Common Sense On Mutual Funds
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Common Sense on Mutual Funds: New Imperatives for the Intelligent Investor, written by John Bogle, is a book advising investors about mutual funds, with a focus on the praise of index funds and the importance of having a long-term strategy. On the dust jacket cover, Jim Cramer wrote, "After a lifetime of picking stocks, I have to admit that (Vanguard Group founder John) Bogle's arguments in favor of the index fund have me thinking of joining him rather than trying to beat him."
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.
Chapter One ON LONG-TERM INVESTING Chance and the Garden Investing is an act of faith. We entrust our capital to corporate stewards in the faith—at least with the hope—that their efforts will generate high rates of return on our investments. When we purchase corporate America's stocks and bonds, we are professing our faith that the long-term success of the U.S. economy and the nation's financial markets will continue in the future. When we invest in a mutual fund, we are expressing our faith that the professional managers of the fund will be vigilant stewards of the assets we entrust to them. We are also recognizing the value of diversification by spreading our investments over a large number of stocks and bonds. A diversified portfolio minimizes the risk inherent in owning any individual security by shifting that risk to the level of the stock and bond markets. Americans' faith in investing has waxed and waned, kindled by bull markets and chilled by bear markets, but it has remained intact. It has survived the Great Depression, two world wars, the rise and fall of communism, and a barrage of unnerving changes: booms and bankruptcies, inflation and deflation, shocks in commodity prices, the revolution in information technology, and the globalization of financial markets. In recent years, our faith has been enhanced—perhaps excessively so—by the bull market in stocks that began in 1982 and has accelerated, without significant interruption, toward the century's end. As we approach the millennium,confidence in equities is at an all-time high. Chance, the Garden, and Long-Term Investing Might some unforeseeable economic shock trigger another depression so severe that it would destroy our faith in the promise of investing Perhaps. Excessive confidence in smooth seas can blind us to the risk of storms. History is replete with episodes in which the enthusiasm of investors has driven equity prices to—and even beyond—the point at which they are swept into a whirlwind of speculation, leading to unexpected losses. There is little certainty in investing. As long-term investors, however, we cannot afford to let the apocalyptic possibilities frighten us away from the markets. For without risk there is no return. Another word for "risk" is "chance." And in today's high-flying, fast-changing, complex world, the story of Chance the gardener contains an inspirational message for long-term investors. The seasons of his garden find a parallel in the cycles of the economy and the financial markets, and we can emulate his faith that their patterns of the past will define their course in the future. Chance is a man who has grown to middle age living in a solitary room in a rich man's mansion, bereft of contact with other human beings. He has two all-consuming interests: watching television and tending the garden outside his room. When the mansion's owner dies, Chance wanders out on his first foray into the world. He is hit by the limousine of a powerful indu