Arthur Levitt Jr.

United States
3 Feb 1931 // 9 Feb 2001
Financial Advisor


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Today it's fashionable to talk about the New Economy, or the Information Economy, or the Knowledge Economy. But when I think about the imperatives of this market, I view today's economy as the Value Economy. Adding value has become more than just a sound business principle; it is both the common denominator and the competitive edge.

Speech to the Finance Conference 2000, Boston College, Boston, MA. 'The New Economy' (2000)
We sometimes take for granted the freedom and power of independent thought and action. And only after it's been compromised, do we fully realize how fundamental it is to the pursuit of economic opportunity.

Speech to the New York University Center for Law and Business, New York City. 'Renewing the Covenant with Investors' (2000)
It is not the pace of technology or the brilliance of innovation that guarantees the success of our markets, but rather an unyielding commitment to quality... Quality, at its broadest and most basic level, is the protection of the investor interest. This principle reaffirms a simple and salient truth-markets exist by the grace of investors.

Speech to the Columbia Law School, New York City. 'Dynamic Markets, Timeless Principles' (1999)
We should never lose sight of the underlying essence of a market a place where buyers and sellers come together. Every other feature whether crafted by tradition or technology exists only to serve that primary purpose.

Speech to the Columbia Law School, New York City. 'Dynamic Markets. Timeless Principles' (1999)
At its most basic level, a market represents an agreement between two people. For that market to sustain long-term health, those two people must honor that agreement. They must trust each other... you can have all the technology and global forces you want, but it's useless if basic trust does not exist.

Speech to the Securities Industry Association Annual Meeting, Boca Raton. Florida. 'Meeting the Challenges of a 21st Century Marketplace' (1998)
For most individuals, the stock market is best used for investing, not trading...On-line trading may be quick and easy; on-line investing requires old-fashioned elbow grease like researching a company or making the time to appreciate the level of risk. I'm often surprised by investors who spend more time deciding what movie they'll rent than on which stock to buy.

Speech to the National Press Club. 'Plain Talk about On-Line Investing' (1999)
If past is prologue, many new companies rushing to market today will not be around for the long haul, perhaps not even a few years from now. Investors today cannot fall prey to an urge that tells them it's okay to suspend good judgment and invest with their eyes closed and their fingers crossed.

Speech to the Finance Conference 2000, Boston College, Boston, MA. 'The New Economy' (2000)
Much of today's activity highlights an important difference between trading and investing. Trading is buying in the belief that the stock price will rise regardless of what the buyer actually thinks it's worth... Investing for the long term means focusing on the fundamentals that make up a solid company... no matter how revolutionary change is.

Speech to the Finance Conference 2000, Boston College, Boston, MA. 'The New Economy' (2000)
Successful investors, through good times and bad, focus a vigilant eye on managing risk. Periods of promise and prosperity are not an excuse for us to let our guard down. In fact, it's times like these when we need to raise it even higher.

Speech to the Finance Conference 2000, Boston College, Boston, MA. 'The New Economy' (2000)
These are not easy times. Pressures proliferate. Responsibilities overlap. Objectives run counter to each other. Demands often are at cross-purposes. But, investors, regardless, continue to value companies that achieve value through honesty and hard work.

Speech, Directors' College, Stanford Law School, Stanford University, California (1999)
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On Anger: "For every minute you remain angry, you give up sixty seconds of peace of mind."
On Destiny: "Our destiny exercises its influence over us even when, as yet, we have not learned its nature: it is our future that lays down the law of our today."
Human, All Too Human
On Friendship: "A crowd is not company; and faces are but a gallery of pictures; and talk but a tinkling cymbal, where there is no love."