Scott's Reviews > Enough: True Measures of Money, Business, and Life

Enough by John C. Bogle
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's review
May 07, 09

bookshelves: 2000s, money
Read in May, 2009

I like Jack Bogle ... and so does Jack Bogle. He's read widely and culled a lot of good ideas -- no-load index funds, fiscal responsibility, frugality, liberality -- and he's made them his own. After reading Enough. you may be left with the impression that Bogle invented not only the mutual fund business, but also the alphabet, the Enlightenment, and chicken soup. In other words, Bogle takes a lot of credit for others' ideas: he's sort of the Al Gore of the financial world.

Still, I like the guy, and I agree with most of what he presents in this small book. But his smug, self-congratulatory tone and superficial treatment of the meaning of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness make this book an embarrassment. I forced myself to keep plodding along its rambling paths, never knowing exactly where we were headed. After a couple chapters, though, I should have figured out our ultimate and unvarying destination: no matter how far we roam through the complexities of investing, leading, and pursuing the meaning of life, we always arrive back at Jack and the glories of his decades of "public service" at Vanguard. This is the most ego-centric piece of autobiography I've ever read.

So, hurrah for Jack Bogle, who's got the guts to tell America's financiers that they're ripping off the nation and damaging their fellow citizens' future (he wrote Enough. in the spring and summer of 2008, just as the markets were beginning to crumble). But, boo too for Jack, who's unconsciously shown us in this self-absorbed auto-obituary, that even the most outwardly looking of America's money men can be remarkably vain, superficial, and patronizing.
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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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message 1: by Kristen (new)

Kristen Hm. Interesting review. Do you find that biographies are more satisfactory than autobiographies because they (could) take a more objective approach?

I wonder how many other people will make money off writing books saying "I told you so" about the market meltdown. But who still has the money to buy such books?


Scott Satisfactory ... hmmm. I'll read an autobiography cover to cover, but I rarely finish a biography. Most autobiographers know what to leave out, while biographers feel obligated to dump the whole mess over your head. And autobiographers often write with an urgency and purpose that's lacking in a biographer's work. So, I guess objectivity doesn't really result in reader satisfaction.

I don't think Bogle wrote this rambling rant for the money. I get the impression that he had this book printed to pass out to stellar employees and clients. He tells us how he likes to call his top "crew" members into his office for a hour long chat every now and then. At the end of the audience, he presents them with this book. I think he wrote it as his "gift to the world": the wisdom of his expertise distilled into a mere 258 pages.


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