Last updated: 3 Jul 24 03:41:21 (UTC)

What the Experts Say about Long-Term Equity Investing

This is a collection of my favorite investment/money quotes that I’ve curated over three decades. ―Michael Paulding Thomas

Authors of Quotes

Nick Murray

“Successful investing is counterintuitive.”Nick Murray

“The stock market has been going up all your life!”Nick Murray

“The only way to achieve the full permanent advance of equities is to be willing to ride out their full temporary decline.”Nick Murray

“It is those ‘risky’ equities that provide the greatest long-term safety of principle.”Nick Murray

“Insure against what can go wrong in order to acquire the luxury of investing for what can go right.”Nick Murray

“It’s never the wrong time to put some more money with the right money manager.”Nick Murray

“My fortune is invested in profit-seeking enterprises managed by largely rational men and women who respond to the reality of price signals every minute of every day. Price signals sent out by seven billion people making economic and financial decisions in their own best interests. (ie. mutual funds)”Nick Murray

“We are long-term owners of well-diversified portfolios of superior companies that have consistently demonstrated their ability, in time, not merely to survive but to triumph over any and every earthly species of ‘crisis.’”Nick Murray

“No one knows for sure why the equity market does what it does on any random day. And no long-term, goal-focused, patient, disciplined investor cares.”Nick Murray

“Never interrupt the compounding.”Nick Murray

“The average person’s rather bizarre view of the stock market is primarily due to a loss of long-term perspective.”Nick Murray

“The patient, disciplined long-term investor has historically been rewarded for standing fast in a crisis.”Nick Murray

“Those who judge their portfolio by its performance relative to some narrow benchmark are focusing on an issue that is largely irrelevant to their ultimate financial success. The only benchmark that you should care about is one that indicates whether or not you’re on track to accomplish your financial goals.”Nick Murray

“The economy is not at all correlated to the markets. It is one of the best fictions of the culture. The culture believes that the economy drives the market and thus is predictive. Wrong. This is one reason why we invest in companies not countries.”Nick Murray

“An intelligently diversified equity portfolio will always ‘underperform’ some narrow sector of stocks. That’s how you know you’re truly diversified.”Nick Murray

“The only way you can lose money is to mistake a temporary decline for a permanent loss.”Nick Murray

“Volatility isn’t really risk but uncertainty.”Nick Murray

“The economy is not at all correlated to the markets. It is one of the best fictions of the culture. The culture believes that the economy drives the market and thus is predictive. Wrong. This is one reason why we invest in companies not countries.”Nick Murray

“Without an adequately compensated advisor to help with selection and discipline, the individual investor will simply make all the classic and horrendous mistakes.”Nick Murray

“Defend purchasing power with equities, rather than defending principle with bonds (or other fixed accounts).”Nick Murray

“The cardinal tenet of my philosophy is that all long-term investment success comes from acting on a plan, while all failure is precipitated on reacting to the markets.”Nick Murray

“Volatility is merely randomness around a permanent uptrend.”Nick Murray

“EQUITIES: The only asset class that fully captures human ingenuity, which is the most valuable asset on earth.”Nick Murray

“I suggest that perhaps if we checked our actual dividend income every 90 days instead of checking our account balances every 90 minutes, we might become better investors.”Nick Murray

“Permanent loss of capital in equities has no historical precedent. Permanent loss in a well-diversified equity portfolio can only be triggered by an investor’s irrational decision to sell in a decline.”Nick Murray

“The dominant determinant of long-term, real-life financial outcomes is not investment performance. It is investor behavior.”Nick Murray

“You must tune this stuff out, it doesn’t matter. The economy and government are uncorrelated to the market. Don’t make investment policy out of your distaste for the government.”Nick Murray

“Timing the market is a fool’s game, whereas time-in the market is your greatest natural advantage. ”Nick Murray

“Always make investment policy decisions based upon history rather than on headlines.”Nick Murray

“Every crisis has appeared to be totally unprecedented as we were going through it. Just as this one does. This time is no different.”Nick Murray

“I will never own enough of any one thing to be able to make a killing in it. Nor will I ever own enough of any one thing to be able to be killed by it. Diversify.”Nick Murray

“All the money that has ever been ‘lost’ in all the temporary equity market declines have always returned to other people: long-term investors with faith in the future; patience, and the discipline to continue working their long-term plan.”Nick Murray

“The Fundamental Retirement Question: Will I outlive my money, or will my money outlive me?

The Fundamental Retirement Challenge: To keep my retirement income growing as my cost of living continues to increase.”Nick Murray

“Gold isn’t an investment at all, it just sits there. It doesn’t produce anything.”Nick Murray

“When stock prices are going down, the enduring value of the underlying companies is going up.”Nick Murray

“Good markets only teach bad lessons.”Nick Murray

“Risk is measured as the probability that you won’t meet your financial goal. Investing should have the exclusive objective of minimizing this risk.”Nick Murray

“We are goal focused and planning driven, in a culture that is market focused and performance driven. We are planning long term, patient, disciplined investors. We build portfolios based upon your goals, we look neither to the left at market volatility, nor to the right at economic news but straight ahead at your retirement.”Nick Murray

“No one knows for sure why the equity market does what it does on any random day. And no long-term, goal-focused, patient, disciplined investor cares.”Nick Murray

“The great truth is that the premium return of equities is earned purely by a willingness to ride out their temporary declines. Yet it is those temporary declines upon which human nature fixates.”Nick Murray

Volatility is not risk. If you can’t sit through a -15% temporary decline every year, and an average -30% temporary decline every 5 years, you have no business being an equity investor.”Nick Murray

“Own a basket of shares in a broad selection of the largest, most soundly financed, most profitable and most innovative companies in the world. Many of whose products and services we purchase regularly, some as often as every day.”Nick Murray

“I don’t know what ‘the stock market’ is going to do over the next 12 months; neither does anyone else. And it doesn’t matter.”Nick Murray

“Bull markets go on far longer than bear markets do; they increase equity values far more than bear markets diminish them.”Nick Murray

The economy can’t be forecast. The market can’t be timed. Therefore, the correct time to buy equities for the long run is whenever you have the money. By the same logic, the correct time to sell equities is whenever you need the money. Everything else is commentary.Nick Murray

“Staying fully invested during temporary market declines is the only sure way to capture the entirety of the market’s permanent advance. It is not possible consistently to sell out of falling markets, and later buy back into already advancing markets.”Nick Murray

“Do you know exactly what would happen to your family financially if you didn’t wake up tomorrow?”Nick Murray

“The more often you trade, the lower your return. The more often you go in and out of the market, the further below the index your returns will be. Hence we don’t do market timing.”Nick Murray

“Never try to make long-term investment strategy out of short- to intermediate-term disruptions.”Nick Murray

“By the time investors become convinced that a crisis has passed, the market will long since have recovered, and they will have missed a huge part of a historic recovery.”Nick Murray

“Today’s financial crisis invariably becomes yesterday’s news.”Nick Murray

“It’s not a market of stocks. It’s a market of companies.”Nick Murray

“Every day you hang in there, your reinvested dividends are buying more shares at fire-sale prices from somebody who’s panicking out — who’s making the mistake you refuse to make.”Nick Murray

“It can be historically demonstrated that the best defense against retaining your purchasing power through retirement is to invest in a broadly diversified portfolio of the world’s great companies.

And the finest method of investing in them are good, long-term mutual funds.”Nick Murray

“The best predictor of the trajectory of a market recovery is the trajectory of the previous decline.”Nick Murray

“No financial, fiscal, monetary, economic or political crisis ever in the history of the world has been capable of inflicting a permanent loss on equity values. ”Nick Murray

“Long-term the market is completely predictable. Short-term it is utterly unpredictable. I know two things: 1) The market goes up. 2) The market goes down. I don’t know when they happen, nor how long they last (and I don’t care).”Nick Murray

“It is the engine that drives the returns. The premium long-term return of equities is simply an efficient market’s way of pricing in their extreme randomness in the short term.

Equities pay 10% long-term because in any given year they might be up 20% or down 20%, and you’ll never know which.”Nick Murray

“Dollar Cost Averaging is a strategy in which mutual fund shares are purchased in fixed dollar amounts every month, regardless of the market. Thus, as prices rise fewer units are bought, and as prices fall more units are bought. Dollar Cost Averaging is almost real-time re-balancing.”Nick Murray

Warren Buffet

“Do not save what is left after spending. But spend what is left after saving.”Warren Buffett

“Every decade or so, dark clouds will fill the economic skies, and they will briefly rain gold."Warren Buffett, Berkshire Hathaway’s 2016’s annual report

“You could take all the gold that’s ever been mined, and it would fill a cube 67 feet in each direction. For what that’s worth at current gold prices, you could buy all, not some, of the farmland in the United States. Plus, you could buy 10 Exxon Mobils, plus have $1 trillion of walking-around money. Or you could have a big cube of metal. Which would you take? Which is going to produce more value?”Warren Buffett

“We do not have, never have had, and never will have an opinion about where the stock market, interest rates or business activity will be a year from now.”Warren Buffett

“Don’t watch the market closely. Buy and hold is the best strategy. The money is made in investments by investing, and by owning good companies for long periods of time.”Warren Buffett

“The stock market is a device for transferring money from the impatient to the patient.”Warren Buffett

On October 19, 1987, ‘Black Monday’, the S&P 500 Index dropped 23%. Warren Buffet’s holdings in Berkshire Hathaway plunged more than $300 million dollars. Had he been unnerved and sold, he would have ‘lost’ $300 million. However, he didn’t sell and the value of his shares by February 2001 (14 years later) were worth over 22 times more than they were on Black Monday ($6.6 billion).

“If you cannot control your emotions, you cannot control your money.”Warren Buffett

“If you buy things you don’t need, you’ll soon have to sell things you do need.”Warren Buffett

“If you mix politics with your investment decisions, you’re making a big mistake.”Warren Buffett

“Be fearful when others are greedy. Be greedy when others are fearful.”Warren Buffett

“The stock doesn’t know you own it. You have feelings about it, but it has no feelings about you. The stock doesn’t know what you paid. People shouldn’t get emotionally involved with their stocks.”Warren Buffett

Peter Lynch

“I know exactly what will happen in the market in the next 10 - 20 years; it will go up. But I have no idea what will happen Monday morning.”Peter Lynch

“Remember that there’s a company behind every stock, and that there’s only one real reason why stocks go up. Companies go from doing poorly to doing well, and small companies grow to large companies.”Peter Lynch

“Although it’s easy to forget sometimes, a share of stock is not a lottery ticket… it’s part-ownership of a business.”Peter Lynch

“Far more money has been lost by investors preparing for corrections, or trying to anticipate corrections, than has been lost in corrections themselves.”Peter Lynch

“If you spend more than 13 minutes analyzing economic and market forecasts, you’ve wasted 10 minutes.”Peter Lynch

“An Investor’s worst enemy is not the stock market but his own emotions.”Peter Lynch

“The best way to make money in stocks is not to be scared out of them.”Peter Lynch

Michael Thomas

“If you bought a house for $400,000 but then the real estate market dropped and now your house appraised for only $300,000, would you sell it? Of course not. Then why would you do that with your investments?”Michael Thomas

“Gold is colored rock which has no intrinsic value. It’s value is arbitrary derived from speculation - whatever someone else is willing to buy, or sell it, for. The only two things I know of that actually make money are printing presses and the great companies of the world. Regardless of the irrational value someone bestows upon a company, they can generate profit by just sitting there. Gold cannot.”Michael Thomas

“Be careful of monitoring (and judging) your mutual funds’ performance daily, weekly, monthly or even yearly. Short-term thinking may lead to the temptation to replace it with one that’s faring better short-term. However, funds with exemplary long-term track records tend to experience periods — often lengthy ones — during which they lag short-term.”Michael Thomas

“Everyone wants 30-year returns, but they judge their investments on one-year returns.”Michael Thomas

“If you’re not earning at least 6% long-term, then with inflation and taxes you’re losing money.”Michael Thomas

“Never spend your money. Only spend the earnings generated by your money. (Only eat the eggs, not the goose.)”Michael Thomas

“A successful investor needs three things: 1) The Right Plan; 2) The Right Investment; 3) The Right Coach.”Michael Thomas

“Focus on the future-value of your money, not it’s current value. For example, $100,000 isn’t $100,000, but in 20 years it’s approximately $732,000 (at 10%).”Michael Thomas

“The stock market is like someone playing with a yo-yo whilst riding up an escalator. The secret is to focus on the escalator and not the yo-yo.”Michael Thomas

“An individual stock is like a twig. 200+ twigs bound together is a mutal fund.”Michael Thomas

“When the market has a downturn there are only three actions you can take regarding your investments: 1) Sell your shares at a loss. 2) Do nothing. 3) Buy more shares at a discount. Only two of the three are acceptable answers, and one is the superior answer.Michael Thomas


“I’m 100% in equities. You’re never going to make enough money if you have 40% of your money in bonds.”Andy Sieg

“Money is only a tool. It will take you wherever you wish, but will not replace you as the driver.”Ayn Rand

“Let me give you a tip on a clue to men’s characters: The man who damns money has obtained it dishonorably. The man who respects it has earned it.”Ayn Rand

“Don’t try to time the market. It’s very, very difficult to do. There may be a couple of people in the world who can do it, but if there are, they’re not telling you.”Ben Bernanke

“The individual investor should act consistently as an investor and not as a speculator.”Benjamin Graham

“Individuals who cannot master their emotions are ill-suited to profit from the investment process.”Benjamin Graham

“Being free from worry about financial things is a real blessing. Of course, you don’t need a billion to get to that point.”Bill Gates

“Benign neglect is the secret to long-term investing success. If you change your investment policy, you are likely to be wrong; if you change it with a sense of urgency, you’re guaranteed to be wrong.”Charles Ellis

“If you’re going to be in this game for the long pull, which is the way to do it, you better be able to handle a 50% decline without fussin too much about it.”Charlie Munger

“The stock market is the only market where things go on sale and all the customers run out of the store.”Cullen Roche

“All of us would be better investors if we just made fewer decisions.”Daniel Kahneman

“Investing is like a bar of soap… The more you touch it, the smaller it gets.”Darcy Howe

“Personal finance is 80% behavior and only 20% head knowledge.”Dave Ramsey

“When you budget, you’re spending on paper, on purpose, before the month begins. It simply means, spending your money with intention.”Dave Ramsey

“Real Estate is a business, not an investment.” ―David McDanal

“What some people mistake for the high cost of living is really the cost of high living.”Doug Larson

“Money is just an entry in a database.”Elon Musk

“There are global companies generating revenue all over the world. I’m not overly concerned about where they get their mail.”Gerald Du Manoir

“Fidelity has done a study as to which clients had done the best at Fidelity. They were the people who forgot they had an account!”James O’Shaughnessy

“Since the end of World War II the longest it has ever taken an investor to recover an original investment in the stock market was the five-year, eight-month period from August 2000 through April 2006 (68 months).”Jeremy Siegel

“I don’t predict the rain. I help individuals build financial arks.”Jim Rothenburg

“The sole function of economic forecasting is to make astrology look respectable. There are two kinds of forecasters: those who don’t know, and those who don’t know they don’t know.”John Kenneth Galbraith

“Remember, the stock price only matters when you buy and when you sell.” ―Joyce Gordon

“For 200 years, pessimists have had all the headlines, even though optimists have far more often been right.”Matt Ridley

“Save like a pessimist but invest like an optimist.”Morgan Housel

“I see myself as buying stakes in companies - pieces of businesses. Rather than pieces of paper which can be easily traded in the market.”Michael Cohen

“If you understand the math behind compounding you realize the most important question is not ‘How can I earn the highest returns?’ It’s ‘What are the best returns I can sustain for the longest period of time?’”Morgan Housel

“I purchased a variable annuity whit a guaranteed living benefit and allocated 100% to stocks.”Moshe Milevsky

“About every ten years, we have the biggest crisis in fifty years.”Paul Volcker

“Though it’s tempting to sell when the market begins to drop, giving in to your fear is not a sound strategy. You cannot possibly succeed that way.”Ray Dalio

“Why are you checking the market day to day anyway?”Ryan Holiday

“Wealth is the slave of a wise man, and the master of a fool.”Seneca

“You make most of your money in a bear market, you just don’t know it at the time.”Shelby Cullom Davis

“The four most dangerous words in investing are: ‘this time it’s different’.”Sir John Marks Templeton

“Never spend your money before you have it.”Thomas Jefferson

“What leads most people into debt? Trying to catch up with people who are already there. Most people spend money on things they don’t need, with money they don’t have, to impress people they don’t know.”

“The Federal Reserve was founded in 1913. Since then the dollar’s value has fallen by 96%. The stock market has risen by 3,138,470%. Invest your money.”

  • Since 1926 small U.S companies (12%) have significantly beat inflation (3%) and bonds (6%).
  • Declines of -5% occur about three times a year.
  • Declines of -15% occur about once a year.
  • Declines of -30% occur about once every five years.
  • Since 1926, 40 months is the average length of time it has taken for a Bear Market to breakeven.
  • Markets rise about three out of four years (75%).

These are the facts. Everything else is a scare tactic.

A brief compilation of excellent investment advice from the best of the best.



Securities offered through Innovation Partners, LLC. Member FINRA/SIPC