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Common Sense on Mutual Funds: Fully Updated 10th Anniversary Edition Hardcover – December 2, 2009
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From Publishers Weekly
Not that many years ago, an average bookstore might have had two or three books on mutual funds filed away in the business section. Today, as the number of Americans who invest in mutual funds continues to grow, such books take up several aisles in a section of their own. There are guides for data junkies and mathphobes, books that tell how to make a killing and books that tell how to avoid the coming disaster. A few classics stand above the clutter. Bogle on Mutual Funds is one of them. Now the same author has added another. While the first book aimed at educating beginners, the new one seeks to persuade experienced investors to discard received wisdom that isn't so wise after all. While no 450-page work on mutual funds with lots of charts can be considered fun summer reading, the book is always informative and the writing never worse than painless and sometimes quite lively. Bogle speaks with a rare authority. On one hand, he is the founder of Vanguard mutual funds, the second-largest mutual fund company in the world. So he knows the business from the ground up. On the other hand, Vanguard has always been famous for running the lowest-cost mutual funds, funds that eschew loads, engage in sensible strategies and return all profit to the investors. So Bogle is also a leading consumer advocate. That rare combination, mixed with years of serious research and a dash of style, makes Bogle an unparalleled guide to the world of mutual funds. Money Book Club alternate.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From the Inside Flap
John Bogle—founder of the Vanguard Mutual Fund Group and creator of the first index mutual fund—is an industry pioneer. Over the years, he has single-handedly transformed the mutual fund business, and today, his vision continues to inspire investors.
It has been over a decade since the original edition of Common Sense on Mutual Funds was first published. While much has changed during this time, the importance of investing and the issues addressed in the original edition of this book have not. Now, in the Fully Updated 10th Anniversary Edition of Common Sense on Mutual Funds, Bogle returns to update his in-depth look at mutual funds and the business of investing—helping you navigate through the staggering array of investment options found in today's evolving investment landscape.
Timely and timeless, this important book examines the fundamentals of mutual fund investing in turbulent market environments and offers valuable guidance for building an investment portfolio. Along the way, Bogle shows you that simplicity and common sense still trump costly complexity, and that a low cost, broadly diversified portfolio continues to be the best way to build wealth at the lowest cost and risk—and will almost always outperform more expensive, actively managed mutual funds.
Throughout these pages, Bogle skillfully presents a platform for intelligent investing as he analyzes costs, exposes tax inefficiencies, and warns of the mutual fund industry's conflicting interests. Emphasizing long-term investing and asset allocation, Bogle offers sensible solutions to the fund selection process and reveals what it will take to make it in today's chaotic market. Updated charts, which also show original data, as well as new commentary and analysis provide timely guidance in light of recent changes in investment vehicles and market performance.
Securing your financial future has never seemed more difficult, but after reading this revised and updated edition of Common Sense on Mutual Funds, you will become a better investor. From stock and bond funds to global investing and index funds, this book will help you regain your financial footing and make more informed investment decisions.
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Top Customer Reviews
bogle's main message is that costs do matter and simplicity is the best way to avoid costs. the recommendation is to buy low cost broad-based index funds that will outperform the vast majority of actively managed mutual funds in the long run. notice by the definition of "average" that the average investor will get average market returns minus fees and taxes. notice the low cost broad-based index fund gets average market returns minus *minimized* fees and taxes. the index investor will thus outperform the average investor in actively managed mutual funds given all the extra costs associated with active management. also notice that the margin of victory from indexing will compound over the years and will lead to an even greater index fund performance in the long run. that's the gist of why indexing works. if you're not convinced, read bogle's book!
even if you've already read some of the other great passive investing books espousing the virtues of indexing, you still owe it to yourself to read at least one of bogle's books. "common sense on mutual funds" is both readable as well as comprehensive, and would be a good addition to your library. burton malkiel, rick ferri, william bernstein, larry swedroe and others have all written excellent books on the subject as well, but they also hold differing opinions on the specifics, so read all of these authors! i was already convinced on indexing after first reading malkiel's book, but continued reading more on passive investing to work out all the details. these books as a whole help reinforce the main ideas while also exposing the reader to the authors' differences in perspectives, thus building confidence in the reader to think and succeed as an independent d.i.y. investor.
of particular interest to me was the issue of small-cap value tilting. i was ambivalent on this practice, but bogle's book convinced me to *not* small-cap value tilt. readers who already know what small-cap value tilting is should feel free to skip to the next paragraph. now, for those unfamiliar with the terminology, stocks are divided according to size (small-cap, mid-cap, large-cap) as well as style (value, blend, growth). the size refers to the company's size as measured by its market capitalization, i.e. the number of shares multiplied by the price per share. the style is another way to partition stocks according to certain numbers such as price/book ratios and dividend yields; there's no agreed upon standard that's universally accepted for what constitutes a value/blend/growth stock. informally, you could think of value stocks as those that are not currently favored by the market for whatever reason. at the opposite extreme, growth stocks are "hot" stocks that scream potential. blend stocks are in between value and growth. given 3 sizes and 3 styles, there are thus 9 size-style combinations. according to research done by professors fama and french, small-cap value stocks significantly outperform the other 8 size-style combinations in the long run. the problem is, small-cap value stocks make up about 3% of the total stock market. small-cap value tilting means overloading on small-cap value stocks to try to capture the bonus identified in the fama/french research, but that also means underweighting 97% of the total market and potentially missing out if the other 8 size-style combinations outperform small-cap value. you see the dilemma.
bogle's repeated message of simplicity, as well as his emphasis on reversion to the mean, ultimately convinced me to resist the temptation of small-cap value tilting. bogle's unwavering conviction in the simple serves as a necessary component in the chorus of voices, helping to guide your investment decisions, even on the more esoteric matters. and although the message of simplicity is easily stated, i am glad bogle wrote a comprehensive text because the details illustrating the majesty of simplicity is what finally settled the small-cap value tilting question for me.
this book's huge size and scope definitely has its drawbacks, not the least of which is the sheer intimidation factor. nevertheless, i believe this book does serve a useful role in the catalog of passive investing, and bogle was the only one who could've written it.