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Common Sense on Mutual Funds Hardcover – Dec 2 2009


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71 of 74 people found the following review helpful
Jack Bogle continues to give ordinary investors "a fair shake." Dec 5 2009
By Patricia S. Larimore - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I read Jack Bogle's first book, "Bogle on Mutual Funds" in 1994. It changed my investing life forever--and for the better. We often say: "We live in the house that Jack Built."

I have read all of Mr. Bogle's books and learned from every one. He is a gifted writer with an unequaled background in investing. Fortune magazine designated him as one of the investment industry's four "Giants of the 20th Century." He instituted the first index mutual fund which became the largest mutual fund in the world, and he also founded the only mutual fund owned by its shareholders (Vanguard).

"Common Sense on Mutual Funds (updated) is actually, two books in one. It is his first edition written 10-years ago with charts and data completely updated. In addition, throughout the book, is Jack's commentary on the many changes that have taken place during the past 10 years and how it relates to what he wrote in the original edition. I found it notable that the common sense advice Mr. Bogle dispensed in the first book has stood the test of time remarkably well.

"Common Sense on Mutual Funds--Fully Updated" deserves a place on the bookshelf of every serious investor.
60 of 63 people found the following review helpful
Sometimes less is more Aug. 11 2010
By Paul Suni - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Some people are larger than life in their fields and everyone would likely agree that Jack Bogle is such a figure in the mutual funds area. Bogle founded Vanguard in the 70's and has since helped ordinary people make more money than perhaps anyone else living or dead. At least he helped those who had the intelligence to listen to his advice. Which is pretty much to invest in really boring index funds for your entire life and then come back decades later and be astonished at how wealthy you are.

This book was originally written in 1999 right before the telecom/internet stock mania finally took its well-deserved step off the cliff. This edition supplements the original book with updated charts and commentary on what the last decade of volatility has wrought. Bogle's view, backed up by data, is that even the past 10 years hasn't altered his view of the correct strategy - if anything it has been strengthened. If you are not greedy and stick with boring stuff then you don't really have too much to worry about over the long haul.

Given Bogle's message of simplicity I am confused about a book that requires a whopping 600 pages to make the point. Much of what he says gets repeated over and over and over again, to the point where it leaves a far less crisp message than intended. If you are not convinced by page 50 or so that index funds are the way to go, the remaining 550 pages will probably not be all that much more persuasive. In the process he is also less than clear about Vanguard. Perhaps it is just a polite or "objective" writing style, but repeatedly saying things like "all mutual funds companies, with one exception...", when he really means Vanguard, makes little sense to me. Given his continuing involvement with Vanguard it would remove any hint of conflict if he just made things even clearer. Of course, if such a statement really references a company other than Vanguard it would be even more interesting to know that.

The book really is good and comprehensive but also made me wonder for whom it is written. The people who most need his advice are young, since they by definition have the longest investment horizon. But, somehow I doubt that a lot of 20-year olds will be using this tome to address issues in their lives that are 40 years in the future. It is really too bad because I believe the message needs to get out there. I wish that I had known of Bogle when I was 20 and had had the guts to stay with it through thick and thin.

Everyone should read some Bogle but some of his shorter books may be a better start.
41 of 44 people found the following review helpful
The Best Gets Even Better Dec 1 2009
By Mel Lindauer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
In Common Sense on Mutual Funds: Fully Updated 10th Anniversary Edition, John C. (Jack) Bogle has done what most would have considered to be an impossible task. He's taken his 10-year old best-seller (Common Sense on Mutual Funds) and made it even better. This version is updated to reflect the recent and often unpleasant events in the market and the marketplace. There's commentary on what worked and what didn't, and he shows how his timeless message still holds true today, using recent events to make his point. Charts and return data have also been fully updated. This new version is a must addition to any mutual fund investor's library. If you can only find time to read one investing book, this is that book. Read it and reap!
23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
A Lengthy Read, But Worth It in the End; Comprehensive Dec 9 2009
By Kirk A. Greenwood - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Jack Bogle has produced a real monster of a resource this time! This greatly expanded volume (some 650 pages in all!) has all the verve and audacity of a work you'd expect from industry rogue, Bogle, and is jampacked with new information and updated statistics that help to make his message seem more relevant now than ever before. In the Preface to the 10th Anniversary Edition, Bogle addresses the recent upheaval in the markets in the context of his time-tested formula for ensuring the integral, health of investors' portfolios and posting consistent gains over the long haul. Bogle's investment philosophy emphasizes the importance of maintaining a streamlined portfolio that relies on stock indexing and conservative, long-range predictions regarding growth.

Avoiding the kind of I-told-you-so rhetoric that many readers may find off-putting in these difficult times, Bogle diplomatically explains how recent trends in the markets confirm the advantages of owning a highly diversified portfolio managed according to certain intelligent investment principles, which he has termed the 12 Pillars of Wisdom. He gives hope to investors who may have made some wrong turns or were misled during the housing boom by offering them a practical plan for how to get their investments back on the right track.

Bogle's game has always been mutual funds--he's one of the originators and foremost experts in America on this unique investment type. In the ten years since the original publication of Common Sense on Mutual Funds: New Imperatives for the Intelligent Investor and the 35 years since he founded the Vanguard Group, John C. Bogle has remained the one constant an industry where fortunes and reputations are made and lost practically overnight. This 10th Anniversary Edition explains why mutual funds continue to be effective financial instruments that work by leveraging the combined buying power of a large pool of investors and equitably distributing gains and losses among the ownership pool. Bolge points out which types of mutual funds to add to your portfolio and which to stay away from based on their proven track records of long-range durability. In an insightful final section titled "On Spirit," Bogle offers actionable solutions for dealing with a market that operates according to principles of instability that mirror those of human psychology. Bogle's investment philosophy is perfect for the risk-averse investor, which, let's face it, is pretty much everyone these days.

Another pertinent investment strategy book published this year, which captures the DIY spirit of the John C. Bogle's "Common Sense on Mutual Funds" is Thomas C. Scott's Fasten Your Financial Seatbelt: What A Fatal Plane Crash Taught Me About Retirement Planning. This guide articulates an investment game plan similar to Bogle's. It has the added advantage of being is a quick and easy read, especially when compared with Bogle's more ponderous tome.
18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
The Gold Standard Dec 6 2009
By Rick Ferri - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
After 10 years, this classic Jack Bogle book continues to be the clearest and most concise book published to date on why index investing works, and why it will continue to be the superior investment strategy for investors in the future. What has Mr. Bogle changed since his first edition? Not much. And that is strong testament for this strategy.


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