Warren Buffett and Jimmy Buffett. The Oracle of Omaha and the prince of the Parrotheads. They're not related. They are friends. They're both rich.

Warren: $81 billion. Fourth-richest person on the planet.

Jimmy: $550 million. Yes that's a lot less than Warren. But c'mon--it's still a lot of money.

Both Buffetts are also highly quotable. My wife recently pointed out that they're more similar than you might think--even though on the surface that doesn't seem likely. In fact, there are times when I'll bet you can't tell which Buffett offered which words of wisdom.

So let's test that theory. Here are 17 inspiring quotes from the Buffett boys. Can you guess which Buffett said what without looking? Answers at the bottom.

(My wife took this test before I published it. She went five for 17. Can you beat her?)

1. "Be a good reader, because then you don't have to be a conversationalist to be knowledgeable. I'm shy."

2. "Only when the tide goes out do you discover who's been swimming naked."

3. "Someone is sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago."

4. "I always knew I was going to be rich. I don't think I ever doubted it for a minute."

5. "I remember the excruciating school task of writing a three-page term paper. But, oh, that feeling when I was done! I think I drive myself for that feeling of accomplishment."

6. "I hate to mention age, but I come from an era when we weren't consumed by technology and television. My mother insisted that her children read. To describe my scarce leisure time in today's terms, I always default to reading."

7. "Any attempts at autobiography before the age of eighty seem pretty self-involved to me. There are a lot of smart middle aged people but not many wise ones."

8. "What we learn from history is that people don't learn from history."

9. "I tell college students, when you get to be my age you will be successful if the people who you hope to have love you, do love you."

10. "If you don't find a way to make money while you sleep, you will work until you die."

11. "You only have to do a very few things right in your life so long as you don't do too many things wrong."

12. "The big question about how people behave is whether they've got an Inner Scorecard or an Outer Scorecard. It helps if you can be satisfied with an Inner Scorecard."

13. "Humor has bailed me out of more tight situations than I can think of. If you go with your instincts and keep your humor, creativity follows. With luck, success comes, too."

14. "If life gives you limes, make margaritas."

15. "People who think too much before they act don't act too much."

16. "Quitting doesn't enter my mind."

17. "Management in place. Find a good business that makes sense, and make sure there are good people running it."


  1. Jimmy
  2. Warren
  3. Warren
  4. Warren
  5. Jimmy
  6. Jimmy
  7. Jimmy
  8. Warren
  9. Warren
  10. Warren
  11. Warren
  12. Jimmy
  13. Jimmy
  14. Warren. No, I'm kidding. It's Jimmy.
  15. Jimmy
  16. Jimmy
  17. Warren. But he's being quoted by Jimmy here--describing the advice that Warren gave him when he was "growing the Margaritaville empire."