Common Sense on Mutual Funds
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Common Sense on Mutual Funds

3.97 of 5 stars 3.97  ·  rating details  ·  515 ratings  ·  41 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 John Wiley & Sons (first published 1999)
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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...more
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
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).
Mar 27, 2009 Dan rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  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
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
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.
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
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...more
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 5 of 5 stars  ·  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
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.
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...more
I love this guy. He basically repeats all the investing advice my grandfather always said.
Add me to the league of Bogleheads! Excellent philosophy - I wish I had read this years ago.
Javatis Midget
Really gave a clear theme for investing in mutual funds. Index rules.
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...more
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...more
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.
Peter Bernstein, himself an incredible author, recommended this as "beautifully written." I have to disagree. While Bernstein's The Four Pillars of Investing is engaging from cover to cover, this book is a drag and really not very informative. It focuses relentlessly on proving that index funds are the best, and does so with tedious detail. I was already convinced before I started the book. I love Vanguard and I love Bogle for starting the only honest investment firm, but if you're just a casual...more
Bogle presents a solid overview of the fundamentals of long-term investment success. While it often sounds as a sales pitch for Vanguard, the points of keeping costs down and trading focused on the relevant horizon form advice that never loses its relevance. I read the updated version, written a decade after the original in 1999 and every author should follow this approach. The original text is given intact and then sections are added where appropriate to discuss updates and changes. This may be...more
David Yen
Nothing new to veteran bogleheads, but Bogle basically chapter after chapter drives home the many reasons why low cost index investing makes the most sense. A bit repetitive for sure, but sometimes all the evidence just points to the same conclusion.
One has better odds outperforming most managed funds with a low-cost index fund. 3 out of 5 bond funds carry a load or a fee, returns go down as cost go up. It would be silly for an intelligent investor to select an index fund that carries a commission. But a considerable amount of foolishness-investment wizardry, financial legerdemain, and tempting solutions-is also promoted, often by the apparently omniscient. Disregard it. No matter what you hear or read, do not forget that we live and invest...more
This book was written by the "legendary" John C. Bogle and it is not short on information. However I think the author presents to many numbers for his case, which for me, became quite confusing at times, ie the market returned 17% but only 65% of mutual funds delivered 75% of the market return which was really 3% less because of inflation so your real return in these funds was 12%, but after taxes and costs you ended up with 8% and so on. The big points of this book are that costs matter, big ti...more
This is a straight-forward and detailed look at index funds, John Bogle's perspective on investing, and the formation and structure of Vanguard.

I'd recommend this book as a first or second book on investing, but only for the motivated--it's a fairly tedious read because you're constantly bombarded with examples and numbers (compelling though they may be).

Note: I read the 10th anniversary version and, while the updates were occasionally interesting (and they were all candid), it got a bit repetit...more
Fred Nelson
I have been a trader for over 30 years but I really enjoyed the wisdom. This book has moved up to my top 10 list of Investment Books. A must read though is "The Investor's Manifesto" by Bernstein. There are alot of people that will not have enough for retirement because of all the people living off OPM.
Sadly, I think the audiobook was abridged, but I think that this really is 'common sense.' You might not hit the moon with Bogle's advice, but I feel fairly certain that you willl get a pretty average, solid return... and have a lot less to worry about. I should probably read this in hard copy!
Naja Faysal
Maybe I am not being fair with rating a one star for this book, but this is because I didnt understand much what he is talking about.

This book is highly not recommended for a beginner in investing, its more for sophisticated investors who know the cons of this industry.
amazing investment advice for moderate investors. it shows how index funds out perform mutual funds and have virtually no load. everyone investing in mutual funds should take a hard look at this book. Bogle is the founder of vangaurd.
The world has changed greatly in the 10 years since this book was published. Some of this book was outdated, but the fundamentals of mutual fund and index investment are great.
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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.
More on
More about John C. Bogle...
The Little Book of Common Sense Investing: The Only Way to Guarantee Your Fair Share of Stock Market Returns Enough.: True Measures of Money, Business, and Life The Clash of the Cultures: Investment vs. Speculation The Battle for the Soul of Capitalism Bogle On Mutual Funds: New Perspectives for the Intelligent Investor

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“The mutual fund industry has been built, in a sense, on witchcraft.” 2 likes
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