Andrew Allentuck

Friday, February 9, 2001

Common Sense on Mutual Funds
By John C. Bogle
Wiley Trade Publishing, 484 pages

John C. Bogle founded and, until recently, ran the world's largest no-load mutual fund company, the Vanguard Group, Inc. He pioneered index investing and made it work for long term investors by holding fees to a minimum.

In Common Sense and Mutual Funds, Mr. Bogle restates his case for low cost mutual funds, especially index funds. He dismisses value and growth style distinctions, dispenses with most of the market's preoccupation with prior fund performance save for what it says about fund volatility, urges that investors not concentrate on star managers, and notes that managed funds are actually worse as a group than the benchmarks on which they are judged because of the tendency of managers to wind up or merge unsuccessful funds.

In a blurb for this book, Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett calls Mr. Bogle, "cogent, honest and hard-hitting - a must read for every investor." And that's about right. Almost any mutual fund investor can get $23.95 of value out of this excellent work.