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Common Sense on Mutual Funds: New Imperatives for the Intelligent Investor
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Common Sense on Mutual Funds: New Imperatives for the Intelligent Investor

4.03  ·  Rating Details ·  1,181 Ratings  ·  77 Reviews
"Cogent, honest, and hard-hitting-a must read for every investor." -Warren E. Buffett
Praise for Common Sense on Mutual Funds
"Invoking both Thomas Paine and Benjamin Graham, Jack Bogle outlines a supremely logical plan not only to better investors' returns, but to improve the whole fund industry. This isn't just the best book yet by Bogle, it may well
Paperback, 468 pages
Published October 19th 2000 by John Wiley & Sons (first published 1999)
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Aug 24, 2007 Martin rated it really liked it
Shelves: finance
For Bogle converts, you won't find much new in this book. For everyone else, and that's most of you, you really ought to read this book.

An unflinching attack on America's financial industry, Bogle explains how the average investor is separated from their money. But rather than doom and gloom, the book offers a way out -- index funds that keep your costs reasonable and offer reasonable returns.
This is the newest edition of one of the best investing books I've read. I was curious to hear Bogle's thoughts on the recent economic situation, and his reflections on his sage advice ten years earlier. The last ten years, although totally unprecedented and unpredictable, have certainly borne him out.

This book doesn't actually talk much about the stock market or asset allocation. It talks specifically about the mutual fund industry. This book doesn't give the standard lines about beating the ma
Noah Sanchez
This is not the book to read if you're looking for a primer on investing or retirement planning that includes Bogle's philosphy. Instead, this is the book to read once you're underway and have some knowledge of what you're doing from his other more entry level books--or after you've started with the Boglehead's series.

He goes into depth in an easy to read style about the mutual fund industry and why his philosophy on investing (hold, index funds, don't time the market, passive investing, etc.) i
May 11, 2015 Matt rated it it was amazing
If you're not a super informed investor this is a really valuable book to read.

Main take aways from this book:

All market index funds (bond and stock) are an ideal place for most people to invest money because.

- Their expense ratios are low and efficient.

- They reflect the market as a whole which over time tends to out pace actively managed mutual funds.

- Actively managed mutual funds tend to have higher costs which further detracts from their effectiveness as a place to invest. Over time thos
Nov 19, 2013 Joe rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not a beginners guide to investing. You have to be really geeky to read cover to cover. There are other short (comparatively) books on investing that follow Bogle's investing 'theology'. A part-geek can pick and choose what to read and come out with a lot of great advice. Even if you know the basics: invest for the long haul in super low cost funds indexed to major market indexes, there are certainly some more here that is practical. I found his arguments concerning owning foreign stock interest ...more
John Maxim
May 17, 2016 John Maxim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Easy there John Bogle, save a few pats on your back for me!

I really enjoyed this, but its not for everyone. It does have a lot of dense information proving its point. The point: Investing in low-cost all-market passively-managed index funds for the long term is what you should do.

If you need some one to prove it to you, then read this book. By about the 5th chapter Bogle will convince you of this, then he'll continue to take this fact and beat you over the head with it for the remainder of the b
Mar 27, 2009 Dan rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: family and friends
Recommended to Dan by: some financial blog
This was an informative, interesting and ultimately extremely valuable book for anyone interested in building wealth for retirement thru a 401k, IRA or by investing in mutual funds. Written by the founder of Vanguard, it has completely changed the way I will approach investing for the next 30 years and has really opened my eyes about some of the downfalls of individual investing. I highly recommend this book to anyone beginning to think about investing. Here is a quick summary: Invest only in in ...more
Aug 13, 2007 Nathaniel rated it really liked it
Shelves: money
John Bogle repeats in this book what he has been preaching for decades, so if you're not new to his work, there's going to be a lot of repeat information for you. Still, it's all great information--he defends index investing because of its low cost, low taxes, and thus long-term superiority over actively managed mutual funds. Finally, he finishes with a critique of the modern mutual fund industry, and demonstrates how all companies except one are designed to make a profit, thereby putting the in ...more
Jun 06, 2013 Michael rated it it was amazing
Shelves: advice, financial
This book is a classic for a reason. Bogle, one of the greatest financial figures of the 20th century, gives his recommendations for investing (he recommends Index Funds, like so many other people, while he was the one to introduce them to the general investing public back in 1975).
Jan 29, 2015 Sally rated it liked it
INDEX FUNDS! I get it. But I cannot listen to this anymore.
Dec 08, 2014 Krishna rated it really liked it
good book on the basics of Mutual funds. Really enjoyed reading it.
Omar Halabieh
Feb 27, 2016 Omar Halabieh rated it it was amazing
I recently finished reading Common Sense on Mutual Funds - New Imperatives for the Intelligent Investor - by John C. Bogle.

Below are key excerpts from this book that I found to be insightful:

Investing is an act of faith. We entrust our capital to corporate stewards in the faith—at least with the hope—that their efforts will generate high rates of return on our investments. When we purchase corporate America's stocks and bonds, we are professing our faith that the long-term success of the U.S. e
recommended by WSB 11-19-2014, p B9, best books for investors.

Common Sense on Mutual Funds. Fully updated 10th Anniversary Edition. By John C. Bogle. Hoboken, New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons, 2010.

This is a updated version. It has the updates in the form of comments in a box near the text. I'm up to p. 45. A fairly easy read so far.
p. 200 - still fairly easy to read - but I'm having to skip some of the math. Bogle is the founder of Vanguard and creator of the index fund. He is plugging index
Lance Willett
Aug 25, 2015 Lance Willett rated it really liked it
An updated edition of a 1999 classic, this book dates from 2010 and includes many notes and sidebars that update the original information. It feels relevant and pertinent.

It feels a bit long-winded to me, but it seems like a good reference book if you want to know how mutual funds work on a deep level. John C. Bogle is the founder of Vanguard and knows his industry inside and out.

Premise: A low cost, broadly diversified portfolio continues to be the best way to build wealth at the lowest cost an
Daniel Bratell
John C. Bogle, the author, may be retired (86 years old so well deserved) but what he created (Vanguard) has not stepped down, rather the opposite. This book's message better live on as well because it is something that needs to be repeated over and over again to avoid the trap financial institutes create for normal people (and their retirement money).

The message is this: If you want to save in the stock market (something that has historically been a good thing in the long run), then prioritize
Jun 23, 2014 Nate rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: finance
A very thorough blueprint for the individual investor. Bogle believes in investor discipline, long-term focus, diligent saving, and the use of passively-managed index funds. By clearly laying out the four dimensions of investing (risk, reward, time, cost), Bogle makes a strong case for avoiding high-cost, actively managed mutual funds or funds which have high turnover or high speculation. This strategy will only lose the investor money by raising costs as the actively managed fund tries (often i ...more
Barry Bridges
Aug 22, 2014 Barry Bridges rated it it was amazing
John C. Bogle's proof case for the Vanguard style of mutual fund management. The book is well written and manages to stay interesting despite the fact that Bogle belabors the point, hammering home the core principles from every conceivable angle. Why an individual would choose another style of fund after reading this is beyond me.

I read the tenth anniversary edition, which is updated with commentary and additional analysis. That feature kept my interest due to the fact that we can see his princ
Christopher Durand
Feb 28, 2016 Christopher Durand rated it it was amazing
John Bogle explains, in detail, the benefit of ensuring that your portfolio is made up of low cost and low turnover investments. He compares the returns of actively managed funds with the returns of index funds and shows the long-term impact. It is striking how a tiny difference of .3% in expenses can dramatically alter that funds available when you go to retire.

He explains the mutual fund industry and how most funds are built solely for profits and not to enhance long term shareholders value.
Oct 30, 2014 KennyO rated it liked it
John C. Bogle is an investing saint or an investing pariah according to who you ask. He was the founder of the Vanguard Group, the home of the first low cost index mutual fund. His advice for most investors, expounded here, is to invest in stock indices through low cost index funds. He explains his stance clearly in this book: it is the cost of advice and administration that consumes much of a managed mutual fund's return and that research effort doesn't exist in index funds. His target audience ...more
Edward Tse
Jan 03, 2015 Edward Tse rated it it was amazing
Shelves: finance
Over a 200 year period almost no mutual funds beat the market. Most regress towards the mean, a few great years followed by a few dismal ones.

A balanced portfolio of 2/3 stock index with 1/3 bonds was able to lessen the effects of the markets greatest declines while still providing gains of 7-10% per year.

Management Expense Ratios will kill your long term growth, funds above 1% are very unlikely to provide value above what is provided. Over a 30 year period these MERs can result over 100K less
Ahmad Nazeri
Feb 13, 2016 Ahmad Nazeri rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In this book, Jack Bogle makes a pretty compelling argument for investing in low-cost index funds. He discourages the reader from trying to time the markets and gives numerous examples to the ineffectiveness of the approach. This book is perhaps better suited for an experience investor who is interested in learning about more intricate details of investing. Essentially, the book encourages the reader (rightfully so) to stay away from mutual funds (they don't make sense since they don't beat the ...more
Apr 09, 2015 David rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, finance
His words say basically throughout the entire book to invest in the S&P 500 index and total market index, but the very last page before the notes in the back shows a chart of the Sharpe risk adjusted returns for the 9-spot Morningstar chart that says basically invest in Value indexes, small, medium, then large. This book needed an editor to rip out lots of the contents. It had four parts addressed at different audiences. It should have been several smaller books instead.
Jan Dobiáš
Sep 12, 2015 Jan Dobiáš rated it really liked it
Very interesting read for people who do not have much knowledge of mutual fund and index fund investing. Great read for finance-interested people, which will likely turn you into a Bogle-head as well. Very informative chapter on marketing costs and distribution focus of many mutual fund organizations these days. An eye-opener for people looking to invest their money cost-effectively in these turbulent times.
May 15, 2008 David rated it really liked it
This book presents a well-written and intelligent way to look at investing and mutual funds. Since I had just read The Boglehead's Guide to Investing and A Random Walk Down Wall Street this just more of the same information. Bogle covered this stuff in greater detail, some of which wasn't really useful to me, but some really helped to elucidate and strengthen the ideas I had already learned.
Alex Tang
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 30, 2015 Darrin rated it really liked it
Was a bit of a hard read because Bogle isn't the most enthralling writer, but it isn't the most exciting subject matter either. The basic message of the book "Invest in low cost index funds with an emphasis on low fund turnover" was repeated ad infinitum (almost busted out the thesaurus for that) throughout, but it should be required reading for anyone investing in mutual funds.
Grace Mead
Sep 15, 2014 Grace Mead rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lost-interest
I did not finish this book, but thought the first two-thirds was helpful. It just repeated much of what I had read elsewhere, but Bogle himself was one of the first to put it into practice, so I'm sure he was one of the practitioners they were repeating. Excellent for those unacquainted with mutual funds or to read as a reference.
Apr 16, 2015 Emily rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction
2.5 stars I listened to an abridged version of this. And I feel good about it. This book wasn't really earth shattering. It shared information that was pretty commonsense and that I've heard before (keep your costs low, invest simply, stay in it for the long haul, index funds are a good way to go, etc.)
Dec 13, 2014 Olivia rated it liked it
Three stars because the information is good, and the writing is reasonably good considering the author's not a writer, but honestly I would recommend skipping it in favor of the If You Can booklet which basically has the same information, unless you're planning to get serious w/ investing.
Jul 27, 2016 Tyler rated it it was amazing
While 600 pages is a long book about mutual funds, John goes through much more than just simply comparing index funds to actively managed funds. This is a must read for anyone in the money management field and is a classic book that should be part of every college finance program.
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John Clifton "Jack" Bogle (born May 8, 1929) is the founder and retired CEO of The Vanguard Group. He is known for his 1999 book Common Sense on Mutual Funds: New Imperatives for the Intelligent Investor, which became a bestseller and is considered a classic.
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“The mutual fund industry has been built, in a sense, on witchcraft.” 5 likes
“The idea that a bell rings to signal when investors should get into or out of the market is simply not credible. After nearly 50 years in this business, I do not know of anybody who has done it successfully and consistently. I don't even know anybody who knows anybody who has done it successfully and consistently.” 1 likes
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