- Hardcover: 304 pages
- Publisher: McGraw-Hill; 1 edition (March 25, 2002)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0071391150
- ISBN-13: 978-0071391153
- Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1.3 x 9.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 7 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,058,522 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Character Counts : The Creation and Building of the Vanguard Group Hardcover – March 25, 2002
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"The founder of Vanguard Group's new book makes you wish everyone in business would read it--and heed it..." -- Robert Barker, BusinessWeek
From the Back Cover
How John Bogle Built Vanguard and Transformed the Investment WorldIn His Own Words
Vanguard has introduced generations of independent investors to the wealth-building might of the U.S. stock market. But it owes its existence to the visionary genius and dogged tenacity of one manJohn C. Bogle, one of the last of a breed of principled and unbending financial legends.
Over the years, Bogle's prescient and fiery speeches to the burgeoning Vanguard staff have also become legend. Character Counts collects those speeches in one volume. More than just an insider's portrait of the reasons behind Vanguard's remarkable success, however, it is a fascinating oral history of the too-long-in-coming empowerment of America's independent investorand the take-no-prisoners attitude of the man who dedicated his life to making it happen.
What they're saying about John Bogle . . .
"I date my success as an investor from the day I met Jack Bogle and learned about index mutual funds."Jane Bryant Quinn, Newsweek columnist, author, Making the Most of Your Money
"(Bogle is) the investment genius who defied conventional wisdom and proved his critics wrong."William E. Simon, former Secretary of the Treasury
"Jack Bogle is one of the great pioneer/visionaries of the investment business."Byron R. Wien, Chief U.S. Investment Strategist, Morgan Stanley Dean Witter
"(Bogle is) a solid advisor in the world of charlatans, false prophets, and hysterics."Financial Times
"Jack Bogle (is) the Molotov cocktail-throwing founder of Vanguard Group."Robert Barker, BusinessWeek Online
"John C. Bogle (has) the mind of an economist and the personality of a preacher."
The Washington Post
Vanguard has grown to become the world's largest no-load mutual fund organization and by far the world's lowest-cost provider of financial services to independent investors. But far more than its unprecedented size and remarkable rate of growth, it is Vanguard's concern for the rights of the independent investor that mark it as the most truly progressive company in the mutual fund industry . . .
And its founder Jack Bogle as the industry's greatest visionary.
Character Counts presents Bogle at his most straightforward and unvarnished, through the words and ideas of forty-two actual speechescomplete with newlywritten commentarythat he has given to Vanguard crew members since Vanguard's founding in 1974. At times fierce and funny, calculated and compassionate, Bogle's words represent an entertaining and insightful chronicle of Vanguard, the mutual fund industry, and the late-twentieth century financial markets.
This remarkable book provides a uniquely candid window into the opinions, ideas, and human values of the man Fortune called "one of the four key financial figures of the twentieth century." Step inside as Jack Bogle holds court on:
- The Vanguard ExperimentLearn how Vanguardformed to benefit investors, not managerschanged the fund industry.
- PersistenceBogle discusses how his strongest quality in establishing Vanguardstubborn persistencehas been the key to building a company that can stay the course.
- Principles He eschews contemporary buzzwords to emphasize corporate character, stewardship, and service to human beingsand demands that his company never lose its soul.
- Organizing for SuccessDriving home the mission of the firm, Bogle brings the crew aboard HMS Vanguard with inspiring calls to join in the battle for competitive success
- The LegacyBogle hammers home the importance of fair dealing, value, performance, and integrity.
John Bogle has been called the conscience of the mutual fund industry, but that tells only half the tale. Character Counts recounts the real-life struggles John Bogle endured in launching his crusade and seeing it through and the deeplyheld principles that he strove to instill in all who worked with him. At times both humorous and seriouslike the man himselfthis engaging and enlightening collection will be an indispensable addition to the library of every investment historian and Bogle aficionado.
Top customer reviews
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John Bogle is the founder of Vanguard Funds and I admire his low cost index fund investment approach.
however, i am greatly disappointed with this book as Mr. Bogle delivered mostly a history of Vanguard and little about the wisdom behind his success. the book reads like a corporate marketing material with little insightful analysis.
With newspaper headlines describing the ethical failures of Enron, Arthur Anderson, and others, "Character Counts" could not come at a better time. The book is primarily the speeches of Chairman Bogle to his "crew" at the Vanguard company which he founded 27 years ago. A significant portion of the book contains pages bordered in black which explain the phenominal growth of Vanguard and what is happening between speeches.
It is exhilarating and reassuring to read words such as these from the CEO of the second largest mutual fund company in the world:
"Tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth--with no strings attached--and let the chips fall where they may."
"Good ethics is good business."
"One of my principal concerns has been that growth not be allowed to deprive us of the character that got us here in the first place."
"Our shareholders. We must never let them down."
"Treat human beings--from the highest to the humblest--with respect and honor"
"Do what's right. If you're not sure, ask your boss."
"We are utterly committed to a policy that puts a premium on human dignity. We shall succeed by example--from the very top down--and violations will simply not be tolerated."
I finished this book today. Its author, Jack Bogle, sets an example of how to run a business--and live life to the fullest (with a failing heart that eventually was replaced.) "Character Counts" should be required reading for every CEO in American. Whether you are a CEO, a small businessman, or an ordinary worker, "Character Counts" is an easy to read guideline for success and happiness in our daily lives. I give it 5-stars.
At least the sports writer was honest when he entitled his dip in the publishing money pool, "I am back for more cash."
The sad fact is there is probably not a better person to address the character issues facing Wall Street today. Being a full blooded member of the Wall Street Establishment, Mr Bogle understands the concept of "ringing the register." So when he returns, in the words of the sports writer, "for more cash," I hope he "earns it" in the words of deceased Smith Barney spokesperson.
A lot has happened since Bogle founded the Vanguard Group in 1974. As head of the firm, he read proxy statement after proxy statement disclosing increasingly more offensive conflicts of interest and stood idly by or perhaps worse, ignored them. I would love to know his thoughts on the role of the fiduciary in shareholder democracy. Or, how about boards of directors who continue to throw good money after bad down the rat holes of stock buybacks? Why did Vanguard play such a passive role in allowing the accounting profession to price it auditing services as a loss- leader so it could sell more profitable consulting products?
Bogle's observations on these trends would more than fill a book on character. My suggestion to readers is to save your money for Character Counts, The Sequel. Unlike Hollywood, the remake will have to be better than this sorry book.
It's ironic that the cover of the book doesn't allude to it's content...copies of speaches. I guess "Character Counts" only when your dealing with other people's money...