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The Little Book of Common Sense Investing: The Only Way to Guarantee Your Fair Share of Stock Market Returns Hardcover – Mar 5 2007


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (March 5 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0470102101
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470102107
  • Product Dimensions: 18.5 x 13.2 x 2.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 281 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #49,315 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents


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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Sears Braithwaite (of Bullard) TOP 1000 REVIEWER on April 15 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A plain, uncomplicated introduction to the truth about the securities industry. And some mathematical/statistical truths that it bends over backwards to ignore. And how index investing can save you from Them. And from yourself.

John Bogle founded a not-for-profit investing house that now manages many billions of dollars--all in indexed funds--at low cost to the investors, and channels the profits back to them. Naturally, we have no equivalent in Canada (where, on average, we pay even more than Americans do for mutual funds).

Often major American firms like to branch out to Canada. By the time I finished reading this book, I actually felt miffed with Mr. Bogle for not bringing Vanguard to Canada--we lost out big time. But then I also started wondering: after all these years, why no Canadian imitator? Follow the money...

If this book gets you interested in learning more about indexing, consider William Bernstein's The Intelligent Asset Allocator. It explains the theory in depth, but is extremely well written and reader-friendly.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By NewMom1520 on Aug. 6 2009
Format: Hardcover
This book was highly informative and educational. I learned so much. It illustrates the following points via quantitative examples:
- For equity investing, buy an index fund that holds the entire stock market and hold it forever. You will capture most of the return generated by the market in this way. The relevant index fund should be based on the S&P 500 or DJIA. He says that, "Investors should be content with earning the market's return. Only the classic index fund can guarantee that outcome."
- Using middlemen (i.e. stock brokers, financial advisers etc.) costs you money so don't waste your time. Financial advisers and stock brokers are not good at picking funds/stocks etc.
-Mutual funds managers (of actively managed funds) can't outperform the market in the long-run. They will have periods of success but will ultimately eventually fail.
-The goal should be to minimize all costs:financial intermediation (management fees, operating expenses, sales charges, portfolio turnover), taxes, inflation,
People who manage other people's money make a fortune. Costs kill returns.

He is a proponent of long-term investment in index funds or ETFs. In fact, he suggests that you hold them forever.

He exposed morningstar ratings as being misleading. And I always trusted morningstar before this! Not anymore.

Among index mutual funds, he emphasized choosing the lowest cost ones with no sales loads or annual fees.

He discussed the corollary for investing in bonds.

Then he discussed trends which have come up and can be better than indexing: ETFs etc. The only ETF that performs as well as investing in a total stock market index fund is investing in a broad market ETF.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Let me say up front that I have not read this book but I do understand and invest in it's premise.

As a former financial advisor and seller of Markowitz's theory of efficient asset allocation theory I came to realize that one could add an element of timing to portfolio constituents, rather than simply relying on time in the market. The purpose would be to avoid large draw downs during bear markets and to participate in bull markets.

My main portfolio is invested in Vanguard ETFs. I view each ETF on a price chart at the end of each month to observe their price trend. A decision is made to buy, sell, wait or hold based on whether price is above or below a 10 month simple moving average. This roughly corresponds to the 200 day average which is closely watched by many money managers as separating bull from bear markets. Daily is too often and monthly seems about right for a portfolio trend status report.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If you have no investment knowledge, this book will guide you in making safe, long term strategies that will match the average returns on the stock market, without needing to even look at your investments more than every few months.
I like it that he "tells it as it is", and does not recommend the excessive ratio of bonds to stocks recommended elsewhere. Bonds do well as interest rates fall. After 30 years of interest rates going lower and bonds acting favorably, interest rates can only go up and bonds will be a guaranteed way to lose money, although perhaps at a rate low enough that the investor will not notice until he or she can no longer afford the things that they were used to.
He points out that Mutual Funds cannot improve on the stock market movements enough that they can earn their pay and still beat couch potato investing.
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