4 Warren Buffett Quotes About Building And Destroying A Reputation

Warren Buffett is one Wall Streeter known as much for his sage advice as his astute investments. He has an ability to condense his common-sense wisdom into a few sentences, making them very quotable and easily memorized by his acolytes.

Wells Fargo & Co WFC, one of Buffett's most well-known holdings, has been embroiled in a controversy related to the creation of fake accounts.

Related Link: Buffett Buttons His Lips, Won't Speak On Election Or Wells Fargo Until November

With Buffett keeping his thoughts on the recent Wells Fargo scandal to himself until further notice, many of his most famous quotes may help frame the discussion of how the man they call the "Oracle of Omaha" could potentially respond.

On the dangers of reputation risk:

"It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you'll do things differently."

On knowing when it's time make an exit:

"Should you find yourself in a chronically leaking boat, energy devoted to changing vessels is likely to be more productive than energy devoted to patching leaks."

From a letter to managers of subsidiaries of Berkshire Hathaway Inc (NYSE: BRK-A), Buffett's holding company:

"We can afford to lose money - even a lot of money. But we can't afford to lose reputation - even a shred of reputation."

His message to employees of Salomon Brothers, a former holding that underwent its own controversy in the late 1980s:

"Lose money for the firm, and I will be understanding. Lose a shred of reputation for the firm, and I will be ruthless."

Image: Aaron Friedman, Flickr

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