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Common Sense on Mutual Funds, Updated 10th Anniversary Edition



Common Sense on Mutual Funds, Updated 10th Anniversary Edition

John C. Bogle, David F. Swensen (Foreword by)

ISBN: 978-0-470-13813-7 December 2009 656 Pages


John C. Bogle shares his extensive insights on investing in mutual funds

Since the first edition of Common Sense on Mutual Funds was published in 1999, much has changed, and no one is more aware of this than mutual fund pioneer John Bogle. Now, in this completely updated Second Edition, Bogle returns to take another critical look at the mutual fund industry and help investors navigate their way through the staggering array of investment alternatives that are available to them.

Written in a straightforward and accessible style, this reliable resource examines the fundamentals of mutual fund investing in today's turbulent market environment and offers timeless advice in building an investment portfolio. Along the way, Bogle shows you how simplicity and common sense invariably trump costly complexity, and how a low cost, broadly diversified portfolio is virtually assured of outperforming the vast majority of Wall Street professionals over the long-term.

  • Written by respected mutual fund industry legend John C. Bogle
  • Discusses the timeless fundamentals of investing that apply in any type of market
  • Reflects on the structural and regulatory changes in the mutual fund industry
  • Other titles by Bogle: The Little Book of Common Sense Investing and Enough.

Securing your financial future has never seemed more difficult, but you'll be a better investor for having read the Second Edition of Common Sense on Mutual Funds.

Foreword for the 10th Anniversary Edition ix

Foreword for the Original Edition xiii

Preface to the 10th Anniversary Edition xv

Preface to the Original Edition xix

Acknowledgments for the 10th Anniversary Edition xxvii

Acknowledgments for the Original Edition xxix

About the Author xxxi

PART I: On Investment Strategy 1

Chapter 1 On Long-Term Investing 3

Chance and the Garden

Chapter 2 On the Nature of Returns 45

Occam’s Razor

Chapter 3 On Asset Allocation 77

The Riddle of Performance Attribution

Chapter 4 On Simplicity 109

How to Come Down to Where You Ought to Be

PART II: On Investment Choices 143

Chapter 5 On Indexing 145

The Triumph of Experience over Hope

Chapter 6 On Equity Styles 191


Chapter 7 On Bonds 217

Treadmill to Oblivion?

Chapter 8 On Global Investing 251

Acres of Diamonds

Chapter 9 On Selecting Superior Funds 277

The Search for the Holy Grail

PART III: On Investment Performance 303

Chapter 10 On Reversion to the Mean 305

Sir Isaac Newton’s Revenge on Wall Street

Chapter 11 On Investment Relativism 329

Happiness or Misery?

Chapter 12 On Asset Size 347

Nothing Fails Like Success

Chapter 13 On Taxes 373

The Message of the Parallax

Chapter 14 On Time 401

The Fourth Dimension—Magic or Tyranny?

PART IV: On Fund Management 423

Chapter 15 On Principles 425

Important Principles Must Be Inflexible

Chapter 16 On Marketing 445

The Message Is the Medium

Chapter 17 On Technology 465

To What Avail?

Chapter 18 On Directors 483

Serving Two Masters

Chapter 19 On Structure 503

The Strategic Imperative

PART V: On Spirit 533

Chapter 20 On Entrepreneurship 535

The Joy of Creating

Chapter 21 On Leadership 549

A Sense of Purpose

Chapter 22 On Human Beings 567

Clients and Crew

Afterword 585

Appendix I Some Thoughts about the Current Stock Market as 2010 Begins 591

Appendix II Some Thoughts about the Current Stock Market as 1999 Begins 599

Notes 607

Index 613

"As founder of the giant mutual fund company, Vanguard Group, Bogle writes what he knows: how to steer one’s way through mutual funds and the numbing variety of investment alternatives available today. His is a clear and readable style, and Bogle helps make still somewhat-arcane terms such as quantitative investing understandable."(

"Common Sense on Mutual Funds," by John Bogle, inventor of the retail index fund and founder of the Vanguard Group. It’s the best book ever on fund investing, just updated for new investors. The case for indexing is rock solid, as you’ll see here. It’s the only strategy that works, long term."
Jane’s Book Club,

"Never before [have] I seen a book that so openly and successfully juxtaposed that which was said against that which actually happened over the period of a decade. . . As a long-time believer in low cost indexing, I didn’t think I’d learn much from this book. I was wrong! Reading this book offers investors a glimpse of the perspective and lessons learned from recent years that were anything but normal. . . This book, of course, is even more valuable to those that aren’t a believer in indexing. It may be a hard read if you’re among those who still believe that 90 percent of investors can all be above average. Consider the effort well worth it because the common sense in this book may save your retirement. Reading this book might also help you realize, as I have, that common sense really is pretty uncommon."
Allan Roth, CBS

"The definitive book on index fund investing. It explains why index fund investing is the best way — no, the only way — for people to invest their savings. . . [Bogle] does something few in the investing world would dare to do. He stands by what he said 10 years ago. The original text is presented unchanged. New data is added to reveal what happened over the past 10 years."
Scott Burns, The Austin American Statesman

A worthwhile addition to one’s library, particularly as a reference publication. . . This . . revision of a book written ten years ago  . . . with the original text still present in the book, and an analysis of the predictions that were made ten years ago. . . makes fascinating reading. The analysis of the predictions on their own makes the book worth a read, even if all one does is look at the coloured sections which contain the updated material.”
(Australian Investors Association)

“More Common Sense from Jack Bogle. Jack’s back and he’s unbowed. . . The tome holds up well after a decade. Bogle hasn’t altered a word of the original text, just added color coded data and text boxes to show where he was on or off the mark. Guess what? Jack doesn’t offer many mea culpas. . . The book is still essential reading for investors. Whether you think indexing is the best way to investor not, it’s filled with simple, powerful advice that can help stack the odds of long-term financial success in your favor. Reading it then helped shape me as an investor and analyst. Here are the most important lessons (besides the obvious one: that indexing works) that I’ve drawn from the pages of both editions, as well as a couple of points where I, and many of my colleagues, dare to differ from St. Jack.” (Morningstar)