john bogle books

Must Read John Bogle Books to Learn About Investing

John Bogle books reveal many things about him. He has been referred to as the father of index funds, an investment guru, and a champion of low-cost investing. The creator of no-load mutual fund investing has imparted his wisdom and experience to the investment world in several best-selling books. 

His advice has left a lasting impact on many new and seasoned investors alike. John Bogle books provide the guidance many investors need to start investing and ride out turbulent times. 


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Who is John Bogle?

John Bogle hails from New Jersey. He graduated magna cum laude from Princeton University and worked at Fidelity Investments, where he managed the Magellan Fund. In 1974 Bogle left Fidelity and started the Vanguard Group of Investment Companies. 

In 1976 Vanguard introduced the first index mutual fund for individual investors with a no-load feature. The fund doesn’t charge sales fees when you buy the shares (front end) or when selling shares (back end).

Bogle always pursued his core investment philosophy of building wealth over the long term, buying and holding mutual funds that track a stock market index like the S&P 500 Index. To quote John Bogle,

“The winning formula for success in investing is owning the entire stock market through an index fund, and then doing nothing. Just stay the course.”

John Bogle Books to Put on Your Reading List

The following is a list of books John Bogle authored to help readers learn about the market and lower-cost investing.

Bogle on Mutual Funds: New Perspectives for the Intelligent Investor

After decades of investment experience and phenomenal success, Bogle wrote his first book on mutual funds. Bogle on Mutual Funds is an actionable guide to help investors create a long-term investment strategy to help meet their financial goals. 

Based on his time-tested strategies, Bogle educates investors about mutual fund investing, market risk, and how to ride out market volatility. Bogle discusses the ‘eternal triangle of investing’: risk, reward, and cost of investing in mutual funds. 

He also shows investors how to create an effective asset allocation strategy, pick suitable mutual funds, and invest in index funds. Bogle encourages investors to develop a diversified portfolio of equity funds, bonds, and money market funds to help weather short-term fluctuations in the market. 

Bogle was a tireless advocate for everyday investors. He always promoted and created low-cost investing so people could save on management fees and commissions of managed funds and achieve a better return. This book helps introduce investors to mutual and index funds to develop a balanced, diversified portfolio with a buy-and-hold strategy.

The Little Book of Common Sense Investing: The Only Way to Guarantee Your Fair Share of Stock Market Returns

This book was first published in April 2007 and re-released with updates in a 10th-anniversary edition in 2017. Bogle added two new chapters, one on asset allocation and the other on retirement investing. It also includes some updated data. 

In this book, Bogle shows investors how index funds are the best investment vehicles for helping them achieve their financial goals instead of investing in individual stocks or paying commissions and redemption fees with actively managed funds.  

Investors can forget about timing the market and the anxiety of volatile stock prices. Index funds also have low portfolio turnover and high tax efficiency. 

Enough: True Measures of Money, Business, and Life

In this book, John Bogle considers what ‘enough’ really means concerning money, business, and life. Enough was published in 2008 at the beginning of the financial crisis. The United States plummeted into a deep recession, and many lost their jobs, homes, and savings. 

As Bogle reflects on what is enough for him, he sets an example for his readers. He makes us question our true roles in society and challenges us to bring core values to the forefront ahead of the pursuit of money. 

Common Sense on Mutual Funds, Fully Updated 10th Anniversary Edition

Bogle decided to update this book a decade later in 2017, but the fundamentals of mutual fund investing stayed the same. Bogle shows investors how common sense and a straightforward approach can help them outearn complex and costly investments. 

He emphasizes that a low-cost, low-risk, broadly diversified portfolio is the best way to build wealth and outperform more expensive, actively managed mutual funds. 

Bogle finishes with a critique of the modern mutual fund industry and demonstrates how many companies, except Vanguard, which he founded are designed to make a profit. Bogle exposes these excessive fees and shows how investors’ interests come after the company investors’ interests.

John Bogle Left a Lasting Impact

Warren Buffet once said,

“If a statue is ever erected to honor the person who has done the most for American investors, the hands-down choice should be Jack Bogle. For decades, Jack has urged investors to invest in ultra-low-cost index funds. . . . Today, however, he has the satisfaction of knowing that he helped millions of investors realize a far better rate of return on their savings than they otherwise would have earned. He is a hero to them and to me.”

John wrote his books to help investors learn from his experience and mistakes. He advocated for low-cost investing so the average investor could make money in the market. John Bogle’s books are the best guide for investors looking to build a diversified portfolio with a long-term strategy to generate total return. If you want to retire with a comfortable nest egg, reading John Bogle’s influential investment books is the first place to start.

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Nadia Tahir is a freelance writer and content creator. She mostly writes in the areas of lifestyle and personal finance. She also enjoys writing on her blog about motherhood at This Mom is On Fire.

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