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Enough.: True Measures of Money, Business, and Life

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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

  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. 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.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Dogdaysinaz

    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.

  7. 5 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 5 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 5 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 4 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.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Janet

    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?

  20. 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.

  21. 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).

  22. 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

  23. 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.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Waseem

    After reading the title of this book - and seeing at quick glance the seemingly good reviews/ratings ... I assumed this book was about Minimalism of all things ( seeing it popped up as I was shopping on the topic) - but far from it as I discovered in the end - nevertheless I still finished the book even although the topics discussed were of no interest to me really ( mutual funds and financial market to name a few ) But if anything and as consolation for least completing the book ... the author s After reading the title of this book - and seeing at quick glance the seemingly good reviews/ratings ... I assumed this book was about Minimalism of all things ( seeing it popped up as I was shopping on the topic) - but far from it as I discovered in the end - nevertheless I still finished the book even although the topics discussed were of no interest to me really ( mutual funds and financial market to name a few ) But if anything and as consolation for least completing the book ... the author succeeded in reaffirming my beliefs as to why I don’t like them or that particular path of wealth building ...( mutual funds and other main stream type of financial instruments in stock investment ) ... because he highlights the greed, fraud and mis-representation of returns which this industry is overflowing with ... you really gotta get educated and know what you are doing if you seriously want to keep your money unscathed ... let alone get a return from it! To Our Continued Success! Waseem Mirza http://www.WaseemMirza.net

  25. 5 out of 5

    Dakota

    Other than Bogle's life story, first sections of this book dragged for me. Perhaps because it was a rehash and repudiation of the financial excesses of the 2000s that I've read a lot about? I dug the later parts about character, contribution, and how much is enough. This quote was one of my favorites and I couldn't agree more: According to an authoritative article in American Psychologist magazine, it’s not money that determines our happiness, but the presence of some combination of these three a Other than Bogle's life story, first sections of this book dragged for me. Perhaps because it was a rehash and repudiation of the financial excesses of the 2000s that I've read a lot about? I dug the later parts about character, contribution, and how much is enough. This quote was one of my favorites and I couldn't agree more: According to an authoritative article in American Psychologist magazine, it’s not money that determines our happiness, but the presence of some combination of these three attributes: (1) autonomy, the extent to which we have the ability to control our own lives, “to do our own thing”; (2) maintaining connectiveness with other human beings, in the form of love of our families, our pleasure in friends and colleagues, and an openness with those we meet in all walks of life; and (3) exercising competence, using our God-given and self-motivated talents, inspired and striving to learn.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Sam

    Much of the book is about how the finance industry could do better by considering their broader stakeholders and not focus exclusively on shareholder value. They've become more focused on sales and marketing of products than being stewards of their customer's wealth, as he saw things in his early career. Perhaps that's true, and they've done a marvelous job of marketing the advantage of choice and selection that has resulted in the plethora of products. He could have built his argument with some Much of the book is about how the finance industry could do better by considering their broader stakeholders and not focus exclusively on shareholder value. They've become more focused on sales and marketing of products than being stewards of their customer's wealth, as he saw things in his early career. Perhaps that's true, and they've done a marvelous job of marketing the advantage of choice and selection that has resulted in the plethora of products. He could have built his argument with some behavioral economics research that has shown too many choices results in a default behavior that results in customers' lower performance. I enjoyed the later chapters more regarding loss of 18th century values (reason, morality, and virtue), valuing commitment over things (to family, community, and cause), and the definition of success missing the inclusion of character. I think this broadening of what constitutes success and what is "enough" are part of a the good life.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Bernie

    Bogle, the founder of Vanguard Mutual Funds blends investment strategy and memoir into a concise reflection spent after a career in investing. The central premise is that you can have enough when your income meets your needs. On the cusp of 50, retirement planning is no longer on the horizon, but getting closer all the time. Bogle, the inventor of the eponymous "Index" fund makes a compelling case for avoiding speculation, investing for the long term (10 years or more) and reducing costs, which Bogle, the founder of Vanguard Mutual Funds blends investment strategy and memoir into a concise reflection spent after a career in investing. The central premise is that you can have enough when your income meets your needs. On the cusp of 50, retirement planning is no longer on the horizon, but getting closer all the time. Bogle, the inventor of the eponymous "Index" fund makes a compelling case for avoiding speculation, investing for the long term (10 years or more) and reducing costs, which leads back to the Index model of investing. As Mr. Bogle states, invest early, invest often, invest regularly. He laments the shift from "stewardship" to "salesmanship" in the mutual fund industry, and argues that excessive trading and turnover within the funds or on the part of speculators, does more to enrich the financial industry than the actual speculator or investor. A worthwhile read.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Vinay V

    The analogies of quality of life over the quantity are very nice. You should read this book for 2 things to absorb the fundamentals of being good leader & how you define the Success. Greyhound racing analogy of chasing false rabbit is my favorite part. End of the day, Book tells how every one is focused materialistically driven to make profit over creating value. Dog-eating-Dog competition is placing the wealthy ahead & making money off naive. The quotes I liked most "Success is not key to H The analogies of quality of life over the quantity are very nice. You should read this book for 2 things to absorb the fundamentals of being good leader & how you define the Success. Greyhound racing analogy of chasing false rabbit is my favorite part. End of the day, Book tells how every one is focused materialistically driven to make profit over creating value. Dog-eating-Dog competition is placing the wealthy ahead & making money off naive. The quotes I liked most "Success is not key to Happiness. Happiness is Key to Success" "One must wait until the evening, To appreciate the Splendor of the day"

  29. 4 out of 5

    Tyler

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I learned about this book after reading John C. Bogles obituary. It was very refreshing to read about a person who purposefully refused the billions of dollars that typically go to these "financial superstars" of our time for the sake of the millions of investors who depend on his funds for retirement. It really made me think about my values both professionally and personally and I would definitely recommend it to almost anybody.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Hansel

    Topic that is not common at all. Nobody looking for enough. We all want more. Yet it is what we need. Based on his life experiences, he shared many examples and principles that guide his life. As well as his dream of having a world who love others instead of just merely stuffing ourself. You'll find investment and life principles here. Easy to read and definitely enjoyable!

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