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Common Sense on Mutual Funds [Hardcover]

John C. Bogle , David F. Swensen

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Book Description

Dec 2 2009
John C. Bogle shares his extensive insights on investing in mutual funds

Since the first edition of Common Sense on Mutual Funds was published in 1999, much has changed, and no one is more aware of this than mutual fund pioneer John Bogle. Now, in this completely updated Second Edition, Bogle returns to take another critical look at the mutual fund industry and help investors navigate their way through the staggering array of investment alternatives that are available to them.

Written in a straightforward and accessible style, this reliable resource examines the fundamentals of mutual fund investing in today's turbulent market environment and offers timeless advice in building an investment portfolio. Along the way, Bogle shows you how simplicity and common sense invariably trump costly complexity, and how a low cost, broadly diversified portfolio is virtually assured of outperforming the vast majority of Wall Street professionals over the long-term.

  • Written by respected mutual fund industry legend John C. Bogle
  • Discusses the timeless fundamentals of investing that apply in any type of market
  • Reflects on the structural and regulatory changes in the mutual fund industry
  • Other titles by Bogle: The Little Book of Common Sense Investing and Enough.

Securing your financial future has never seemed more difficult, but you'll be a better investor for having read the Second Edition of Common Sense on Mutual Funds.


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Review

"As founder of the giant mutual fund company, Vanguard Group, Bogle writes what he knows: how to steer one’s way through mutual funds and the numbing variety of investment alternatives available today. His is a clear and readable style, and Bogle helps make still somewhat-arcane terms such as quantitative investing understandable."(SmartMoney.com)

"Common Sense on Mutual Funds," by John Bogle, inventor of the retail index fund and founder of the Vanguard Group. It’s the best book ever on fund investing, just updated for new investors. The case for indexing is rock solid, as you’ll see here. It’s the only strategy that works, long term."
Jane’s Book Club, http://janebryantquinn.com

"Never before [have] I seen a book that so openly and successfully juxtaposed that which was said against that which actually happened over the period of a decade. . . As a long-time believer in low cost indexing, I didn’t think I’d learn much from this book. I was wrong! Reading this book offers investors a glimpse of the perspective and lessons learned from recent years that were anything but normal. . . This book, of course, is even more valuable to those that aren’t a believer in indexing. It may be a hard read if you’re among those who still believe that 90 percent of investors can all be above average. Consider the effort well worth it because the common sense in this book may save your retirement. Reading this book might also help you realize, as I have, that common sense really is pretty uncommon."
Allan Roth, CBS Moneywatch.com

"The definitive book on index fund investing. It explains why index fund investing is the best way — no, the only way — for people to invest their savings. . . [Bogle] does something few in the investing world would dare to do. He stands by what he said 10 years ago. The original text is presented unchanged. New data is added to reveal what happened over the past 10 years."
Scott Burns, The Austin American Statesman

A worthwhile addition to one’s library, particularly as a reference publication. . . This . . revision of a book written ten years ago  . . . with the original text still present in the book, and an analysis of the predictions that were made ten years ago. . . makes fascinating reading. The analysis of the predictions on their own makes the book worth a read, even if all one does is look at the coloured sections which contain the updated material.”
(Australian Investors Association)

“More Common Sense from Jack Bogle. Jack’s back and he’s unbowed. . . The tome holds up well after a decade. Bogle hasn’t altered a word of the original text, just added color coded data and text boxes to show where he was on or off the mark. Guess what? Jack doesn’t offer many mea culpas. . . The book is still essential reading for investors. Whether you think indexing is the best way to investor not, it’s filled with simple, powerful advice that can help stack the odds of long-term financial success in your favor. Reading it then helped shape me as an investor and analyst. Here are the most important lessons (besides the obvious one: that indexing works) that I’ve drawn from the pages of both editions, as well as a couple of points where I, and many of my colleagues, dare to differ from St. Jack.” (Morningstar)

From the Inside Flap

John Bogle—founder of the Vanguard Mutual Fund Group and creator of the first index mutual fund—is an industry pioneer. Over the years, he has single-handedly transformed the mutual fund business, and today, his vision continues to inspire investors.

It has been over a decade since the original edition of Common Sense on Mutual Funds was first published. While much has changed during this time, the importance of investing and the issues addressed in the original edition of this book have not. Now, in the Fully Updated 10th Anniversary Edition of Common Sense on Mutual Funds, Bogle returns to update his in-depth look at mutual funds and the business of investing—helping you navigate through the staggering array of investment options found in today's evolving investment landscape.

Timely and timeless, this important book examines the fundamentals of mutual fund investing in turbulent market environments and offers valuable guidance for building an investment portfolio. Along the way, Bogle shows you that simplicity and common sense still trump costly complexity, and that a low cost, broadly diversified portfolio continues to be the best way to build wealth at the lowest cost and risk—and will almost always outperform more expensive, actively managed mutual funds.

Throughout these pages, Bogle skillfully presents a platform for intelligent investing as he analyzes costs, exposes tax inefficiencies, and warns of the mutual fund industry's conflicting interests. Emphasizing long-term investing and asset allocation, Bogle offers sensible solutions to the fund selection process and reveals what it will take to make it in today's chaotic market. Updated charts, which also show original data, as well as new commentary and analysis provide timely guidance in light of recent changes in investment vehicles and market performance.

Securing your financial future has never seemed more difficult, but after reading this revised and updated edition of Common Sense on Mutual Funds, you will become a better investor. From stock and bond funds to global investing and index funds, this book will help you regain your financial footing and make more informed investment decisions.


Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.3 out of 5 stars  50 reviews
72 of 75 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 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.
61 of 64 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars 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
5.0 out of 5 stars 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
4.0 out of 5 stars 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
5.0 out of 5 stars 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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