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John Bogle puts our obsession with financial success in perspective Throughout his legendary career, John C. Bogle-founder of the Vanguard Mutual Fund Group and creator of the first index mutual fund-has helped investors build wealth the right way and led a tireless campaign to restore common sense to the investment world. Along the way, he's seen how destructive an obsess John Bogle puts our obsession with financial success in perspective Throughout his legendary career, John C. Bogle-founder of the Vanguard Mutual Fund Group and creator of the first index mutual fund-has helped investors build wealth the right way and led a tireless campaign to restore common sense to the investment world. Along the way, he's seen how destructive an obsession with financial success can be. Now, with Enough., he puts this dilemma in perspective. Inspired in large measure by the hundreds of lectures Bogle has delivered to professional groups and college students in recent years, Enough. seeks, paraphrasing Kurt Vonnegut, to poison our minds with a little humanity. Page by page, Bogle thoughtfully considers what enough actually means as it relates to money, business, and life. Reveals Bogle's unparalleled insights on money and what we should consider as the true treasures in our lives Details the values we should emulate in our business and professional callings Contains thought-provoking life lessons regarding our individual roles in society Written in a straightforward and accessible style, this unique book examines what it truly means to have enough in world increasingly focused on status and score-keeping.


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John Bogle puts our obsession with financial success in perspective Throughout his legendary career, John C. Bogle-founder of the Vanguard Mutual Fund Group and creator of the first index mutual fund-has helped investors build wealth the right way and led a tireless campaign to restore common sense to the investment world. Along the way, he's seen how destructive an obsess John Bogle puts our obsession with financial success in perspective Throughout his legendary career, John C. Bogle-founder of the Vanguard Mutual Fund Group and creator of the first index mutual fund-has helped investors build wealth the right way and led a tireless campaign to restore common sense to the investment world. Along the way, he's seen how destructive an obsession with financial success can be. Now, with Enough., he puts this dilemma in perspective. Inspired in large measure by the hundreds of lectures Bogle has delivered to professional groups and college students in recent years, Enough. seeks, paraphrasing Kurt Vonnegut, to poison our minds with a little humanity. Page by page, Bogle thoughtfully considers what enough actually means as it relates to money, business, and life. Reveals Bogle's unparalleled insights on money and what we should consider as the true treasures in our lives Details the values we should emulate in our business and professional callings Contains thought-provoking life lessons regarding our individual roles in society Written in a straightforward and accessible style, this unique book examines what it truly means to have enough in world increasingly focused on status and score-keeping.

30 review for Enough.: True Measures of Money, Business, and Life

  1. 5 out of 5

    Trevor

    Has there ever been a book with a more apt title? Honestly, I couldn't count the number of times during listening to this audiobook when I thought to myself, ENOUGH, PLEASE GOD ENOUGH! In the end I listened to the whole damn thing, but mostly out of the perverse curiosity that wonders if it is possible for this guy to bring in homily after homily and self-aggrandisement after self-aggrandisement and sustain it for an entire book. Naturally, he had no trouble. Where this book is particularly inter Has there ever been a book with a more apt title? Honestly, I couldn't count the number of times during listening to this audiobook when I thought to myself, ENOUGH, PLEASE GOD ENOUGH! In the end I listened to the whole damn thing, but mostly out of the perverse curiosity that wonders if it is possible for this guy to bring in homily after homily and self-aggrandisement after self-aggrandisement and sustain it for an entire book. Naturally, he had no trouble. Where this book is particularly interesting is that it harks back to a world that no longer exists and isn't going to be returning any day soon. In many ways I even agree with this guy - the greed that has been allowed to destroy our financial systems and has made risible any notion of 'societal service' linked to financial institutions really do need to be overcome. His solutions, based on developing the character of those working in the corporate world and for them to realise they have a debt and a burden they owe to society - something most of them don't even believe exists - would be very funny if it decidedly wasn't at all funny. If you make the mistake of reading this book, my suggestion would be to stop after the first fifty pages or so. This bit is actually ok. The message here was incredibly simple - and could be summed up in one paragraph: There are people who apply their labour to nature to transform it into something worthwhile for humanity. There are those who buy and sell the products of the labour of these people and effectively live off that labour and there are a third group who provide finance to others to allow them to either use their labour more effectively or to distribute good and services more effectively. These final people are essential, but also an extravagance and the more they cost the more they hinder social growth. At the moment financial capitalism has become insanely complicated and equally insanely expensive. And it has forgotten that you can't beat the market - he quotes someone who says the market looks like a voting machine, but actually it is a weighing machine. We need to move from speculation to investing and move towards an economy that is less finance focused and more production focused. All interesting advice, even if none of it will ever be taken by virtually anybody while we have socialised risk and privatised profit. Now, all of this sounds great - he spends the last half of the book talking about how great the US is and how he is still steeped in 18th Century values, which isn't just a yawn, but suffers from the standard problem of these things, a guy in his 90s not realising the world has changed or that it won't change back just through some well chosen (or not so well chosen) epigraphs. Particularly now that the nation state is virtually dead (something worth thinking over the next time you are saluting the flag at the Olympics, say) and now the focus of capital has gone back to its historic mission of providing the total impoverishment of the working classes - or do you need more Greeks shooting themselves outside parliament before you feel that is true? This book was inspired by this poem: Joe Heller True story, Word of Honor: Joseph Heller, an important and funny writer now dead, and I were at a party given by a billionaire on Shelter island. I said, "Joe, how does it make you feel to know that our host only yesterday may have made more money than your novel 'Catch-22' has earned in its entire history?" And Joe said, "I've got something he can never have." And I said, "What on earth could that be, Joe?" And Joe said, "The knowledge that I've got enough." Not bad! Rest in peace! -- Kurt Vonnegut My other favourite part of it is where he quotes the wise words of Polonius in his farewelling of his son, Laertes, the bit about 'to your own self be true'. The problem is that this guy didn't quite understand that Shakespeare's point is that a father who is only able to give his son pathetic generalities as a parting 'gift' is actually no kind of father at all. At least half of this book - actually, perhaps two-thirds - suffers from precisely the kind of bollocks passing for wisdom that Shakespeare makes clear Polonius suffers from - AND if anyone ever needed to be told brevity is the soul of wit... If you are inspired by this kind of crap I can only feel sorry for you. That this guy was listed as one of Time Magazine's top 100 inspiring figures of our age was only made comprehensible when I learnt Bozo from U2 also made the list. (No, I did spell that right) But Bogle has spent a lifetime working in finance and building a mutual fund with many billions of dollars behind it. If he wasn't as boring as bat shit it is very likely none of that would ever have been possible. You've been warned.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Mehrsa

    I wish they could all be like Bogle. He is the founder of Vanguard and his insights are absolutely essential--not just the idea that a passive mutual fund is better than individual stocks or a broker, but also his ideas about CEO compensation (it's crazy) and our own greed (we have enough). This is not the best financial advise book, but it's a great perspective from a good leader I wish they could all be like Bogle. He is the founder of Vanguard and his insights are absolutely essential--not just the idea that a passive mutual fund is better than individual stocks or a broker, but also his ideas about CEO compensation (it's crazy) and our own greed (we have enough). This is not the best financial advise book, but it's a great perspective from a good leader

  3. 4 out of 5

    Scott

    I like Jack Bogle ... and so does Jack Bogle. He's read widely and culled a lot of good ideas -- no-load index funds, fiscal responsibility, frugality, liberality -- and he's made them his own. After reading Enough. you may be left with the impression that Bogle invented not only the mutual fund business, but also the alphabet, the Enlightenment, and chicken soup. In other words, Bogle takes a lot of credit for others' ideas: he's sort of the Al Gore of the financial world. Still, I like the guy I like Jack Bogle ... and so does Jack Bogle. He's read widely and culled a lot of good ideas -- no-load index funds, fiscal responsibility, frugality, liberality -- and he's made them his own. After reading Enough. you may be left with the impression that Bogle invented not only the mutual fund business, but also the alphabet, the Enlightenment, and chicken soup. In other words, Bogle takes a lot of credit for others' ideas: he's sort of the Al Gore of the financial world. Still, I like the guy, and I agree with most of what he presents in this small book. But his smug, self-congratulatory tone and superficial treatment of the meaning of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness make this book an embarrassment. I forced myself to keep plodding along its rambling paths, never knowing exactly where we were headed. After a couple chapters, though, I should have figured out our ultimate and unvarying destination: no matter how far we roam through the complexities of investing, leading, and pursuing the meaning of life, we always arrive back at Jack and the glories of his decades of "public service" at Vanguard. This is the most ego-centric piece of autobiography I've ever read. So, hurrah for Jack Bogle, who's got the guts to tell America's financiers that they're ripping off the nation and damaging their fellow citizens' future (he wrote Enough. in the spring and summer of 2008, just as the markets were beginning to crumble). But, boo too for Jack, who's unconsciously shown us in this self-absorbed auto-obituary, that even the most outwardly looking of America's money men can be remarkably vain, superficial, and patronizing.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Nathan Albright

    The title and general message of this book, by the wise and sometimes insistent John Bogle, is taken from a poem that was written by the late Kurt Vonnegut about an experience he and Joseph Heller had when visiting the home of a billionaire, to which Heller commented as a retort to Vonnegut's statement about the wealth disparity between the two that Heller had something the billionaire would never have--enough.  Had the author been a more obviously religious sort of person or wishing to make an The title and general message of this book, by the wise and sometimes insistent John Bogle, is taken from a poem that was written by the late Kurt Vonnegut about an experience he and Joseph Heller had when visiting the home of a billionaire, to which Heller commented as a retort to Vonnegut's statement about the wealth disparity between the two that Heller had something the billionaire would never have--enough.  Had the author been a more obviously religious sort of person or wishing to make an appeal, he could have gone to the wisdom of Agur [1] to point out that there are some things that never have enough.  Had Agur been alive nowadays, he would probably say that financial croupiers and stockjobbers never had enough and added to his list.  Intriguingly enough, I blog on the subject of there not being enough of something in someone's eyes quite a bit more often than I thought [2], suggesting that like many people the author writes about, I have a hard time too with the sense of gentle contentment that the author is urging when it comes to financial matters and one's way of living a modest and decent life in general. This book is a small, quarto sized volume of a bit more than 250 pages that is divided into four parts and ten chapters.  After an introduction where the author gives a touching and brief summary of his own early life and how it was he came to be a part of the madcap world of investing with such a distinctive and unusual philosophy in the field, the author divides the ten numbered chapters into three parts.  First, the author discusses money (I) by arguing that there is too much cost and not enough value in most of investing (1), too much speculation and not enough investing in the stock market (2), and too much complexity and not enough simplicity when it comes to financial instruments (3).  I find no disagreement with the author's perceptions here.  After that the author makes some trenchant comments about business (II) in averring that there is too much counting and not enough trust (4) in contemporary accounting, too much business conduct and not enough professional conduct in finance (5), too much salesmanship and not enough stewardship among financial managers (6), and too much management and not enough leadership in firms (7).  After this the author makes some observations on life (III) in arguing that there is too much focus on things and not enough on commitment (8), too many twenty-first century values and not enough eighteenth-century values (9), and too much success and not enough character (10) at present, none of which I disagree with either.  The author then closes out the book with a look at what is enough for us and for our country, as well as an afterword about his life and career and some acknowledgements, notes, and an index. In reading this book I had a great deal of warmth and fondness for the way that the author went about his discussion, although his basis argument seems very familiar from book to book (this is the second book the author I have read/listened to, though, and I have a few more to go in the near future).  In showing his own story and the way that he sought to distinguish himself through providing a low-cost index fund that would give as much as possible of the gains of business as judged by their returns on investment in the stock market to conservative and patient investors, the author showed himself to be a person of a great deal of decency that was qualified to talk about matters of life and money in a way that many people in his world are not so qualified by virtue of their own (mis)conduct.  The author sounds like a person who it would be wonderful to sit and talk to at a lunch or dinner for a few hours, and ends up being someone I have invested pretty heavily in given my own fairly patient and conservative investment approaches myself. [1] See, for example: https://edgeinducedcohesion.blog/2011... [2] See, for example: https://edgeinducedcohesion.blog/2018... https://edgeinducedcohesion.blog/2018... https://edgeinducedcohesion.blog/2015... https://edgeinducedcohesion.blog/2014... https://edgeinducedcohesion.blog/2014... https://edgeinducedcohesion.blog/2014... https://edgeinducedcohesion.blog/2013... https://edgeinducedcohesion.blog/2013... https://edgeinducedcohesion.blog/2012... https://edgeinducedcohesion.blog/2012... https://edgeinducedcohesion.blog/2011... https://edgeinducedcohesion.blog/2011...

  5. 4 out of 5

    Siah

    Good “enough”. A few amazing quotes but not much beyond that

  6. 5 out of 5

    Sean Goh

    Short, mildly dense, preachy. But I agree with the messages, so it was kinda preaching to the choir. __ The perfect growing up environment: a family with community standing and never a concern about being inferior or disrespected, yet with the need to take responsibility for our own spending money, the initiative to get jobs, and the discipline of working for others. I grew up with the priceless advantage of having to work for what I got. The gross returns generated in the financial markets, minus t Short, mildly dense, preachy. But I agree with the messages, so it was kinda preaching to the choir. __ The perfect growing up environment: a family with community standing and never a concern about being inferior or disrespected, yet with the need to take responsibility for our own spending money, the initiative to get jobs, and the discipline of working for others. I grew up with the priceless advantage of having to work for what I got. The gross returns generated in the financial markets, minus the costs of the financial system, equals the net return actually delivered to investors. As long as our financial system delivers to our investors in the aggregate whatever returns our stock and bond markets are generous enough to deliver, but only after the costs of financial intermediation are deducted, the ability of our citizens to accumulate savings for retirement will continue to be seriously undermined by the enormous costs of the system itself. The more the financial system takes, the less the investor makes. It is economics that control long-term equity returns; the impact of emotions, so dominant in the short term, dissolves. Perceptions of market participants, that drive speculation, essentially have counted for nothing. Placing large bets on an unknown future is worse than gambling because in gambling at least you know the odds. Most of the decisions in life motivated by greed have unhappy outcomes. ETFs used for investment are perfectly sound, but using them for speculation is apt to end badly for investors. Commodities have no internal rate of return. Their prices are based entirely on supply and demand. That is why they are considered speculations. The trouble with complex calculations is that often they can't be trusted to deliver simple truths. Without trust, counting is at best an empty exercise and at worst a dangerous one. Keep the human touch. Recognising excellence isn't meant to make the recipients rich, but to recognise achievement, reinforcing an unshakeable belief in the value of the individual to the organisation as a whole. Once you decide whether you expect to be in business for a short time or a long time, most of the right decisions are easy. No career is the right career if it is undertaken solely to get rich, or to gain public fame, or to throw one's weight around. Nor is it the right career if it is undertaken to meet the expectations of others. And no success is the right success if it is achieved at society's expense. The proper measure? Your own expectations, and making the most of your talents. Howard W. Johnson: The institution must be the object of intense human care and cultivation. Even when it errs and stumbles, it must be cared for, and the burden must be borne by all who work for it, all who own it, all who are served by it, all who govern it. Every responsible person must care, and care deeply, about the institutions that touch his life. William Parsons: The good merchant is an enterprising man willing to run some risks, yet not willing to risk in hazardous enterprises the property of others entrusted to his keeping, careful to indulge no extravagance and to be simple in his manner and unostentatious in his habits, not merely a merchant, but a man, with a mind to improve, a heart to cultivate, and a character to form.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Virginia

    I thought it was pretty good. I am a Bogle fan, so I may be biased. The main complaint I have is that he really focused on what the financial advisors do "wrong" and how advisors don't define "enough" but he really didn't place any of the blame on investors, at least not in this book. If investors understood "enough," they wouldn't have been so greedy in every bubble in history. Anyway, I thought the audiobook was good enough that I got my own hard copy of the book. I thought it was pretty good. I am a Bogle fan, so I may be biased. The main complaint I have is that he really focused on what the financial advisors do "wrong" and how advisors don't define "enough" but he really didn't place any of the blame on investors, at least not in this book. If investors understood "enough," they wouldn't have been so greedy in every bubble in history. Anyway, I thought the audiobook was good enough that I got my own hard copy of the book.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Russell Baruffi

    The name of John Bogle's most recent book, Enough. True Measures of Money, Business and Life, seems to promise a treatise on our society's failure to measure true value. But Bogle’s shortest book reads more like the meandering thoughts of a accomplished, earnest and wise old man than it does a clear and directed essay. In a roundabout way, Enough concludes that the values that underpin market capitalism have eroded, resulting in a grim prognosis for our financial system. What must be foremost ap The name of John Bogle's most recent book, Enough. True Measures of Money, Business and Life, seems to promise a treatise on our society's failure to measure true value. But Bogle’s shortest book reads more like the meandering thoughts of a accomplished, earnest and wise old man than it does a clear and directed essay. In a roundabout way, Enough concludes that the values that underpin market capitalism have eroded, resulting in a grim prognosis for our financial system. What must be foremost appreciated about Enough is that its author, a titan of the investment and business community, has explicitly declared the financial and investment system broken, while at the same moment upholding the merits of capitalism's potential and ideals - this alone is a remarkable testament of our current state of affairs and should be a catalyst for reform. The book’s first section, Money, reiterates the argument of Bogle’s previous investment books, such as The Little Book of Common Sense Investing, that speculation and market timing are loser’s games, and that mutual funds are rent-seeking hobgoblins, miserably failing to add value for their customers. These are arguments that Bogle makes persuasively, and has demonstrated through 40 years of his firm’s results (though one wonders why Vanguard offers mutual funds to customers at all, if they are categorically less efficient than index funds). His second section, Business, comments on the excesses of CEO compensation, the twisted incentives that leave managers less accountable to the money they manage for their principals, and the concept that finance is ultimately wealth redistributive rather than value creating. In the last section, Life, Bogle talks explicitly about the degradation of the values of democratic capitalism, a theme that underlies the rest of his book. In each section, except the first section on the dangers of managed funds, it is not clear that Bogle has the qualifications to speak with authority - it is broad, but not deep, and often comes across sounding like a series of platitudes, without in-depth analysis or context to enrich the reader's understanding of the system's complexity. While Enough tells us that our financial system is broken, it does not give the reader enough information to understand why, let along how we might start to fix it. It is a description of the symptoms that leaves you wanting for a diagnosis of the underlying problem, not to mention a well-argued prescription for a cure. Bogle references Ben Franklin’s public service and entrepreneurship in his discussion of 18th Century values, but in a manner that seems almost sentimental and idealized without an actual history or causal explanation of when and how those values lost their standing over time. He calls attention to the problem that executives and managers are regularly incentivized by short-term stock gains, making them less apt to create long-term value - but without an economic argument demonstrating the dynamics of the principal-agent problem or a discussion of the various other critical market failures, such as the externalities, this feels half-baked. It is hard to not be left hungry for a proposal for how we address these challenges – from the specific (should complex derivative products be regulated or outlawed?) to the general (if American capitalism isn’t actually totaled, what parts do we need to replace?). All in all, Enough left me wanting for more.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Karen

    The best part about this book is the story that inspired the title. At a party, Kurt Vonnegut tells Joseph Heller that their host (a hedge fund manager) had made more money in a day than Heller made from his book, Catch-22. Heller says, "Yes, but I have something he will never have . . . enough." That interaction is a little revelation in itself. But it's also a fabulous premise for a book. Just not this book. I expected the book to be for a general audience and to go into more depth about what The best part about this book is the story that inspired the title. At a party, Kurt Vonnegut tells Joseph Heller that their host (a hedge fund manager) had made more money in a day than Heller made from his book, Catch-22. Heller says, "Yes, but I have something he will never have . . . enough." That interaction is a little revelation in itself. But it's also a fabulous premise for a book. Just not this book. I expected the book to be for a general audience and to go into more depth about what constitutes enough. Instead, I suppose not surprisingly, Mr. Bogle's intended audience seems to have been fellow financial marketeers. As a consequence, much of the lingo goes right over the head of a simple investor. I actually found the book kind of terrifying. You see, I understood enough of it to realize that I've been had as an investor. And not just because the market tanked. It's the "why" it tanked that turns my hair white. Wall Street seems more foreign than ever after reading this book. That is due, in part, to Mr. Bogle's very effective description of the moral turpitude and crass greed that motivates hedge fund managers and various other financial market types. The fact that Mr. Bogle finds it necessary to remind his Wall Street cohorts that investors and people they work with are human beings just like they are leaves me speechless. Don't get me wrong, he shares good advice for the apparently otherwise immoral majority who control our investments. But the advice is quite elementary in terms of ethics and humanity. There were some quotes that are keepers. For example, from Goethe, "Are you in earnest? Seize this very minute; What you can do, or dream you can do, begin it; Boldness has genius, power and magic in it." Of course, the tip of the hat is owed to Goethe. I thank Mr. Bogle for sharing it with me though. If you work in the financial market and feel you need to be reminded that investors are fellow human beings, then, for Pete's sake, read this book. If, however, you are an average investor and you go to church on a regular basis, you may find the lessons in this book to be a little old hat, other than the lesson that investors should expect little more from the market than a continual sucker punch.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Sam Dye

    More than a remarkable book. How to invest, run a company and run your life. The Forward by William Jefferson Clinton and Prologue by Tom Peters are excellent. Then Bogle presents an "Author's Note" written in April 2010 where he deals with the causes of the 2007 collapse what to do about it and sets the stage defining the ethical crisis. In the Introduction he summarizes his life which he returns to in the Afterword. Then the Money section titles Too Much Cost, Not Enough Value; Too Much Specul More than a remarkable book. How to invest, run a company and run your life. The Forward by William Jefferson Clinton and Prologue by Tom Peters are excellent. Then Bogle presents an "Author's Note" written in April 2010 where he deals with the causes of the 2007 collapse what to do about it and sets the stage defining the ethical crisis. In the Introduction he summarizes his life which he returns to in the Afterword. Then the Money section titles Too Much Cost, Not Enough Value; Too Much Speculation, Not Enough Investment; Too Much Complexity, Not Enough Simplicity. In the Business section Too Much Counting, Not Enough Trust; Too Much Business Conduct, Not Enough Professional Conduct; Too Much Salesmanship, Not Enough Stewardship; Too Much Management, Not Enough Leadership. And in the Life section Too Much Focus on Things, Not Enough Focus on Committment; Too Many Twenty-First-Century Values, Not Enough Eighteenth-Century Values; Too Much "Success" Not Enough Character. Then Wrapping Up deals with What's Enough For Me? For You? For America? The chapters are full of great quotes. Each page is full of information. The summary of the causes of the subprime crisis is the best I have read. I found out about this book watching an interview of Bogle on Morningstar. He makes perfect sense on multiple levels. Tom Peters has read this book four times and refers to it often. A regular person like me I think will be well advised to copy a person like Peters.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Jim Breslin

    John Bogle's "Enough" is a fun read where the late Vanguard Mutual Funds Founder weaves in bits of autobiography with the wisdom he has learned through the years. Written right after the 2008 financial crisis, Bogle details his dismay at the state of investment banks and how the character of many in the industry is questionable. He details how financial managers put their own interests before those of their clients, slowly sucking out investment returns for themselves and leaving the clients wit John Bogle's "Enough" is a fun read where the late Vanguard Mutual Funds Founder weaves in bits of autobiography with the wisdom he has learned through the years. Written right after the 2008 financial crisis, Bogle details his dismay at the state of investment banks and how the character of many in the industry is questionable. He details how financial managers put their own interests before those of their clients, slowly sucking out investment returns for themselves and leaving the clients with less savings. Bogle writes in a folksy way, recalling bits of wisdom he has learned from Benjamin Franklin, Descartes, preachers, and mentors throughout the years. He also feels current day America has much knowledge at our fingertips but yet has lost the collective wisdom and virtue of the last century. I found myself writing down the names of books that have influenced Bogle and hope to read some of them soon.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Jay

    I recently listened to the audiobook version of Bogle’s “Common Sense on Mutual Funds”, and read this book because the title led me to believe this would be more of an overview of the state of personal finances. I was mostly wrong. I found Bogle’s version of “enough” to be aimed as much at the mutual fund industry as to individuals. This book duplicates many of the main points in his earlier book, so beyond the more personal storytelling in this book, it didn’t add much to what I understand. Bog I recently listened to the audiobook version of Bogle’s “Common Sense on Mutual Funds”, and read this book because the title led me to believe this would be more of an overview of the state of personal finances. I was mostly wrong. I found Bogle’s version of “enough” to be aimed as much at the mutual fund industry as to individuals. This book duplicates many of the main points in his earlier book, so beyond the more personal storytelling in this book, it didn’t add much to what I understand. Bogle is full of simple sayings that you’ve heard before, but also he mixes in some interesting examples. He comes off a bit full of himself. The top 2 star reviews of this book on Goodreads are right, and funny.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Lanre Dahunsi

    John C. Bogle, the late founder of the Vanguard Mutual Fund Group and creator of the first index mutual fund, in Enough: True Measures of Money, Business, and Life, examines what it truly means to have “enough” in a world increasingly focused on status and score-keeping. The book is divided into three sections: Money, Business, and Life. The book begins with a great story that summarizes the theme of the book: At a party given by a billionaire on Shelter Island, Kurt Vonnegut informs his pal, Jose John C. Bogle, the late founder of the Vanguard Mutual Fund Group and creator of the first index mutual fund, in Enough: True Measures of Money, Business, and Life, examines what it truly means to have “enough” in a world increasingly focused on status and score-keeping. The book is divided into three sections: Money, Business, and Life. The book begins with a great story that summarizes the theme of the book: At a party given by a billionaire on Shelter Island, Kurt Vonnegut informs his pal, Joseph Heller, that their host, a hedge fund manager, had made more money in a single day than Heller had earned from his wildly popular novel Catch-22 over its whole history. Heller responds,“Yes, but I have something he will never have . . . enough. Discovery of Mutual Fund At Princeton, this callow, idealistic young kid with a crew cut had determined to write his economics department senior thesis on a subject on which no earlier thesis had been written. Not John Maynard Keynes, not Adam Smith, not Karl Marx, but a subject fresh and new. What but fate can account for the fact that in December 1949, searching for my topic, I opened Fortune magazine to page 116 and read an article (“Big Money in Boston”) about a financial instrument that I had never heard of before: the mutual fund. When the article described the industry as “tiny but contentious,” I knew that I had found my topic and, though I couldn’t know it at the time, another diamond as well. After a year of intense study of the mutual fund industry, I completed my thesis and sent it to several industry leaders. One was Walter L. Morgan, mutual fund pioneer, the founder of the Philadelphia-based Wellington Fund and member of Princeton’s class of 1920. He read my thesis and liked it sufficiently that he would soon write: “A pretty good piece of work for a fellow in college without any practical experience in business life. Largely as a result of this thesis, we have added Mr. Bogle to our Wellington organization.” I started right after my 1951 graduation (magna cum laude, thanks largely to my thesis) and never looked back. I have worked there—one way or another, as you will soon see—ever since. A Door Slams; a Window Opens – Getting Fired By late 1974, as the bear market took its toll and large numbers of our shareholders took flight, the assets under our management had plunged from $3 billion to $1.3 billion. Not surprisingly, my partners and I had a falling out. But my adversaries had more votes on the company board than I did, and it was they who fired me from what I had considered my company. What’s more, they intended to move all of Wellington to Boston. I wasn’t about to let that happen. Never Enough – Money, Business, and Life. In our financial system, we focus our expectations on the returns that the financial markets may deliver, ignoring the exorbitant costs extracted by our financial system, the excessive taxes engendered by record levels of speculative trading, and inflation borne of a government that spends (our) money beyond its means, grossly devastating these returns. We engage in the folly of short-term speculation and eschew the wisdom of long-term investing. We ignore the real diamonds of simplicity, seeking instead the illusory rhinestones of complexity. In business, we place too much emphasis on what can be counted and not nearly enough on trusting and being trusted. When we should be doing exactly the opposite, we allow—indeed we almost force—our professions to behave more like businesses. Rather, we ought to be encouraging companies and corporations (the enterprises that create products and services) to regain the professional values that so many of them have cast aside. We have more than enough of the fool’s gold of marketing and salesmanship and not enough of the real gold of trusteeship and stewardship. And we think more like managers, whose task is to do things right, than as leaders, whose task is to do the right thing. In life, we too often allow the illusory to triumph over the real. We focus too much on things and not enough on the intangibles that make things worthwhile; too much on success (a word I’ve never liked) and not enough on character, without which success is meaningless. Amidst the twenty-first-century pressures for immediate satisfaction and amassing information on demand, we’ve forgotten the enlightened values of the eighteenth century. We let false notions of personal satisfaction blind us to the real sense of calling that gives work meaning for ourselves, our communities, and our society. Chapter 1: Too Much Cost, Not Enough Value Some men wrest a living from nature and with their hands; this is called work. Some men wrest a living from those who wrest a living from nature and with their hands; this is called trade. Some men wrest a living from those who wrest a living from those who wrest a living from nature and with their hands; this is called finance. We have moved to a world where far too many of us seemingly no longer make anything; we’re merely trading pieces of paper, swapping stocks and bonds back and forth with one another, and paying our financial croupiers a veritable fortune. In the process, we have inevitably added even more costs by creating ever more complex financial derivatives in which huge and unfathomable risks have been built into the financial system. Chapter 2: Too Much Speculation, Not Enough Investment Investing is all about the long-term ownership of businesses. Business focuses on the gradual accumulation of intrinsic value, derived from the ability of our publicly owned corporations to produce the goods and services that our consumers and savers demand, to compete effectively, to thrive on entrepreneurship, and to capitalize on change. Business adds value to our society, and to the wealth of our investors. Speculation is precisely the opposite. It is all about the short-term trading, not long-term holding, of financial instruments—pieces of paper, not businesses—largely focused on the belief that their prices, as distinct from their intrinsic values, will rise; indeed, an expectation that the prices of the stocks that are selected will rise more than other stocks, as the expectations of other investors rise to match one’s own. A line representing the path of stock prices over the same period is significantly more jagged and spasmodic than the line showing investment returns. Change is Inevitable “Changes in the nature and structure of our financial markets—and a radical shift in its participants—are making shocking and unexpected market aberrations ever more probable. The amazing market swings we have witnessed in the past few years tend to confirm that likelihood. In the 1950s and 1960s, the daily changes in the level of stock prices typically exceeded 2 percent only three or four times per year. But in the year ended July 30, 2008, we’ve witnessed 35 such moves—14 were up, and 21 were down. Based on past experience, the probability of that scenario was . . . zero.” Chapter 3: Too Much Complexity, Not Enough Simplicity “There are three i’s in every cycle: first the innovator, then the imitator, and finally the idiot.” “Back to Basics So mark me down as a believer in innovation that is based on clarity, consistency, predictability relative to the market, and low cost; innovation that will serve investors over the long term; innovation that provides an optimal opportunity that it will work tomorrow rather than innovation based on what worked yesterday; innovation that not only minimizes the risks of ownership but clearly explains the nature and extent of those risks. Chapter 4: Too Much Counting, Not Enough Trust Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts. – Albert Einstein Numbers are not reality Today, in our society, in economics, and in finance, we place far too much trust in numbers. Numbers are not reality. At best, they are a pale reflection of reality. At worst, they’re a gross distortion of the truths we seek to measure. But the damage doesn’t stop there. Not only do we rely too heavily on historic economic and market data; our optimistic bias also leads us to misinterpret the data and give them credence that they rarely merit. By worshipping at the altar of numbers and by discounting the immeasurable, we have in effect created a numeric economy that can easily undermine the real one. Chapter 5: Too Much Business Conduct, Not Enough Professional Conduct Among the most obvious, and troubling, manifestations of the change from the stern traditional values of yore to the, well, flexible values of our modern age—with its myriad numeric measures and its largely missing moral measures—is the gradual mutation of our professional associations into business enterprises. Even as power corrupts, so money corrupts the sound functioning of our national agenda. A similar transition has taken place in the medical profession, where the human concerns of the caregiver and the human needs of the patient have been overwhelmed by the financial interests of commerce: our giant medical care complex of hospitals, insurance companies, drug manufacturers and marketers, and health maintenance organizations (HMOs). “It’s amazing how difficult it is for a man to understand something if he’s paid a small fortune not to understand it.” – Upton Sinclair Chapter 6: Too Much Salesmanship, Not Enough Stewardship During the 1950s and 1960s, some 240 new equity funds were formed, and during the 1970s and 1980s, about 650 were formed. But in the 1990s alone, 1,600 new equity funds were created. Most of them, alas, were technology, Internet, and telecommunications funds, and aggressive growth funds focused on these areas. It was such funds, of course, that then took the brunt of the 2000-2002 bear market. Such product proliferation has engendered the expected reaction: Funds are born to die. Whereas 13 percent of all funds failed during the 1950s, the failure rate for the present decade is running at near 60 percent. Chapter 7: Too Much Management, Not Enough Leadership 10 rules for building a great organization,” Rule 1: Make Caring the Soul of the Organization Rule 2: Forget about Employees Rule 3: Set High Standards and Values—and Stick to Them Rule 4: Talk the Talk. Repeat the Values Endlessly. Rule 5: Walk the Walk. Actions Speak Louder than Words. Rule 6: Don’t Over manage Rule 7: Recognize Individual Achievement Rule 8: A Reminder—Loyalty Is a Two-Way Street Rule 9: Lead and Manage for the Long Term Rule 10: Press On, Regardless What distinguishes a superior company from its competitors are not the dimensions that usually separate companies, such as superior technology, more astute market analysis, better financial base, etc.; it is unconventional thinking about its dream—what this business wants to be, how its priorities are set, and how it organizes to serve. It has a radical philosophy and self-image. The company’s unconventional thinking about its dream is [often] born of a liberating vision. Chapter 8: Too Much Focus on Things, Not Enough Focus on Commitment Boldness, Commitment, and Providence Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative and creation, there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves too. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamt would have come his way. Whatever you do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Begin it now. Providence It is all true, and my own life has been the proof of it, better than any dream. Whenever I have committed myself with boldness, providence has followed, whether it was the providence of stumbling on that Fortune magazine article on the mutual fund industry way back when I was searching for a topic for my senior thesis, and then committing myself wholeheartedly to the project; the providence (yes, the providence!) of being fired by my Wellington partners that demanded of me the commitment to recapture my career in the industry and gave me the opportunity to start Vanguard; the providence of receiving a new heart, just as mine was about to expire; and the commitment to making the most of my second chance at life; and the many other examples I’ve cited throughout this book—the “acres of diamonds” that were always providentially there, waiting to be discovered but requiring commitment to capitalize on their value. “Commitment and boldness—these are among the things that truly matter, the things by which we can measure our lives, the things that help turn providence in our favor. Their reach goes far beyond how we earn our living, for never forget that none of us lives by bread alone.“ Chapter 9: Too Many Twenty-First-Century Values, Not Enough Eighteenth-Century Values With Wikipedia at our fingertips and Google waiting online to serve us, we are surrounded by information, but increasingly cut off from knowledge. Facts (or, more often, factoids) are everywhere. But wisdom—the kind of wisdom that was rife in the age of this nation’s Founding Fathers—is in short supply. T. S. Eliot had expressed the same ideas—much more poetically, of course—in The Rock (1934): “Where is the Life we have lost in living? Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge? Where is the knowledge we have lost in information? The cycles of Heaven in twenty centuries Bring us farther from God and nearer to the Dust.“

  14. 4 out of 5

    Howard

    I read this book on recommendation from Matt Heusser's blog, Creative Chaos (you can read his review here). I like what Bogle has to say in the opening about having 'enough.' Too often we think about what we could do with a little more, rather than thinking about what we can do better with what we have. On that point I agree. I hoped that he would go on to describe a method of growing a business that is sustainable, where success is measured by providing a stable work place; not by how the busin I read this book on recommendation from Matt Heusser's blog, Creative Chaos (you can read his review here). I like what Bogle has to say in the opening about having 'enough.' Too often we think about what we could do with a little more, rather than thinking about what we can do better with what we have. On that point I agree. I hoped that he would go on to describe a method of growing a business that is sustainable, where success is measured by providing a stable work place; not by how the business booms and grows every year. What he actually describes is the evils of the financial industry and how his company, VanGuard, is doing business 'right.' My reasons for wanting to read about business stability are based on my own belief. I believe that, for one business to do better, someone or something else must be doing worse. In the case of two competing companies, this is clearly true. However, if a company makes its living by mining coal or cutting trees, to do better is to mine more coal or cut more trees, reducing the volume of natural resources available to the nation at large. Even if the business does nothing but deal in financials, for the value of the business to go up, usually the value of something else must fall - the value of the American dollar for example (which means that those who are simply holding on to their money are losing value). In each of these cases, growth does not seem sustainable. Competing companies will go out of business leaving nowhere else to grow, a nation will eventually be deprived of its natural resources, or the value of the dollar will drop to trivial levels. Sadly, the way our economy is structured, if a business does nothing but sustain from one year to the next, it seems the company is considered to be doing poorly. If we are going to ever live in peace with each other and with our environment, we should dream of an economy of sustainability, not continual growth. All of this is to say what I was hoping to read about. What I actually got was treatise on the dishonorable practices of the financial industry. Bogle would be in a good position to know, since he spent more than a half century in that profession. My take away from his statements is that dealing in financials should be avoided wherever possible. Like a carnivore that feeds only on other carnivores, the financial industry taxes the environment it is built on exponentially. Businesses that are traded publicly bear an incredible financial burden from the numerous hands that maintain the shares of the company. Furthermore, when a company or group of companies does well, the financier reaps the benefits. Like one who plays the lottery, the financiers play a game where some win big and others never see a payout. Unlike those who play the lottery, those who win big not only see huge personal financial gain, but are then lauded for their ingenuity (though the result might as well have been random). Moreover, if a company or group of companies does poorly, the financier continues to receive their stipend. Where else must this imbalance come from but the company that the financier trades and the investor that puts their trust in the financier? This book is worthwhile if, for no other reason, than to learn the fullness of the imbalance the financial industry perpetuates. Bogle also puts forth remedies for this imbalance - financiers that are stewards instead of salesmen that look for long term gains instead of short term booms; professionals that work with a client instead of pushing the client around. These are certainly principals that apply to industries other than financial and principals that Bogle credits with the success of his company, VanGuard. In the end, the book tends to be the ramblings of a professional late in his life (a view Bogle admits in the book). Bogle states that, in his life, he has achieved 'enough' and is happy by his level of success. I think by any standard Bogle was quite successful, so it might be hard for the average man to read this and feel that he too has enough. Somewhere between happiness through the ultimate divergence from materialism and Bogle's level of success lies a level of 'enough' for the common man also. I'd like to read that book.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Jeff Kowalk

    Great book by a true leader, entrepeneur, and visionary. Required reading for any business person. I've read most of Mr. Bogle's previous works, and this is his best! Recommended. Great book by a true leader, entrepeneur, and visionary. Required reading for any business person. I've read most of Mr. Bogle's previous works, and this is his best! Recommended.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Jeffrey Dunster

    Enough starts with the very premise I came upon several years ago while studying business; there is a point where individuals (and companies) have enough, enough market share, enough savings, enough resources, enough house, enough comfort, etc. p. 22 "...our entire society...reflect[s:] some of the absurdities and inequities that we've come to accept and take for granted." "In our financial system, we focus our expectations on the returns that the financial markets may deliver, ignoring the exorbi Enough starts with the very premise I came upon several years ago while studying business; there is a point where individuals (and companies) have enough, enough market share, enough savings, enough resources, enough house, enough comfort, etc. p. 22 "...our entire society...reflect[s:] some of the absurdities and inequities that we've come to accept and take for granted." "In our financial system, we focus our expectations on the returns that the financial markets may deliver, ignoring the exorbitant costs extracted by our financial system, the excessive taxes engendered by record levels of speculative trading, the inflation borne of a government that spends (our) money beyond its means, grossly devastating these returns. We engage in the folly of short-term speculation and eschew the wisdom of long-term investing. We ignore the real diamonds of simplicity, seeking instead the illusory rhinestones of complexity." "In business, we place too much emphasis on what can be counted and not nearly enough on trusting and being trusted. ...We have...enough fool's gold of marketing and salesmanship and not enough of the real gold of trusteeship and stewardship. And we think more like mangers, whose task is to do things right, than as leaders, whose task is to do the right thing." He also points out that another major travesty of our current financial system is that it promises unbeatable financial rewards to its managers, luring away top intelligent minds from actual productive jobs in science, engineering, and such endeavors that generate real wealth and prosperity for society as a whole. In other words, the lure of money corrupts the young and destroys everyone's future prosperity. A great book. John Bogle comes across as a wise, aged veteran of the financial industry. The book starts from that point of view, but evolves into a more complete moral message.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Jean

    I love John Bogle. I love his wisdom, his simplicity. I love his balance between pride and humility. I look to him for the foundations of financial advice, which is nice because his advice is generally to keep things pretty simple. This is the only Bogle book I've read in its entirety. It doesn't give financial advice, though the pillars of his approach are here, in a roundabout way. Bogle dives first into autobiography, which was compelling. He then spends the rest of the first half of the book I love John Bogle. I love his wisdom, his simplicity. I love his balance between pride and humility. I look to him for the foundations of financial advice, which is nice because his advice is generally to keep things pretty simple. This is the only Bogle book I've read in its entirety. It doesn't give financial advice, though the pillars of his approach are here, in a roundabout way. Bogle dives first into autobiography, which was compelling. He then spends the rest of the first half of the book in a rant on the mutual fund industry, which while it gave me new things to think about, and more reasons why I invest as I do, it wasn't particularly engaging reading. Once Bogle moves to broader topics of how important character is to individuals and businesses, his wisdom really shines. I found a lot to ponder in the section on trust. Knowledge is so specialized now; it is impossible for any of us to know everything about much of anything and therefore we must rely on others' experience to help us. How important it is, then, that we all be trustworthy when we all must rely on each other. Bogle later asks for us to reconsider adopting 18th-century values that, with all this knowledge we've gained, we have forgotten. How many truths intrinsic in our humanity has wealth, knowledge, and technology distracted us from? I have been familiar with the Vanguard approach to investing for years, but now it is nice to feel like I understand the man behind the company.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Bennjamin

    Enough by “Uncle Jack”, John C. Bogle is the latest Bogle book that I have picked up. I read it cover to cover in about 48 hours and I enjoyed his down to earth, honest explanation of what “enough” should mean in life. I love that he doesn’t beat around the bush. He explains that “enough” money is what you need to retire on - whether it be the 25 times your living costs per annum, or 4% of withdrawal rate. He explains that “enough” should be an investment in customers in business and an equal ba Enough by “Uncle Jack”, John C. Bogle is the latest Bogle book that I have picked up. I read it cover to cover in about 48 hours and I enjoyed his down to earth, honest explanation of what “enough” should mean in life. I love that he doesn’t beat around the bush. He explains that “enough” money is what you need to retire on - whether it be the 25 times your living costs per annum, or 4% of withdrawal rate. He explains that “enough” should be an investment in customers in business and an equal balance of managers and leadership. Finally in life, people are too concerned with charisma and wealth, and not enough about character and wisdom. True to form, Uncle Jack takes you on a journey of his life and brings in some poignant, easy to understand lessons. This book was a result of his several hundred lectures and interviews over the years and a wealth of knowledge that started with Walter Morgan back in the early 1950s and continued right up until 2019. “Your diamonds are not in far distance mountains or in yonder seas; they are in your own backyard, if you but dig for them.” Solutions are out there. Diamonds in the rough. You don’t have to try to outperform the markets. Sometimes just picking stable, good quality mutual funds will be enough to stay the course. You don’t need to reinvent the wheel or go for a get rich quick scheme. “Whether market timing is motivated by greed or fear or anything else, the inescapable fact is that, for investors as a group, there is no market timing. For better or worse, all of us investors together own the total market portfolio… Transfer of holdings among the participants is speculation, pure and simple.” Those with steady hands are the ones that win in the long run. When Bogle died in 2019, he still had original Wellington shares in his portfolio going all the way back to 1951. Think about that for a second. Last year equities were exchanged an average of 324%, more than 3x per share. Instead of timing the market, make time for the market is what I think successful investors do. This is not a game of weeks or months or even years, but decades. “Don’t forget that your incredible success in consistently making each move at the right time in the market is but my pathetic failure in making each move at the wrong time. One of us, metaphorically speaking, must be on the opposite side of each and every trade.” “The bubble created by all the emotions that had fueled the boom - optimism, exuberance, greed, all wrapped in the excitement of the turn of the millennium, the fantastic promise of the Information Age and the New Economy - had to burst. Clearly investors would have been wise to set their expectations for future returns on the basis of the current sources of returns, rather than fall into the trap of looking to past returns to set their course.” Bogle had said that the 2020s were going to be marked by average of 5-6% growth, not the 10-15% average growth of the previous decade. Many were quick to jump into bonds as soon as the market started going south. If you miss even the 15-20 best days each year in equities, your returns are about cut in half! Stop trying to time the market! “For example, when investors accept stock market returns as being derived from a type of actuarial table, they won't be prepared for the risks that arise from the inevitable variability of investment returns and the inevitable uncertainty of speculative returns. As a result, they are apt to make unwise asset allocation decisions under the duress of the moment.” This leads me to think about all the rebalancing of portfolios during the covid-19 bear market. A lot of people are quick to make decisions without first looking through the historical data or Bogle’s wisdom which argues: buy, hold, repeat. “Success cannot be measured solely - or even primarily - in monetary terms, nor in terms of the amount of power one may exercise over others… it can be measured in our contributions to building a better world, in helping our fellow man, and in raising children who themselves become loving human beings and good citizens. Success, in short, can be measured not in what we attain for ourselves, but in what we contribute to our society.” This is something I think about having been a teacher for the last eleven years. Monetary success is great, but what is more important and stronger representation of your character is the ability to work for a cause, something larger than you. I see this during this time of pandemic when fear and irrational thoughts could easily transform a stable society into one of chaos. However, I see people coming together, spending more time with their children and family, being present in the moment and teaching character, resilience, empowerment. If you live a good life your name will be spoken for three generations. If you live a great life, your actions and lessons will live on in perpetuity. “I have been blessed, ever since I began working in 1951, with a fabulous defined-contribution retirement plan. Wellington’s first contribution to the plan was made in July 1951, 15 percent of my first month’s salary of $250, $37.50. I’ve continued investing 15 percent of my compensation - which grew substantially during the late 1980s and the mid 1990s - in my retirement plan.” There you have it, from the mouth of the owner himself. You will not become a millionaire over night. Financial saving and thrift is a muscle that must be exercised and honed and perfected over time. However, 15 percent is a number that has been proven to work over time to create the snowball/nestegg that will be needed in retirement. I really love Bogel’s practicality and down to earth lessons. There is no simple path to wealth. In theory simple is possible via broad based, steadily invested indexed mutual funds. However, no one is going to go out and earn the paycheck for you or make the monthly and annual contributions. You have to make time for it and do it yourself. This is my favorite book by Bogle that I’ve read so far! Really enjoyed this one. Had a lot more to share, but ran out of space sharing my thoughts, so picked just a handful. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

  19. 5 out of 5

    Lori

    This is the first book I've ever read that has business and investing as its theme. I learned a great deal. What I particularly liked was Bogle's no-nonsense ideas about sound investment practices, and his clear explanations about why (and how) the US financial world has gone amok... and what might be done about it. The latter, and more philosophical, parts of the book become repetitive. And, though I heartily agree with his belief that we need more character and integrity in business, finance, a This is the first book I've ever read that has business and investing as its theme. I learned a great deal. What I particularly liked was Bogle's no-nonsense ideas about sound investment practices, and his clear explanations about why (and how) the US financial world has gone amok... and what might be done about it. The latter, and more philosophical, parts of the book become repetitive. And, though I heartily agree with his belief that we need more character and integrity in business, finance, and life, I think his treatment of these may come off as a bit trite.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Anthony

    Great read. Jack Bogle never fails to communicate a broader vision of life while talking finance. This is no exception. The idea of an entire industry/profession as contributing no additive value and being basically parasitic is timely considering current circumstances. Enough is a call to simplicity and modesty on the one hand and an invitation to live a life of service to a grand vision on the other. Highly recommended.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Matthew

    More people need this level of insight on the world around them. Here's a financier who isn't greedy and self-interested. Chalk that up as a significant accomplishment and then realize that he has built a fantastic company on some very principled organizational, moral, financial, and personal beliefs. This book reads like something from a bygone era, which in some sense it is. My hat is off to you, Sir. More people need this level of insight on the world around them. Here's a financier who isn't greedy and self-interested. Chalk that up as a significant accomplishment and then realize that he has built a fantastic company on some very principled organizational, moral, financial, and personal beliefs. This book reads like something from a bygone era, which in some sense it is. My hat is off to you, Sir.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Janet Meenehan

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Really, a splendid little piece of wisdom on life, leadership, and the markets. Maybe a bit blustery in a manly way, but if you can take it on it’s own terms, it works. Some of the financial statistics might be a bit dense for those unfamiliar with the business. Who else has realized that they were chasing the wrong rabbit?

  23. 5 out of 5

    David

    Even though I only gave this 3 stars I do recommend it. The author gets preachy at times, pats himself on the back a little too much, but his message is important. Just the intro story about how he came up with the title for the book is worth at least picking up the book.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Kim

    It always amazes me where people recognize the intangibles of life, i.e., ideals that work for people, are less practiced than self-preservation motives. Bogle’s book reminds us of this, but the book also enlightens about the mutual fund/investment and business industries, which upon closer inspection, do not actually, let alone genuinely want to work for the society at large. For example, mergers and acquisitions are thought and considered to be that one company buys another to continue the pr It always amazes me where people recognize the intangibles of life, i.e., ideals that work for people, are less practiced than self-preservation motives. Bogle’s book reminds us of this, but the book also enlightens about the mutual fund/investment and business industries, which upon closer inspection, do not actually, let alone genuinely want to work for the society at large. For example, mergers and acquisitions are thought and considered to be that one company buys another to continue the product or service that the acquired company produces. No, it is to gut the acquired company just enough to make it more attractive for someone else to buy it, at the expense of the people (workers) who really built the company. Moreover, in investments, people need to examine costs of the investment and the longevity of what(ever) they’re investing in. All too often a fund does not last long because of the constant churning of the fund, which in turn, produces costs and kills the value of the fund, if not also ultimately, the fund entirely. Hence, the old adage that a fund must be in existence at least five, at max ten years for one to be able to discern its true results. Finally, one must mind who is so prized as being investment managers, experts and/or gurus, as one does not always discern where these people’s money really comes from: your investment! Truth be told (again), it is the people on the ground doing the work who determine whether or not an(y) investment is a stable, long-term and crucially, valuable investment, or if it is really a Ponzi scheme where sooner or later the investment collapses, and guess who walks away with the money? The fund manager! Bogle’s contention in all three examples is that it is time that the people doing the work, and investing their money stop being losers to people who purport expertise and require trust, but really have no incentive nor integrity to handle, let alone invest (what manager’s call “other”) people’s money for the investors first and foremost, and not just and only for the manager’s benefit. In reading the book, one becomes aware if not also reminded as to what is more important. However, the book asks the reader to do some soul-searching and homework too. We get what we value, and if what we value is self-preservation over value, virtue and integrity, then we will sadly find that we will not persevere together … and people still need each other to prevail.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Deb Rudnick

    This little book is a clarion call to common sense in the financial market, and as such deserves some kind of award for calling out the kinds of obvious truths in capitalism that it feels like no one talks about- that fairness and ethics and respect all have a place, that profit should not be the only motive, and certainly not profit for financial managers at the expense of shareholders. There is nothing truly revolutionary said here, and yet it feels that way in parts because we have truly lost This little book is a clarion call to common sense in the financial market, and as such deserves some kind of award for calling out the kinds of obvious truths in capitalism that it feels like no one talks about- that fairness and ethics and respect all have a place, that profit should not be the only motive, and certainly not profit for financial managers at the expense of shareholders. There is nothing truly revolutionary said here, and yet it feels that way in parts because we have truly lost sight of many of bogle’s tenets. I’ll point out the obvious- Bogle, rest his soul, was a certain kind of rich white anglo heteronormative guy whose citation of the founding fathers, western canon, and Judeo Christian worldview feels more than a little limiting. In all his talk of fairness and equity, there is lip service to the half of this country that has no participation in these financial markets and whose lack of access to those markets is a hell of a lot more complex than lacking the goshdarn bootstraps they need to haul themselves up by. Nor is there even a whisper of recognition that many of the Founders whose qualities he lauds were slaveowners and therefore aided in their rise to prominence and erudition by a profoundly unethical and immoral system built on the backs of slaves. I didn’t expect him to solve these issues- but I was surprised they are basically unmentioned in a book that is so much about wealth and the economy. All those limitations being said, Bogle, it is clear, within his worldview, was a fundamentally decent human being who clearly spent a lot of time questioning the rat race and drive for material wealth and found it lacking, and his call for prioritizing the investment in economic progress that does more to lift all boats, while remembering the principles of fairness and ethics in business and in life, is profoundly important.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Luke Durbin

    I should have known what I was getting myself into when I, as an active investment fund manager, began a book by the inventor of the low cost index fund. I was led to believe that the book, titled "Enough" would be about finding contentment in life, rather than pursuing greed as is so prevalent in our society, particularly financial markets. That would have made a good book. Instead, Bogle preaches about how any financial product or strategy that is not a low cost index fund is a poor investment I should have known what I was getting myself into when I, as an active investment fund manager, began a book by the inventor of the low cost index fund. I was led to believe that the book, titled "Enough" would be about finding contentment in life, rather than pursuing greed as is so prevalent in our society, particularly financial markets. That would have made a good book. Instead, Bogle preaches about how any financial product or strategy that is not a low cost index fund is a poor investment strategy. While I am totally on board with the concept of the index fund for a majority of investors with little financial education wanting to invest at a lower level of risk, to suggest that it is the only way is more than just wrong but incredibly self-serving. Bogle raises some very valid points such as that financial markets need more stewardship than salesmanship and that yes, some (many?) active funds have excessive fees with little value add. No argument here. But his thoughts are all over the place. Despite the themed chapter titles ("Too much/not enough"), they don't actually form a coherent point. It's more that at the end of his career he had all these points he wanted to make about financial markets, and to a lesser extent leadership) and threw them all down into a book. He really didn't enter the titular topic of "enough" until the final 1 or 2 chapters. For anyone that wants to learn more about the benefits of index investing, I'd more recommend Bogle's other book, The Little Book of Common Sense Investing, but even then, that's just a longer sales pitch for Vanguard index funds. There were a few genuine takeaways but in the end the book was not what I signed up for and I couldn't wait for it to end.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Andy

    I first must admit that I am biased towards John Bogle and the Vanguard Group. For many years, I have entrusted my finances to their organization due to high moral values and incredible leadership. Enough: True Measures of Money, Business, and Life is a reaffirmation of my statements above. Enough explicates the current dilemmas infesting our financial society today and why eighteenth-century values ought to be applied vigorously and swiftly. John does a wonderful job articulating the woes of Am I first must admit that I am biased towards John Bogle and the Vanguard Group. For many years, I have entrusted my finances to their organization due to high moral values and incredible leadership. Enough: True Measures of Money, Business, and Life is a reaffirmation of my statements above. Enough explicates the current dilemmas infesting our financial society today and why eighteenth-century values ought to be applied vigorously and swiftly. John does a wonderful job articulating the woes of American business but also often clear and concise solutions. Secondly, I must also admit that I majored in Economics and Political Theory. I say this because John also articulates the wisdom of our founding fathers, historical philosophers, and men and women who have a mission to advance society at large. Because of this, John has excited my own passions. Philosophy, finance, business, and philanthropy are intertwined, which John articulates well. In fact, according to John, he has given away fifty percent of his wealth each year to a variety of organizations and charities. If you are wondering why I have given it four stars instead of five, it is because I would have liked to see a more in-depth explanation as to how he started Vanguard. He alludes to it at times throughout the book but like Sam Walton's Made in America, a thorough explanation would have been delightful (for those reading this review, if he does have a book already published on that topic, please let me know and I will adjust my review accordingly).

  28. 4 out of 5

    Chester

    A beautiful read on Bogle and his life's work, and his examination of the human condition. How blessed I am to have lived in a generation of a man with such great character. The book ends aptly with a Sophoclean quote "we must wait until the evening to appreciate the splendor of the day". Rest in peace, Bogle. === Bogle's character is heavily influenced by Ulysses, and is best encapsulated by the following: How dull it is to pause, to make an end, To rust unburnish'd, not to shine in use! As tho' t A beautiful read on Bogle and his life's work, and his examination of the human condition. How blessed I am to have lived in a generation of a man with such great character. The book ends aptly with a Sophoclean quote "we must wait until the evening to appreciate the splendor of the day". Rest in peace, Bogle. === Bogle's character is heavily influenced by Ulysses, and is best encapsulated by the following: How dull it is to pause, to make an end, To rust unburnish'd, not to shine in use! As tho' to breathe were life! Life piled on life Were all too little, and of one to me Little remains: but every hour is saved From that eternal silence, something more, A bringer of new things; and vile it were For some three suns to store and hoard myself, And this gray spirit yearning in desire To follow knowledge like a sinking star, Beyond the utmost bound of human thought [...] Old age hath yet his honour and his toil; Death closes all: but something ere the end, [...] 'T is not too late to seek a newer world. Push off, and sitting well in order smite The sounding furrows; for my purpose holds To sail beyond the sunset, and the baths Of all the western stars, until I die. [...] Tho' much is taken, much abides; and tho' We are not now that strength which in old days Moved earth and heaven, that which we are, we are; One equal temper of heroic hearts, Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield

  29. 5 out of 5

    Mattia

    I read this because I had access to the audiobook and thought it might give me some overview/scaffolding to better understand one of his books on mutual funds that I'm currently reading. That other book—Common Sense on Mutual Funds—I began because it was recommended in the helpful (very short) book If You Can: How Millennials Can Get Rich Slowly. John Bogle as a financier is well-regarded for many reasons. He seems to be one of a very small number of ethical people in that area. And damn, is he s I read this because I had access to the audiobook and thought it might give me some overview/scaffolding to better understand one of his books on mutual funds that I'm currently reading. That other book—Common Sense on Mutual Funds—I began because it was recommended in the helpful (very short) book If You Can: How Millennials Can Get Rich Slowly. John Bogle as a financier is well-regarded for many reasons. He seems to be one of a very small number of ethical people in that area. And damn, is he smug about that. I don't mind the occasional Bible verse quoting, but he referenced his religiosity increasingly by the end of the book without really showing much personal connection to it in my opinion. It was odd. Also, if you believe god gave you a lot, why constantly refer to luck? I simply cannot take anyone seriously who: - lionizes the founding fathers, especially regarding economics, without mentioning slavery. Come on, how do you think America was actually founded? - doesn't mention global warming in 2008, despite talking about global production, trade, and development. - talks about income inequality without mentioning any of the structural reasons for it, making it instead sound like rich people just need to give more. That said, I do care deeply about service and we definitely have some overlapping values. I just wish old white men were a little bit more up front about exactly why they've done so well and others haven't.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Daniel

    John Bogle and his army of followers are one of the few people on Wall Street who can actually be referred to as "the good guys" in a world that's been forged almost entirely on ruthlessness and variations on legal theft. He's also one of the few people to whom it's absurd to say "you cannot change the world" because he has. Vanguard has more assets under management ($3.5 Trillion is not a typo) than JP Morgan Chase or Bank of America or, for that matter, the entire Hedge Fund industry combined John Bogle and his army of followers are one of the few people on Wall Street who can actually be referred to as "the good guys" in a world that's been forged almost entirely on ruthlessness and variations on legal theft. He's also one of the few people to whom it's absurd to say "you cannot change the world" because he has. Vanguard has more assets under management ($3.5 Trillion is not a typo) than JP Morgan Chase or Bank of America or, for that matter, the entire Hedge Fund industry combined and not by a small amount. What's more, he managed to do it all without compromising his core principles. He is now, just as he was when he started the first Index Fund in 1975, Wall Street's man in the white hat. According to recent data, 25% of all equity investments in the US go into Index funds. It's hard to overstate how much better it is for investors themselves than the previous approaches were. If you're a beginning investor, there simply no question that your money should be going into a good low-cost Index Fund. Not even a small question. At this point, other assertions are absurd and almost always motivated by a desire for the advisors to get their hands on your money. But Bogle is winning. It took ten years before anyone on Wall Street even copied his idea and now it's on the way to ruling the investment world. When you're a person who can legitimately claim to have changed the world for the better, you're entitled to put your general thoughts on life out there for those who are inclined toward such things. That he donates all the profits from his books to charity is only one more sign of the fundamentals of the man. This is not the place to go if you want to understand what makes Index Funds different or why they are battering at the gates of the big banks and con artists known as traders. This is not the place for those arguments. If that's what you're looking for, you can find a short version in a a book like The Little Book of Common Sense Investing: The Only Way to Guarantee Your Fair Share of Stock Market Returns or, if you really want the expanded versions supported by reams of data and piles of studies conducted from every conceivable angle on the issue in a classic work like Common Sense on Mutual Funds: New Imperatives for the Intelligent Investor. This work focuses more on the life philosophy of the man and his musings on how those principles developed and what, in his view, makes him the way he is. That said, whenever listening to Bogle argue a point, if you don't at some point reach the point where you cry uncle under the sheer weight of his arguments, you probably haven't been listening. This is a fine trait in a guy who is trying to break through an Old Boys Club like Wall Street investing, but it can turn into being overly repetitive in a more biographical context. I wanted this one to be much better than it is ended up being. It was still a good outing, but it's a little too in-between to be much of either. I doubt I'd recommend it to non-Bogleheads as an introduction to his ideas, but I'm glad I read it.

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