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12 Mahatma Gandhi Quotes to Inspire You as an Investor

If there’s one person who has seen the greatest amount of dishonesty and corruption right under his nose, he’s none other than Mahatma Gandhi.

Gandhi is mentioned countless times in speeches by Indian politicians, whether the speech is related to economic growth or corporate governance.

This man’s biggest message to the world was that of morality as an important part of life, business, and of course politics. But he is the only one standing testimony to all immoral activities that happen in the highest corridors of power in the country.

Anyways, leaving that aside, I thought it would be a nice thing on Gandhi’s birthday to remind myself (and you) of the inspiration that he served through his teachings.

Here’s a collection of quotes – some of which show up in front of me daily on self-created bookmarks – that serve a great inspiration to me as an investor. I hope these might have some lessons for you as well.

1. “There is more to life than simply increasing its speed.”
There’s no point running the rat race, for even if you win it you will still be a rat. As I’ve realized over the years, there’s much more to life than money, investing, greed, and fear.

2. “An ounce of practice is worth more than tons of preaching.”
All books, talks and discussions on how to become a sensible investor are worth nothing unless you put your learning into practice. You will still fail at times, but as someone said, “There are no failures, only lessons.”

3. “An eye for an eye only ends up making the whole world blind.”
Learn to forgive yourself for your investing mistakes. Get over, and get going.

4. “If patience is worth anything, it must endure to the end of time. And a living faith will last in the midst of the blackest storm.”
Have patience, stay invested for the long term, think intrinsic value, have margin of safety, and let the power of compounding work for you.

5. “Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.”
The real romance of life is not in the knowledge, but in knowing. So keep learning each day. If you are to become a successful investor, there’s no other way but to keep learning the art of investing. And keep living each moment.

6. “First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, and then you win.”
Value investors, take note! People may think it is nonsense to research hard, apply margin of safety, and buy and hold stocks for years and decades. But you know what you are doing, right? So shut off the noise, and just do it!

7. “Freedom is not worth having if it does not include the freedom to make mistakes.”
Growth as an investor is a process of experimentation, a series of trials, errors and occasional victories. So accept that you will make mistakes. Don’t get chained by the fear of making mistakes. But then, as Prof. Sanjay Bakshi told me, “Making mistakes is ok, perpetuating them is not.”

8. “A man is but the product of his thoughts. What he thinks, he becomes.”
If you think you are not built for patience and hard work, value investing is not for you. Maybe you can try your luck at a casino!

9. “The future depends on what you do today.”
Investing is a lifelong process. You can become an “overnight” success only after years of hard word. So work in the now, and forget about the future.

10. “Whatever you do will be insignificant, but it is very important that you do it.”
Little drops make an ocean. This is true of investing as well. A few sensibly made small investments can earn you a lot of wealth in the long run (thanks to the power of compounding).

11. “To believe in something, and not to live it, is dishonest.”
“I am otherwise a long term investor. But I’ll speculate just this one time.” Well this doesn’t work, in life or in investing. There cannot be a deep disconnect between how you believe sensible investing works and how you actually invest your money. That’s like being dishonest with yourself. And you hate dishonest people, right?

12. “It is unwise to be too sure of one’s own wisdom. It is healthy to be reminded that the strongest might weaken and the wisest might err.”
This is so much relevant in your hour of pride or while you go through extreme hardships. Always remember the quote from Horace that Benjamin Graham used for the frontispiece of the first edition of Security Analysis – “Many shall be restored that now are fallen and many shall fall that now are in honor.”

Are there any other specific quotes from Gandhi that inspire you in life and investing? If yes, please share it in the Comments below.

(This post was originally published on 2nd October 2012)

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About the Author

Vishal Khandelwal is the founder of Safal Niveshak. He works with small investors to help them become smart and independent in their stock market investing decisions. He is a SEBI registered Research Analyst. Connect with Vishal on Twitter.


  1. Great article Vishal….:) I am a great admirer of his life and principles..
    These are the quotes that always inspire me in life, apart from you mentioned above..
    “Be the change that you want to see in the world”

    “There is no path to peace, peace is the path”

    “You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty”

    “A small body of determined spirits fired by an unquenchable faith in their mission can alter the course of history”

    And the list goes on and on…:)

  2. Excellent tribute to Gandhiji, Vishal, thanks a lot 🙂

    Thanks Shankar for sharing more, I really like ““You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty”” 🙂

  3. “The Story Of My Experiments with Truth” by MK Gandhi, is highly recommended for one and everyone..:)
    I think this is the most undervalued book in the world, costs just Rs 30/-

  4. Thanks Shankar, just wondering where you got that book for Rs 30, on Flipkart its Rs. 135 🙂

  5. While you search for that book in flipkart just go down and down, may be 15th or 17th on the list….

  6. R K Chandrashekar says:

    Hi Fellow tribesman
    I am what you would call a voracious reader and what a coincidence that the current book i am reading ( 230th page) is Gandhi’s ” My Experiments with truth”.
    Vishal, I am thankful to you for the compilation of the Gandhi’s quotes and its relevance to investing. Here is one i have learned the hard way
    ”You may never know what results come of your action, but if you do nothing there will be no result.”
    I failed to invest in the Infosys IPO, which was under-subscribed and had to bailed out by the bankers, though i was from the IT industry( since 1980), and stock investing from 1978! Its another matter that i picked it much later. To further insult to injury, Infy became my client for my recruitment business in 1994-95 and how- they Hema Ravichandar & Co gave me a presentation to market Infosys to potential candidates!! I did, but when they started expanding to places like Bhubaneswar, Pune, Mangalore, etc and asked me if I was willing/capable of handling their huge expansion plans- i said no! No regrets though. I am happy and contented. You win some, loss some. What is important is not to carry the regrets. There is more to life than money. I quit the rat race long before working in the IT industry became fashionable and hot. i must add that careful stock selection and the compounding effect has helped me to be financially independent with peace of mind.

    • That’s indeed a great lesson Mr. Chandrashekar. Thanks for sharing!

      Your words – “…careful stock selection and the compounding effect has helped me to be financially independent with peace of mind…” – are inspirational.

    • Anil Kumar Tulsiram says:

      Excellent Mr. R K Chandrashekar

      “…careful stock selection and the compounding effect has helped me to be financially independent with peace of mind” This is what exactly I am trying to do, rather than entering the rat race (job) again.

  7. sir you forgot one of the best lines by gandhiji for inspiration as an value investor

    A ‘No’ uttered from the deepest conviction is better than a ‘Yes’ merely uttered to please, or worse, to avoid trouble.

  8. Jigisha Shah says:

    Hi Vishal,

    Excellent Article

    Jigisha Shah

  9. Hats off to you. You have adapted his sayings into investing very well. thanks

  10. Anil Kumar Tulsiram says:

    Excellent compilation of quotes and their relevance to investment.

    Thanks a lot

  11. What an eye-opener Vishal! I particularly liked the last one (esp. at this point in my life)

  12. No personal offence to Vishal (who I thank for this site) nor Mohandas Gandhi (of whom I do NOT think highly of) , but I find this article silly. I could do some quote mining and somehow link value investing lessons to that person.

    For example quoting Mohandas’ contemperory antithesis , Hitler :

    Lesson 1 : “He alone, who owns the youth, gains the future ”
    Start value investing at a young age and escape the rat race!

    Lesson 2 : “Strength lies not in defence but in attack.”
    Don’t just passively save money. Instead take action and invest it for great returns!

    Lesson 3 : “The man who has no sense of history, is like a man who has no ears or eyes”
    Always do thorough fundamental analysis of the companies you plan to invest in. See their historical performance carefully.

    and so on 🙂

    • Dear Harish, thanks for your feedback!

      Well, if you can find investing lessons from Hitler, why not? That’s the idea of Safal Niveshak – to relate investing to our daily lives and readings, for that makes the lessons stick.

      BTW, if you re-look at Hitler’s quotes that you have mentioned above, there are more then one lessons (and negative ones at that) contained in them. And I am not sure Hitler lived by these quotes.

      For instance, he did not own the youth…he killed them. And then he attacked countries and massacred people.

      So yeah, you can find all kinds of lessons from all kinds of people and their quotes. It’s just a matter of personal choice who you look at and what you avoid.

      BTW, I wrote the above post on Gandhi’s birthday. I may do a post on Hitler’s quotes on his birthday, April 20. 🙂

    • Reni George says:

      Dear Harish

      You can have any person as your hero…but let me put to you some uncomfortable questions:

      1) What would you teach your child,would you teach him the way Ram behaved or would you put down Hitler as an example in front of him.(Praising corrupt managements,who always lure retail investors with beautiful talk)

      2)Would you praise and teach examples from a man who was responsible for one of the largest genocides in the world.(Killing the company with dishonest ways

      3) Would you like to take lessons from a man,you after losing killed himself(After losing lot of cash,never enter the market).

      If you could surely like to teach and understand Hitler’s way to your off springs…THEN BESTLUCK

      It has become a fashion trend to admonish the teachings of Gandhi,I also differ in some points from him,but that does not mean that what he taught was wrong.It takes great courage to lead by example)

      Thanks and Regards
      Happy Investing

      Reni George

  13. Excellent quotes and what can a mere mortal like me reflect on the Mahatma.
    What an inspiration he is and will continue to be.
    However, he too had his flaws, and as an investor we must appreciate however convinced we may be, there would be flaws in that argument.
    God bless our country with many more such enlightened souls and not merely Gandhi surnames.

  14. hi Vishal

    All the above comments are being displayed with some old dates .. eg. Oct 2013, Jan 17 2013, Feb 2013 etc..

  15. To Vishal & all those paying tribute to a man called Mohandas imported via South Africa route (as if Bharat mata didn’t have a mai ka lal at the time to lead the desh to Swarajya), my humble request, kindly read Capt. Vadakayil’s post.

    Only truth can liberate us.

  16. satheesh babu says:

    To me, one of the most inspiring and extremely relevant (to anything in life) quote of Gandhiji is “The world has enough for everyone’s need, but not enough for everyone’s greed”

  17. Akhilesh Pathak says:

    Dear Vishal and Tribesmen,

    Thank you for being the change ( in whatever small way one is trying) that we want to see in this world !!

    I found two of the Gandhiji’s quote relevant to what Safalniveshak stands for – Learning to earn for your social needs while living your life and growing as happier human beings who are helping change this world for better – in the case of latter, we will have more wealth than just being an extraordinary investor !!

    1. “There would be nothing to frighten you if you refused to be afraid.”

    No market fluctuation or event can make you jittery when you think long term and stay invested in fundamentally strong businesses at a reasonable valuation. Instead fear becomes your friend in future when you are courageous enough to take your decisions in those bad times 🙂

    2. “There are Seven Deadly Social Sins:

    Politics without principle. – You all know !!
    Wealth without work. — Kingfisher
    Commerce without morality. — Satyam
    Pleasure without conscience. – Sreeshanth
    Education without character. – All Ivy league grads who helped US banks fail and Rajat Gupta
    Science without humility. — All those doctors & pharmaceuticals featured in Satyamev Jayate
    Worship without sacrifice.” — So called Babas

    I don’t need to explain them in detail, you can find numerous examples of how these 7 deadly sins have not only spoiled the lives of those who fell in their trap but also of those who have not factored in their impacts while investing or following them 🙂

    Happy and inspired investing and living with Safalniveshak !


  18. Thanks for sharing such wonderful quotes. Gandhiji’s sayings has always inspired us with is beautiful speech and deeds.

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