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87 of 92 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Our insatiable desire for more
The seemingly insatiable Wall Street desire for more, combined with look-the-other-way regulators, has landed the U.S. in financial crisis. In Jack Bogle's latest book, Enough, you can read it thinking about the current pickle we find ourselves in and you will understand why it happened. He does a great job of explaining why there has never been a better time to learn...
Published on November 6, 2008 by Allan S. Roth

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29 of 36 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting, if a bit tiring.
While I do like John Bogle and "Enough" is a worthwhile book with a lot of thought-provoking material, after a while the first half of the book becomes predictable:

A moral shortcoming of today is discussed and compared to the situation 30-60 years ago (when apparently everything was fine!), there is a bit of outrage and a plea to change, and then Bogle steps...
Published on June 24, 2009 by James J. Kalafut


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87 of 92 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Our insatiable desire for more, November 6, 2008
By 
Allan S. Roth "dare_to_be_dull" (Colorado Springs, CO United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Enough: True Measures of Money, Business, and Life (Hardcover)
The seemingly insatiable Wall Street desire for more, combined with look-the-other-way regulators, has landed the U.S. in financial crisis. In Jack Bogle's latest book, Enough, you can read it thinking about the current pickle we find ourselves in and you will understand why it happened. He does a great job of explaining why there has never been a better time to learn individually, and as a country, when enough is enough.

This book delves into the perfect storm of investing created by costs, speculation, and complexity. It examines the folly of a business paradigm that focuses on the short-term bottom line; where business conduct and management becomes all about the sale, no matter what the cost.

In life we often seem to define our success by the material possessions we have amassed. The "he who dies with the most stuff, wins" philosophy dictates that somehow this will make us a happier person. Jack Bogle puts such a philosophy in perspective by reminding us that being the richest person in the graveyard shouldn't be our goal.

Enough is engaging and thought-provoking, and offers practical insights that extend beyond investing and business into life itself Jack Bogle clearly could have been a billionaire had he founded Vanguard as a for-profit entity. I suspect he must have realized far earlier than I did that there is more meaning to life than the accumulation of money.

Personally, what I can't get ENOUGH of are the insights from Jack Bogle. Simple and obvious though they may be, sometimes life gets too busy to see what is right in front of our faces. And what's right in front of our faces in Enough, is common sense.
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45 of 51 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Astute Diagnosis of Our Embattled Financial System, November 6, 2008
By 
William Bernstein (North Bend, OR United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Enough: True Measures of Money, Business, and Life (Hardcover)
Jack Bogle's timing could not have been better; Enough has burst onto the scene just when it was needed most.

America's financial system is clearly broken, and if we are wise and lucky, the next administration will repair it successfully. This book is required reading for anyone involved in the process, and for anyone who cares about the nation's future.

Bogle's credentials in this regard are beyond question: having founded the nation's second-largest mutual fund company, instead of cashing in he "mutualized" it and turned it over to its mutual-fund customers. His astute observations of our financial system, acquired in his half-century at the heart of the country's markets, shine through in every page of tightly written prose.

The book's title itself is premised on the punch line from a delightful Kurt Vonnegut/Joseph Heller story. It then goes on to describe the unchecked excesses in investment company fees, in speculation masquerading as diversification and innovation, in the salaries of top executives, in salesmanship, and most importantly, in the role played by the financial industry in our national economy and national life. Each of these excesses gets its own chapter, and each one is a gem.

This book, with its emphasis on investing simplicity, will pay dividends to the reader's bottom line as well.

Enough already: buy this book. It will reward you philosophically, financially, and morally.
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29 of 36 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting, if a bit tiring., June 24, 2009
This review is from: Enough: True Measures of Money, Business, and Life (Hardcover)
While I do like John Bogle and "Enough" is a worthwhile book with a lot of thought-provoking material, after a while the first half of the book becomes predictable:

A moral shortcoming of today is discussed and compared to the situation 30-60 years ago (when apparently everything was fine!), there is a bit of outrage and a plea to change, and then Bogle steps back and says that not everyone is really that bad, but we still have a problem.

After a few hours of this on audiobook it got a bit old. The ideas are definitely solid and I've liked it overall, but some parts do end up sounding like a rant.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Character, July 25, 2009
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This review is from: Enough: True Measures of Money, Business, and Life (Hardcover)
Index fund pioneer Jack Bogle has always marched with confidence to the beat of a drummer different from that followed by his competitors. His approach of charging the lowest possible fees for mutual funds led him toward building Vanguard as a market leader, and put less money in his own pocket that that received by his peers whose fees enriched their personal fortunes. In his latest book, Enough: True Measures of Money, Business and Life, Bogle describes the good fortune of his own life, and presents a manifesto of sorts for financial executives to lead through a return to fundamental personal values, a return to trust, and the foundation of strong moral character. The title refers to a reported conversation between Kurt Vonnegut and Joseph Heller while they were attending a party hosted by a billionaire. After Vonnegut tells Heller that their host earns more in a day that Heller ever earned from his successful novel Catch-22, Heller replied that he has something that the billionaire will never have: enough. Enough is a preachy treatise that may alienate some readers, while for others it may be inspirational. Because of Bogle's straightforward writing style, I highly recommend Enough to any reader willing to consider alternative ways of measuring success and achievement.

Rating: Four-star (Highly Recommended)
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous, wise book!, January 7, 2009
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This review is from: Enough: True Measures of Money, Business, and Life (Hardcover)
Brilliant, inspiring, and short -- a great combination. Bogle understands our finance/investment systems as well as anyone in the world, from the inside, and presents here the clearest, most concise diagnosis of what is wrong I have ever read. A return to the fundamental values and integrity that he calls for would go a long way in repairing the tragic problems we are currently living through. The wisdom and lessons are relevant far, far beyond the world of finance -- greater appreciation of the idea of "ENOUGH" would help heal what is currently wrong in our care (or lack thereof) of the environment, in our approaches to medicine, and much else. And it's not just a matter of "ethics" -- it's a prerequisite to happiness.

A great gift for all your friends and loved ones.

Lachlan Forrow, MD
Director, Ethics Programs
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
Harvard Medical School
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not Everything That Counts Can Be Counted, December 5, 2008
By 
Donald Mitchell "Jesus Loves You!" (Thanks for Providing My Reviews over 124,000 Helpful Votes Globally) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Enough: True Measures of Money, Business, and Life (Hardcover)
Well-known mutual fund pioneer John Bogle (founder of Vanguard and the index fund) uses Enough to explain how the financial markets got into the current mess, to prescribe the need to reinstate character and stewardship into those who lead, and to suggest that piling up more money, toys, and baubles causes more harm than good.

I particularly liked the sections where Mr. Bogle explained that making the financial markets more complicated and expensive simply makes the average American less wealthy. His analysis and descriptions are right on.

My next favorite section was in describing the kind of leader that Benjamin Franklin was in innovating as an inventory, social entrepreneur, statesman, and businessman. Those who don't know about Franklin will find this information to be very inspiring.

I also applaud his clear emphasis on the idea that money doesn't count compared to character and doing the right thing.

The book has a few weaknesses that might bother a few readers. There's perhaps a little too much emphasis on what Vanguard has done over the years, making the book seem almost like an infomercial after a while. Although he points out to what needs to change, the prescriptions for change are pretty modest. As long as many people can never have enough, they will be lured into dangerous, expensive investment vehicles and actions that "cut corners" that shouldn't be cut. He doesn't really address the question of how much people should be saved from themselves by banishing certain practices (such as charging fees for funds of funds or the current structure of how hedge fund managers are paid).

In my own research on stock options, I've identified highly ethical, intelligent management teams that were distracted by as little as the chance to make an extra two million dollars a person over several years. As a result, I doubt if many of the problems he's concerned about can be solved by anything less than much stronger regulation than has ever existed in corporate America.

If the alternative is for people to reform themselves, we may have along wait before ethical, effective behavior improves. Since most people learn good behavior in the home, which of the unethical, money-obsessed leaders are going to raise the children who will develop and behave according to good character in being stewards of other peoples' interests?
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, but Bogle can't get "enough" of himself, February 13, 2010
By 
J. Brown (Bonita Springs, FL) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Enough: True Measures of Money, Business, and Life (Hardcover)
To be fair, I am a big John Bogle fan. On the one hand, Bogle does an excellent job at pointing out the conflicts and excesses of business today - in addition to the respective consequences and prescribed solutions. On the otherhand, Bogle can't get "enough" of himself.

As a man of great success and experience, he provides plenty of insights on how individuals can live a fulfilling and successful life and contribute to a better world from his viewpoint (mainly from a business perspective). His approach is a nice blend of philosophy and pragmatism - with a strong dose of critique.

The only reason for not giving a 5-star rating is due to the constant references to himself, his own proper way of doing things, and the great invention he has "spawned" (his words describing the index fund). He makes reference to many individuals who have inspired him along the way, though most have passed on. This is reasonable, but he gives the impression that he stands alone in his greatness. Despite this observation, his contributions are great and he (and his message) is inspiring.
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding and Very Timely!, November 14, 2008
This review is from: Enough: True Measures of Money, Business, and Life (Hardcover)
An excellent overview of what ails American society today.

Bogle begins by noting that the world of finance is marked by too much cost and not enough value, too much speculation and not enough investment, and too much complexity. On balance, the financial system subtracts value from our society. During 2006 the financial sector accounted for $215 billion of the $711 billion earned by the S&P 500, more if earnings of financial subsidiaries (eg. G.E. Capital) are included).

Bogle then explains some of the problematic new devices. Structured investment vehicles (SIVs) are essentially money market funds that borrow short and lend long. Solvency of the SIV may be at risk if the value of the long-term security falls below that of the short-term securities. Second, there is a liquidity risk, possibly necessitating a forced sale of the long-term asset. To sell SIVs, banks often issue "puts" - guarantees to repurchase the SIVs at face value on demand. (Citigroup ended up holding $55 billion of CDOs and $25 billion of SIVs that were "put" back to the bank.

Collateralized debt obligations (CDOs) are a modern version of alchemy - eg. 5,000 B- or BBI rated mortgages (lead) are miraculously turned into eg. 75% rated AAA (gold), 12% AA, 4% A, and 9% BBB through supposedly risk-reducing diversification.

An interest-rate derivative's (estimated $400 trillion, vs. the world's GDP of $62 trillion) underlying asset is the right to pay or receive a (usually notional) amount of money at a given interest rate. An estimated 80% of top companies use these to control their cash flow.

Credit Default Swaps are often used to provide coverage for a CDO failing to pay. They are unregulated (unlike insurance) and one doesn't need an insurable interest (eg. CDO ownership). In the current market, credit obligations subject to default swaps are valued at $2 trillion, vs. swaps totaling $62 trillion.

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have provided some $5 trillion of mortgage loans, using high leverage (eg. 40:1). Faced with a credit crisis the Treasury placed them in a federal conservatorship. (Bogle laments we have privatized rewards, socialized risks here.)

Bogle also believes most mutual funds underperform the market. During the 25 years ended 2005, fund investors on average received a 482% increase, vs. index fund returns of 1,718%. Their survival rates are nothing to brag about either - of the 6,126 mutual funds at the start of 2001, 3,165 were gone by mid-2008.

Bogle then moves on to business (mis)finance. At the market peak of early 2000, nearly all firms raised their assumptions of return on pension assets, some to 10% (actually 1% or less this decade). Security analysts over the past two decades have, on average, projected annual earnings growth of 11.5%, vs. reality of 6%. Recently earnings reported under GAAP have quietly changed to "operating" (without writeoffs) earnings, and auditor-certified earnings restatements soared from 90 in 1997 to 1,577 in 2006.

Why has Avis been sold 18 times since its 1946 inception, each time with fat fees, bonuses, and new theories? Not for any useful reason, per Bogle. Meanwhile, the average compensation of a CEO vs. average worker has risen from 42X in 1980 to 520X; mutual funds hold about 35% os all U.S. stocks.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Impatient behavior creates tremendous opportunities, August 12, 2009
By 
Mariusz Skonieczny "Author" (classicvalueinvestors com) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Enough: True Measures of Money, Business, and Life (Hardcover)
We live in an era of "instant gratification," where people want more, and they want it now. The line between investing and speculating is almost nonexistent. As the author points out, "Today we live in the most speculative age in history." This creates high volatility. He says:

"When our market participants are largely investors, focused on the economics of business, the underlying power of our corporations to earn a solid return on the capital invested by their owners is what drives the stock market, and volatility is low. But when our markets are driven, as they are today, largely by speculators, by expectations, and by hope, greed, and fear, the inevitable counterproductive swings in the emotions of market participants - from the ebullience of optimism to the blackness of pessimism - product high volatility, and the resultant turbulence that we are now witnessing became almost inevitable."

Reading this book can make one angry with how things have become in the world and in the world of investing. Instead of being angry, I look at it differently - if speculators are driving the markets, then they do not care about the underlying companies. They treat stocks as pieces of paper that they buy and sell. As a result of that, they might sell stocks at prices either way too low or way too high in comparison to the underlying values. As a value investor, this type of behavior creates tremendous opportunities to buy good businesses at ridiculously low prices. I highly recommend reading this book to any investor. If you are a value investor, read it, think differently about the opportunities that impatient behavior produces, and you will make money long-term.

- Mariusz Skonieczny, author of Why Are We So Clueless about the Stock Market? Learn how to invest your money, how to pick stocks, and how to make money in the stock market
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bogle at His Best, June 3, 2009
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This review is from: Enough: True Measures of Money, Business, and Life (Hardcover)
With this gem of a book, one gets a tough-minded analysis of the recent financial meltdown along with a bracing talk from the heart and mind of a major historical figure in the world of American finance. I have given this wise book to three children and six older grandchildren.
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Enough: True Measures of Money, Business, and Life
Enough: True Measures of Money, Business, and Life by John C. Bogle (Hardcover - November 10, 2008)
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