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The Bogleheads' Guide to the Three-Fund Portfolio: How a Simple Portfolio of Three Total Market Index Funds Outperforms Most Investors with Less Risk

3.85  ·  Rating details ·  291 ratings  ·  35 reviews
Twenty benefits from the three-fund total market index portfolio.

The Bogleheads' Guide to The Three-Fund Portfolio describes the most popular portfolio on the Bogleheads forum. This all-indexed portfolio contains over 15,000 worldwide securities, in just three easily-managed funds, that has outperformed the vast majority of both professional and amateur investors.

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ebook, 112 pages
Published June 1st 2018 by Wiley
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3.85  · 
Rating details
 ·  291 ratings  ·  35 reviews

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Jul 10, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
very short book without much substance. Go read the main Bogglehead book instead.
Peter Tillman
Jul 24, 2018 marked it as to-read
Shelves: not-at-pa, not-at-bg
..."arguing convincingly in this short — 112-page — engaging book that you can create a solid performing diversified portfolio with just three index funds. One fund invests in just about all United States stocks. Another holds almost every international equity. A third fund is made up of bonds from thousands of United States companies and government agencies. All three are what is typically known as total market index funds — one for domestic stocks, one f
tom Sparks
I thought the book was more like a million endorsements. Missed the facts on what happens to your money in the total bond fund when interest rates go up How long you will be holding it to get back 0. Just stay the course millions of dollars in principle? Really did not convince me. His friend John Bogle is a great man I believe 0 is what he believes should be in international stocks? Probably is better then a lot of other things you could do. Guess I just was not convinced
Jun 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I don’t read much, so for me to write a review on an investment book, I feel, makes this review a little more noteworthy. Long story short, after realizing how much money in fees I was paying for someone to pick my portfolio that was just average, overlapping and expensive, this book arms you with basic information that is needed to make that leap of investment faith. So I took that leap of investment faith, took over my own retirement portfolio (457 plan) and opened up a Vanguard IRA and follow ...more
Dec 21, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: business
Quite a short book laying out the main reasons the “three-fund portfolio” of the book title makes sense compared to investing in individual stocks or actively managed funds/etfs, or any other index funds/etfs. If you’ve read about index funds, say from any of Bogle’s books, you will see this is just a shortened version of one of his arguments for his funds. Fine for what it is, and fine as a reminder of why you invest in these funds, but the author interjects short testimonials within the text, ...more
Apr 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
Excellent information presented logically and succinctly. It will improve my investment strategy a fair bit. However, it focuses solely in the best investment strategy and not how to achieve financial success in life by putting enough money away to invest and save for your future. As long as it's not the only personal finance book that you read, it's well worth your time. If you've never read anything about personal finance before, start with I Will Teach You To Be Rich by Ramit Sethi. An update ...more
Dave Upton
Jul 22, 2018 rated it liked it
Short with minimal substance
Jun 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: retirement, finance
A very quick read, but a good overview of the concept of using index funds vs actively managed funds, fees, simplicity.

I liked the breakdown into 20 pieces, could have done without all of the random people quotes everywhere.

I think this will be useful in helping me develop content to teach my kids and sell them on index fund investing - But I will be recommending they read The Simple Path to Wealth when they are going into the workforce. I feel that book has more fleshed out context to entice so
Jan 12, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: financial
I mixed this book with the "The Bogleheads' Guide to Investing", so maybe my review is a bit unfair.
The book is very short and, at least 40% of it is just small reviews from people that are using the 3-fund approach. I think it's too much. I get it that it's nice to show how this actually benefit a lot of o people but If I doubt it, I would google it myself instead. The actual part where it teaches you the plan is very short (a couple of pages only) then it goes again on reviews from specialists
Dec 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Very easy, straightforward read. The book is very short compared to the main Bogleheads' book but that's fine—in less than 100 pages, the book outlines the funds needed, the benefits of using such funds and a simple process to go about implementing the portfolio. The fact that this particular portfolio can outperform many portfolios (which are considerably more complex) is surprising and at the same time satisfying because it makes investing a lot less intimidating.

I highly recommend people chec
As previous reviewers have mentioned, as good as the information in this book is, it is very much for the US prospective investor and anyone interested in the putting this theory into practice needs to educate themselves further in order to be able to use it in their own tax jurisdiction. Still

. A good book and doesn't oversimplify an idea that is by its own nature, oversimplified. Nice and short too
Michael Mcdermott
Jun 17, 2019 rated it liked it
Not much information, but very short read, especially if you skip all the annoying plugs.

Many other reviewers mentioned you can get this info from the website. I was already a fan of index fund based investing, but there was not quite enough information here to demonstrate the advantage of the three fund approach. Perhaps the sight will reveal more.

NB: I took this out of the library, if I had paid for this, I would have been pretty ticked and given a lower rating.
Dec 21, 2018 rated it it was ok
I took 2 pictures of the things I want to remember from this book, but really it's just a blog post with weird customers' comments on almost every page AND a whole chapter dedicated to 'top' 'financial advisors' who are gushing about bogleheads. Oof. All the humble brags felt way too forced--like they needed it to add another 20 pages to an already slim 'book'. The site is just as informative without the unnecessaries.
Kevin Conti
May 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
"I just need a book that tells me exactly what stocks and bonds to pick so that I can invest and retire happily. I don't care for complexity and I want to know I'm making a smart investment."

If this is you, then this book is for you. No BS, just tells you how to use the three-fund portfolio to retire.
A. A. Cochran
Jul 29, 2019 rated it it was ok
The book has about 40 pages of actual substance.
This substance centers around the idea that a portfolio of only VTSMX, VBMFX, and VGTSX will outperform most professional advisors. While I completely agree, I feel that I paid $15 for financial advice that is readily available for free on r/personalfinance.
Gary V.
More Data?

The discussion of how great the 3 fund portfolio is seems quite convincing. I would have liked to see more performance data, and examination of how the whole portfolio behaves under different market conditions though.
Rajesh Kamatanam
Aug 15, 2018 rated it liked it
For someone who is not aware of low cost index funds and terminology associated with those, this book offers quick short introduction.But for others who already know about index funds there isn't anything else to know about in this book
charleen j borger
Simple retirement planning

It is an easy read detailing a simple straightforward investment approach (the three fund method). There are many good links and references. All in all, it is sound financial advice.
Dec 12, 2018 rated it liked it
It was a solid introductory book on the concept of the three-fund portfolio. If you're new to this concept or investing in general I think you will find the book enormously helpful though it does come off as a little sales-y. I was looking for something a bit more in-depth.
Marcus Tay
Aug 20, 2019 rated it liked it
Actually it is a good summary for anyone who is new to boggle funds but otherwise, one will not find anything new insights.

Because it is written like 3 different authors, you can find some simple formatting mistakes
Nov 25, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4 stars only because the concept was new to me, so the book was helpful to get basic idea. But it lacks details, should be more detailed than this.
Nov 22, 2018 rated it liked it
Jump to Chapter.5 and there you go. The rest of the book is more-or-less promotion of the idea of passive investing. If you believe, you can skip all of them.
David Ray
Good information.
Christopher Esget
May 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Excellent financial advice. Investing doesn’t have to be complicated!
Cook Memorial Public Library
A 2018 staff favorite recommended by Rob. Check our catalog:
Mar 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
So advisors make it so hard cuz they want your money. Go Bogleheads!
Joseph Kim
Jun 07, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It conveys a solid concept but it does not add much more than what's on
Apr 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, finance
A short read, and a bit of a sales pitch but excellent info on putting together a simple portfolio
Nov 22, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Light on substance, heavy on testimonials: it's Bogleheads as-seen-on-TV! While the three-fund portfolio makes a ton of sense, this book preaches to the choir and would not convert a skeptic.
Mar 05, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A bit wordy but fast paced. Great strategy

While I will likely use only 2 funds, I can why many people will 3 funds proposed by the author.
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“If your current securities are in a taxable account, and if they’re profitable, you need to consider any resulting taxes and fees before selling existing securities. This is a common problem and is the reason it is so important for investors to use tax-efficient funds when investing in taxable accounts. Here are five steps to minimize taxes: Stop making contributions into unwanted and tax-inefficient securities. Stop reinvesting distributions. Determine the amount of gain or loss in each taxable security. If any security has a loss, consider selling and taking the tax-loss benefit. If any security has a profit, consider selling up to the amount of your losses (after being held for one year to benefit from the lower capital gains tax rate). Numbers 4 and 5 will be a wash and will result in zero tax. Put the proceeds from your sales into the appropriate tax-efficient total market index fund(s).” 0 likes
“Total Market Index Funds do not suffer the impact of front running because they hold nearly every publicly-listed stock. If a stock is sold by a small-cap index and bought by a mid-cap index, it makes no difference to the passive manager of a total market index fund because the index fund manager neither sells nor buys the stock, thus avoiding front running and other hidden turnover costs.” 0 likes
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