweets at one point could make or break the markets.
Ichan’s quote above is all about keeping it simple. Traders tend to complicate the simplest of things, be it trading indicators, a trading system or even analysis of the markets. Keeping it simple can work wonders at times, as aptly put by Ichan.
Ichan is one of the proponents of being a contrarian investor. But at the same time do not get this confused about trying to call a top or a bottom in the markets. Keep your approach to trading simple and gain experience as you go along.
Some of the most confident traders tend to trade with just one or two indicators at best.
12. Jamie Dimon
“No one can forecast the economy with certainty”
Jamie Dimon is one of the more famous CEO’s of the banking world; JP Morgan. Dimon is known for being outspoken and is often regarded as someone with authority when it comes to the markets. He is not a speculator or a trader himself but he has managed to steer his bank out of numerous crises.
When Dimon talks about the fact that no one can predict the economy with certainty, he is talking about the wider world too. Traders tend to think that their analysis is set in stone and that nothing can change it. This makes them stubborn to a certain point.
Uncertainty is something that is key for the markets. They often keep changing directions and this is how the markets work. If you think that only you are right (which can be the case sometimes), then you need to re-think your game.
Trading is about being flexible and adjusting your ways to that of the markets. Uncertainty is one of the things that fuels the global markets.
13. David Einhorn
“As an investor, my job is to figure out what will happen rather than what should happen.”
If the above quote seems a bit confusing, read it again. Traders can relate to this. By the end of one’s analysis traders end up focusing on answering the question about what should price do rather than what will price do.
There is a difference between the two. The markets can keep changing all the time. As previously mentioned in one of the quotes, it is important to be flexible. The markets are not binary and there can be outcomes more than one.
As a trader, it is important to focus on this. Being too stuck up on one’s analysis can lead you to taking one loss after another.
Einhorn is the founder of Greenlight Capital, a hedge fund that is one of the successful firms today.
14. Monish Pabrai
“You don’t make money when you buy stocks. You don’t make money when you sell stocks. You make money by waiting.”
Monish Pabrai is a businessman and an investor who manages Pabrai investment funds, which is a family held fund similar to the lines of what Warren Buffett started. Pabrai’s quote is very apt for traders who find it difficult to be patient.
As mentioned earlier, emotions are something that is very difficult to manage when trading. Pabrai’s quote basically says that the markets reward those who are patient and wait for the right trading or investment opportunity to come their way.
Overtrading can be disastrous for you. You can risk a lot of money simply because you think there is another trading opportunity to capitalize on. This can lead you to take poor market decisions. At the end, you end up losing a lot of money.
Many successful traders spend most of their times watching the markets and doing nothing, until that trading opportunity comes their way. Money can always be made in the markets and just because you are out of the markets doesn’t mean that you are losing out on trading opportunities.
15. Bill Ackman
“I'm not emotional about investments. Investing is something where you have to be purely rational and not let emotion affect your decision making - just the facts.”
Bill Ackman’s quote is something that every trader should read every day. Investing and speculating requires you to have a rational approach rather than an emotional approach. This might seem contradictory to the fact that the markets are irrational.
Rather, the rationality that Ackman talks about is to do with the person trading and his approach to the trade rather than the markets in general. Emotions can easily make you irrational and this can end up proving to be very disastrous for you at the end.
Ackman is the founder of Pershing Square Capital management, hedge fund that takes a contrarian view to the markets. Ackman is also an activist investor whose interest is not just in investing but also driving change in the companies where he holds a stake.
16. Ed Seykota
“Charting is a little like surfing. You don’t have to know a lot about the physics of tides, resonance, and fluid dynamics in order to catch a good wave. You just have to be able to sense when its happening and then have the drive to act at the right time.”
Ed Seykota is probably a name that is familiar with many forex traders. You might have come across his biography and his comments time and time again. That is for a reason. Seykota is considered to be a Market Wizard. He turned $5000 into $15,000,000 in a span of 12 years.
His commentary is well documented in the book, Market Wizards.
Seykota’s quote about chart analysis is something that every trader or analyst can relate to. It also highlights something important about the markets. It takes a lot of time and practice to get a feel for the markets. Due to the irrationality of the markets, chartists or analysts can often be wrong.
The metaphor of relating charting to surfing couldn’t be put in a better way.
17. Alexander Elder
“The goal of a successful trader is to make the best trades. Money is secondary”
The above quote might seem a bit self-contradictory. The end result of a successful trade is of course to make money. But money is the secondary result of it. Successful traders aim to make the best trades.
But what defines a best trade? A best trade is one that encompasses all the aspects of trading. From risk management to psychology and your trading system and the timing of your trades as well.
A good trade gives you the feeling of satisfaction of being able to do a good job with the markets. When a trade is good, the money comes naturally. This is something to keep in mind at all times. Do not pay too much attention on how much money you will be making from the trade.
Alexander Elder is a trader and an investor who authored many books including Come into my trading room. The book gives readers a glimpse into what it takes to be a successful trader.
18. Larry R. Williams
“Small speculators are usually wrong, especially at market extremes, and the large traders are the driving force of momentum”
Larry Williams is perhaps best known as a commodities trader. He first pioneered the use of Commitment of Traders report also known as the CoT report released on a weekly basis. Williams has been a successful trader who has made millions in the markets.
Williams has also gone on to mentor some of the best trading minds in the world. His quote about the small speculators and the large traders can be seen drawing out from his Commitment of Traders report.
Williams, in his quote basically says that small speculators are often wrong when market is at an extreme top or bottom. It is basically the force from the large speculators or traders that is the driving force behind the markets.
19. W.D. Gann
“There is nothing new under the Sun”
Ok, the above quote originally comes from the Bible but when it comes to trading it is attributed to one of the greatest minds, William D. Gann. Gann is famous for creating his Gann charts and combines an esoteric approach to analyzing the financial markets.
Gann’s famous quote actually sums up the markets. If you look at the charts, you can see that the patterns are repetitive. Thus, there is nothing really new in the markets. Whether it is a surprising event or whatever, if you analyze the security close enough you will find that there is nothing new about it.
20. John Templeton
“The four most dangerous words in investing are: This time it’s different”
Have you ever had a conversation with one of your trading buddies and heard them say, this time it’s different? Templeton basically refers to this as one of the most dangerous mindsets. It also comes from the fact that the trader has not learned from his past mistakes.
Templeton is an American born British investor who founded the famous Templeton investments one of the big names in the mutual fund industry. As an early pioneer in financial markets, Templeton’s words are something that holds true to this day.
Table of Contents
- Top 20 trading quotes of all times
- 1. Warren Buffett
- 2. John Maynard Keynes
- 3. Benjamin Graham
- 4. Nicolas Darvas
- 5. Jim Cramer
- 6. Jesse Livermore
- 7. Paul Tudor Jones
- 8. George Soros
- 9. Ray Dalio
- 10. Stanley Druckenmiller
- 11. Carl Ichan
- 12. Jamie Dimon
- 13. David Einhorn
- 14. Monish Pabrai
- 15. Bill Ackman
- 16. Ed Seykota
- 17. Alexander Elder
- 18. Larry R. Williams
- 19. W.D. Gann
- 20. John Templeton