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Common Sense on Mutual Funds

4.02  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,039 Ratings  ·  68 Reviews
John C. Bogle shares his extensive insights on investing in mutual fundsSince 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 in ...more
ebook, 656 pages
Published January 5th 2010 by Wiley (first published 1999)
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Aug 24, 2007 Martin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Dec 21, 2011 Marshall rated it it was amazing
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
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
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  ·  review of another edition
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
Mar 27, 2009 Dan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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  ·  review of another edition
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  ·  review of another edition
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).
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  ·  review of another edition
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
May 15, 2008 David rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Oct 30, 2014 KennyO rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Edward Tse
Jan 03, 2015 Edward Tse rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Barry Bridges
Aug 22, 2014 Barry Bridges rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Nov 12, 2007 Suzi added it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Yes
This book is being read in tandem with "Common Sense for Investing". Between the two books, there are some fundamental concepts presented that I believe will be useful in building a portfolio that maximizes growth over the long term. Happy reading!
Wayne Zill
Jun 22, 2010 Wayne Zill rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Wayne by:
Vanguard is John Bogle and vice versa. His insight into his company and its investment principles are priceless. IF only all mutual fund companies had these visions.
Micah Cowan
Dec 04, 2012 Micah Cowan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Makes a damn good case for why actively-managed funds are nothing better than gambling at poor odds, and why passively-managed (indexed) funds should be preferred.
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
Dec 28, 2008 Rob rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love this guy. He basically repeats all the investing advice my grandfather always said.
Nov 23, 2013 Andy rated it it was amazing
Add me to the league of Bogleheads! Excellent philosophy - I wish I had read this years ago.
INDEX FUNDS! I get it. But I cannot listen to this anymore.
Javatis Midget
Jan 01, 2010 Javatis Midget rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really gave a clear theme for investing in mutual funds. Index rules.
Omar Halabieh
Feb 27, 2016 Omar Halabieh rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Daniel Bratell
Aug 11, 2015 Daniel Bratell rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
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
This is one of the best investing books I've read, and one of the most unique. It 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 market and picking mutual funds. It's even unique among books about passive investing in that it doesn't talk much about asset allocation and Modern Portfolio Theory.

What it does is incessantly rip into traditional mutual funds, part
Jul 11, 2009 Steve marked it as unfinished  ·  review of another edition
Although I thought Bogle's The Little Book of Common Sense Investing was great book... I couldn't get through this one in the almost three months that I had it out from the library. (I made to up to chapter 15.) The book moves very slowly, bogged down by endless numerically-dense specifically formulated examples.

One of the most helpful insights I gained here is the different ways of looking at expenses.

The conventional way of measuring expenses is as a percentage of assets managed. Here one can
Oct 06, 2015 Crease rated it it was amazing
All of the book cliches apply here:

Best investing book I ever read,
This is the book the industry doesn't want you to read,
If I could only give one book on investing...And the list goes on and on.

Interestingly enough, he had me sold on the main point of the book by page 300, which is that virtually ALL individual investors are best served in an index mutual fund, over EVERY other investing option. But Bogle continues on another 300 pages, telling EVERY, and I do mean EVERY dirty little secret of
Mar 08, 2014 John rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
John Bogle goes to great length to show the benefits of index investing and passive investing . I like how he does apples to apples comparison of a variety of investment styles, and I was very glad to see him shine the spotlight on brokers and fund managers who do not have their clients best interests in mind.

If nothing else, reading this book will introduce you to a new perspective of view investments, and at best, will change how you invest going forward.
Jan Dobiáš
Sep 12, 2015 Jan Dobiáš rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
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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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