The Little Book of Common Sense Investing: The Only Way t... and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
Buy New
  • List Price: $22.95
  • Save: $10.86 (47%)
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
In Stock.
Ships from and sold by
Gift-wrap available.
Sell yours for a Gift Card
We'll buy it for $2.00
Learn More
Trade in now
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 3 images

The Little Book of Common Sense Investing: The Only Way to Guarantee Your Fair Share of Stock Market Returns Hardcover – March 5, 2007

See all 5 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
"Please retry"
"Please retry"
$8.10 $7.39

Frequently Bought Together

The Little Book of Common Sense Investing: The Only Way to Guarantee Your Fair Share of Stock Market Returns + The Intelligent Investor: The Definitive Book on Value Investing. A Book of Practical Counsel (Revised Edition) (Collins Business Essentials) + A Random Walk Down Wall Street: The Time-Tested Strategy for Successful Investing (Tenth Edition)
Price for all three: $36.30

Buy the selected items together

Best Books of the Year
Best Books of 2014
Looking for something great to read? Browse our editors' picks for 2014's Best Books of the Year in fiction, nonfiction, mysteries, children's books, and much more.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 216 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley (March 5, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0470102101
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470102107
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.9 x 7.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (266 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,132 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"excellent advice in a concise and accessible manner." (The Wall Street Journal, April 10, 2007)

"It's hard to argue with the eloquent logic of John C. Bogle's latest ode to index funds…Bogle's 'Little Book' offers much exemplary advice." (Bloomberg News, April 2007)

Among monetary gurus and wise men, John Bogle is a singular case. As the founder of the highly regarded Vanguard Group, he is revered for the company's commitment to providing value to its clients as well as profits to its investors. He even has his own group of fans, called "Bogleheads," who cling to every utterance and pronouncement from the great man.

In this latest entry in the Little Book series, Bogle's gentle prose contains idiot-proof advice for investors at all levels. He punctures the myth of the superiority of mutual funds and instead declares that by using a bit of common sense, low-cost index funds are the way to go for most modest stock investors. He's also wary of the ways of Wall Street and cautions investors to steer clear of its institutional con men and cautions against excessive fees and taxes that invariably eat up profits.
It's not very glamorous or exciting advice, but that's also his point: Slow and steady wins the race. (Miami Herald, April 9, 2007)

"genuinely provides investors with the ideal strategy for making the most of stock-market investing" (Motley Fool's UK website, March 8, 2007)

"It's an easy read that will, I suspect, quickly join Burton Malkiel's A Random Walk Down Wall Streetand Charles Ellis's Winning the Loser's Gameas one of the indexing crowd's favorite books."—Jonathan Clements (Wall Street Journal)

"It's hard to argue with the eloquent logic of John C. Bogle's latest ode to index funds." (Bloomberg Terminal, March 8, 2007).

"provides an opportunity to reflect on a remarkable career and legacy." (Financial Times, 19th March 2007)

"…it is John Bogle's hymn to index-tracking investment, and a fascinating read it is too." (Daily Telegraph, March 2007)

"Those who doubt my reasoning should read the Little Book of Common Sense Investing by John Bogle." (FT Adviser, 24th April 2007)

"…particularly interesting…goes some way towards discrediting the stockpicking virtues taught to me in my time as a financial journalist." (Fund Strategy, 7th May 2007)

"…wittily written, pocket-sized guide…If you want to learn how to avoid the unpredictabilities of the stock market and the fees of middle men, then this book is well worth a read." (Pensions Age, May 2007)

" ... For the individual investor, it presents a solid game plan for growing funds over the long haul." (Directorship, July 2007)

"... read Bogle's new Little Book of Common Sense Investingand you'll see how easy it is to beat the Alpha Hunters at their own game!" (MarketWatch, July 2007)

‘The one big thing that Bogle knows -- and explains so well in this slender volume -- is that buying and holding a broad benchmark of stocks while keeping fees to a minimum leads to higher long-term returns than constantly trading in a vain attempt to beat the market. Common sense? Yes. But radical too, as the entire investing establishment is designed to get investors to do the exact opposite.” (CNNMoney)

"Business books are often written by show-offs who want you to know all about their knowledge of the Greek tragedies and dark-coloured birds. So it was nice to get hold of the simply written Little Book of Common Sense Investing…Its author, John Bogle, in no simpleton. He built Vanguard into a huge fund manager...He is synonymous with index funds in the US. Vanguard's S&P 500 tracker is by far the world's largest mutual fund."—Stephen Cranston, Investor's Notebook (Jan 23, 2013)

From the Inside Flap

Investing is all about common sense. Owning a diversified portfolio of stocks and holding it for the long term is a winner's game. Trying to beat the stock market is theoretically a zero-sum game (for every winner, there must be a loser), and after the substantial costs of investing are deducted, it becomes a loser's game. Common sense tells us—and history confirms—that the simplest and most efficient investment strategy is to buy and hold all of the nation's publicly held businesses at very low cost. The classic index fund that owns this market portfolio is the only investment that guarantees you with your fair share of stock market returns.

To learn how to make index investing work for you, there's no better mentor than legendary mutual fund industry veteran John C. Bogle. Over the course of his long career, Bogle—founder of the Vanguard Group and creator of the world's first index mutual fund—has relied primarily on index investing to help Vanguard's clients build substantial wealth. Now, with The Little Book of Common Sense Investing, he wants to help you do the same.

Filled with in-depth insights and practical advice, The Little Book of Common Sense Investing will show you how to incorporate this proven investment strategy into your portfolio. It will also change the very way you think about investing. Successful investing is not easy—it requires discipline and patience. But it is simple, for it's all about common sense.

With The Little Book of Common Sense Investing as your guide, you'll discover how to make investing a winner's game:

  • Why business reality—dividend yields and earnings growth—is more important than market expectations
  • How to overcome the powerful impact of investment costs, taxes, and inflation
  • How the magic of compounding returns is overwhelmed by the tyranny of compounding costs
  • What expert investors and brilliant academics—from Warren Buffett and Benjamin Graham to Paul Samuelson and Burton Malkiel—have to say about index investing
  • And much more

You'll also find warnings about investment fads and fashions, including the recent stampede into exchange traded funds and the rise of indexing gimmickry. The real formula for investment success is to own the entire market, while significantly minimizing the costs of financial intermediation. That's what index investing is all about. And that's what this book is all about.

More About the Author

John C. Bogle (Bryn Mawr, PA) is Founder of The Vanguard Group, Inc., and President of the Bogle Financial Markets Research Center. He created Vanguard in 1974 and served as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer until 1996 and Senior Chairman until 2000. He had been associated with a predecessor company since 1951, immediately following his graduation from Princeton University, magna cum laude in Economics. The Vanguard Group is one of the two largest mutual fund organizations in the world. Headquartered in Malvern, Pennsylvania, Vanguard comprises more than 100 mutual funds with current assets totaling about $742 billion. Vanguard 500 Index Fund, the largest fund in the group, was founded by Mr. Bogle in 1975. In 2004, TIME magazine named Mr. Bogle as one of the world's 100 most powerful and influential people, and Institutional Investor presented him with its Lifetime Achievement Award. In 1999, FORTUNE designated him as one of the investment industry's four "Giants of the 20th Century." In the same year, he received the Woodrow Wilson Award from Princeton University for distinguished achievement in the nation's service."

Customer Reviews

Greate book on why investing should be simple and easy.
John Turner
Knowledge of how to invest and why is what will give the reader the chance to make more money in the stock market.
R. Rowlett
I dont agree with all the authors points,but a good read if you like investing books.
Clayton Birdwell

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

175 of 178 people found the following review helpful By Vasiliy Zhulin on June 26, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
John Bogle created the world's first index fund in 1975. In this book, he describes why you should make index funds the core of your investment portfolio.

Bogle starts off with introducing index funds through a parable that describes how middle-man costs in finance eat away at investors' profits. He discusses why speculation doesn't work and why business reality (in his definition, divident yields plus earnings growth) is more important that market expectation (changes in P/E based on what investors are willing to pay for various equities).

Bogle spends a few chapters discussing various problems with regular actively managed mutual funds, covering issues with performance (he asserts that less than 1% of all mutual funds were able to beat the market consistently over the past half century), various costs (expense ratios, sales charges, advertising fees, turnover costs, tax implications), poor market timing, and finally the difficulty of choosing a mutual fund (he states that there's no good way to pick a fund, since we can't foretell the future, and past performance is not an indicator of what's to come). He brings the reader to the "common sense" conclusion that index funds, in their pure simplicity, are the logical choice for any investor, as they provide the diversified return of the entire market with miniscule fees and minimal effort.

The last few chapters cover bond funds, ETFs, and a few pages of investment advice - which boils down to keeping at least 50% (if not all) of your money in broad-market index funds. Interestingly, Bogle spends a chapter discussing what Benjamin Graham would have thought about index funds, citing various quotes from Graham's "The Intelligent Investor" and certain blurbs from Warren Buffet.
Read more ›
1 Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
156 of 162 people found the following review helpful By Michael Kavanagh on March 4, 2007
Format: Hardcover
This latest book from Vanguard founder John Bogle is a gem. For those of us who are investment junkies, his past works have been superb, but a little overwhelming for regular readers who need their guidance in smaller and more direct terms.

The Little Book of Common Sense Investing fills that void. For Bogle fans, this is a summary of what we already know and you will not find a lot that is dramatically new or different. For readers who need a stern lecture on what is right and what is wrong, this is a perfect guide.

One nice touch in this new book are a variety of quotes Bogle uses that say "If you don't believe me" or "Don't take my word for it". He quotes Warren Buffet, Benjamin Graham and other major figures that confirm the advice he gives is right.

With all the large confusing investment books on the market today, this one provides a small friendly guide that allows the reader to focus on the behaviors that lead to success in investing. This is the finest new book on investing in 2007 and a must read for all investors who need to cut through the noise to find the truth. Thank you Mr. Bogle!

Mike Kavanagh, CFP ®

Atlanta, GA
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
77 of 79 people found the following review helpful By dennis wentraub on March 20, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Who better to make a straightforward argument for the index mutual fund than the man who developed the first of its kind for Vanguard in 1975. The stock market offers the return of the businesses it represents to investors. These returns are not received, because rather than 'buying' the market with a fund that tracks those returns, investors are sold actively managed funds that try to outperform the market and in the end dilute those returns with crippling fees and costs from excessive trading. The argument has been made by other distinguished writers in recent years, but investors will find this industry giant's take on the matter forceful.

What's new is Bogle's sobering expectations for future market returns. Over the past century companies have produced a 4.5% dividend yield and a 5% earnings growth rate (9.5%) for investors - before actively managed fund costs have stripped away much of that wealth. Today dividend yields on equities are under 2%. Earnings growth rates in the future may or may not be lower than the historical average. What seems apparent is that investors are less willing to pay for those earnings than they have in the past - as measured by a decline in price earnings ratios. Bottom line: we may be looking at a period of market returns of just 7-8%, and after all the "intermediary" costs of the mutual fund industry, investors will see that return dramatically reduced. This is why costs matter. The index mutual fund is the least expensive way to get the market's return into your pocket. Unfortunately, many 401 (k) retirement plans do not include some of the key U.S. and international indexes recommended by Bogle.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
91 of 102 people found the following review helpful By Kevin Quinley VINE VOICE on October 30, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Author John Bogle makes a compelling case for index funds as THE wisest investment vehicle as opposed to active traded or managed funds. He argues persuasively that actively traded funds are fraught with costs that compromise yield and that trying to "beat the market" is a Loser's Game that only enriches the intermediaries such as stock brokers and investment managers. Two concerns, though.

The book's title somewhat overreaches, though, given its almost exclusive focus on index funds. The title implies a broader perspective on investing, whereas the laser-like focus is on index funds. As a result, I personally have a "truth in advertising" issue with the book.

Second, the book is a one-idea treatise that beats the dead horse again and again and again to the point where it is overkill and repetitious.

These are relatively small quibbles. Anyone holding investments or considering embarking on an investment program should read THE LITTLE BOOK OF COMMON SENSE INVESTING, subject to these two caveats.
8 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Most Recent Customer Reviews