"Smart men go broke three ways - liquor, ladies and leverage" Charlie Munger

“My partner Charlie says there is only three ways a smart person can go broke: liquor, ladies, and leverage. Now the truth is, the first two he just added because they started with ‘L’ – It’s leverage.” Warren Buffett

"Almost every financial blow-up is because of leverage" Seth Klarman

“When excessive leverage provides pain, I blame the leverage and the manager for taking on the leverage, not the events” Paul Singer

“In almost every case of catastrophic failure that we’ve observed, we believe the root cause can ultimately be boiled down to one or a combination of just five factors. The five factors are 1) leverage 2) excessive concentration 3) excessive correlation 4) illiquidity and 5) capital flight” Zeke Ashton

Leverage is really an enemy of being able to take a long term perspective” Seth Klarman

“Using leverage can produce superior results when the going is good, but it can wipe you out when events fail to conform to your expectations. One of the hardest things to judge is what level of risk is safe. There are no universally valid yardsticks; each situation needs to be judged on its own merit. In the final analysis you must rely on your instincts for survival” George Soros

“In addition to magnifying losses as well as gains, leverage carries an extra risk on the downside that isn’t offset by accompanying upside: the risk of ruin”  Howard Marks

“If you don’t have any leverage you’re in a much better position to make it over the canyon” David Abrams

"Using leverage is like playing Russian roulette.  It means that you are inevitably going to get a bullet in the head"  Ray Dalio

“In an adverse environment when most strategies are not working well, any leverage is too much, and vice versa” Paul Singer

“Leverage may not change the odds of a given investment, but it makes the consequences much more stomach-turning if the investment turns bad and you end up with a pile of debt” Leon Levy

"Borrowed money has no place in the investor’s tool kit: Anything can happen anytime in markets. And no advisor, economist, or TV commentator – and definitely not Charlie nor I – can tell you when chaos will occur." Warren Buffett

“A leveraged portfolio forces you to act irrationally when markets are irrational, as opposed to acting rationally when markets are irrational.” Marc Lasry

"If you take a 10 percent return in security and lever it up four times an after financing costs generate 15 or 20 percent returns, you haven't increased your returns. You've just increased your leverage and significantly increased your risk... You've also got a 20, 25 percent downside threat..." Dan Loeb

“By definition there are two characteristics to borrowing. Number one: borrowing works both ways. So you are compromising the idea of margin of safety if you borrow. Number two: borrowing reduces your staying power. As I said, if you are a value investor, you are a long term investor, so you want to have staying power.” Jean Marie Eviellard

“For an individual investor, debt can be disastrous, making it even harder to stay in the game – both financially and emotionally – when the market turns against you” Guy Spier

"I haven't seen circumstances that would warrant lots of leverage. A bad return is a bad return.  Using leverage is only going to leverage you on the downside"   Mark Kingdon

"There's also no investment so safe that can't be rendered risky by buying too much of it with borrowed money" Howard Marks

"Whenever a really bright person who has a lot of money goes broke, it's because of leverage.. it's almost impossible to go broke without borrowed money being in the equation" Warren Buffett

"You always, as an investor, want to be in business tomorrow.  That's something I learned in 1987. I got wiped out.  Ever since then I have taken the view not to use leverage.  By not having leverage you'll always be in charge of your own destiny" James Dinan

"We believe almost anything can happen in financial markets. And the only way smart people can get clobbered, really, is through leverage. If you can hold them, you have no real problems. So we have a great aversion to leverage and we would predict that a very high percentage of the smart people operating in Wall Street, at one time or another, are likely to get clobbered through the use of leverage." Warren Buffett

"Be careful of leverage. It can go against you." Walter Schloss

"Never borrow. I had a margin call in 1924, and I swore I never would buy on margin again. That’s one of the main reasons I got through the 1930s” Philip Carret

"Leverage magnifies outcomes but doesn’t add value." Howard Marks

"Leverage can never turn a bad investment into a good one, but it has the potential to turn a good investment into a bad one by forcing you to sell at just the wrong point in time." James Montier

"As part of our risk management, we have never leveraged our portfolios" Seth Klarman

"We are not levered, we don’t borrow more money to make even more investments. That’s one way you avoid risk. If you don’t have to ever repay anybody you're not subject to lending terms and conditions” David Einhorn

Leverage, concentration and illiquidity are the three things that can kill you" Steve Cohen

"Consistent with our attitude toward catastrophic risk, we have little interest in the use of leverage" Frank Martin

"There are six sigma events when you are levered which will force you to liquidate at times that are the absolute opposite of the time you want to liquidate. I don't want to be in a situation, especially with other people's money where we are looking at forced liquidations at the worst possible times.  We don't want to deal with a margin call - ever"  Mohnish Pabrai

"Leverage is a two-edged sword. It's wonderful when the trade is going up, but you're out of business quickly when it goes the other way"  Craig Effron

“Because we are human and can make mistakes, and because we never want to be forced to sell investments at an inopportune time,, we never use recourse leverage on our portfolios. This has been an expensive decision much of the time, in that leverage magnifies returns. But it is not a decision we ever regretted, because the downside risk of leverage is far to great.” Seth Klarman

"Many investors who were on margin at the beginning of 2009 were forced to sell at the worst possible time. An investor who uses margin to invest can do well for 30 years and then lose everything in a single day of irrational market movements." Francois Rochon

"Leverage is just a way to let you bet more than your capital, and it exposes you to more of the good and more of the bad.  Leverage can truly be dynamite" Howard Marks

"The lesson of leverage is this: Assume that the worst imaginable outcome will occur and ask whether you can tolerate it.  If the answer is no, then reduce your borrowing." Ed Thorp

"Good business or investment decisions will eventually produce quite satisfactory economic results, with no aid from leverage. Therefore, it seems to us to be both foolish and improper to risk what is important for some extra returns that are relatively unimportant.  This view is not the product of either our advancing age or prosperity: Our opinions about debt have remained constant." Warren Buffett

“While leverage is not directly responsible for every financial disaster, it usually can be found near the scene of the crime.” Jim Mooney

“If we look back into the various bubbles and disasters we’ve faced over the last quarter century, most of them come from too much leverage. The disasters we’ve gone through include the crash in 1929 when people were buying stocks on 10% margin, there was the crash in 1987 where they were using portfolio insurance that tended to lever their portfolios in curious ways,  then the LTCM disaster in 1988 when they were levering at 30 to 1, sometimes 100 to 1. And then our recent disaster in 2008/9, where banks were levered 33 to 1. And the banks that got that privilege, two of them are gone and three had to be bailed out by the ta payers ” Ed Thorp

"We don’t own things on margin or, you know, we don’t get ourselves in a position where somebody else can pull the rug out from under us. That’s enormously important in life. You never want to, you know, get out on a limb." Warren Buffett

“We don’t use leverage in the portfolio. That is a basic philosophical decision on my part. I don’t want to have to meet a margin call at the wrong time. We try to study financial disasters and when you study all the people who had huge financial issues and you said ‘what was the reason they had those huge issues?’ Leverage was one reason that would probably capture 90% of all the disasters. In that sense, it seems fairly easy and straightforward to stay away from the one thing that causes most of the distress. Buffett said ‘If you’re smart you don’t need it and if you’re dumb you don’t want to use it.’ I think that captures the idea too.” David Abrams