“Enough” by John Bogle – Business Section (Ch 4-7)


Ch 4 – Too Much Counting, Not Enough Trust

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. P 99-100

Ch 5 – Too Much Business Conduct, Not Enough Professional Conduct

But as so many of our nation’s proudest professions gradually shift their traditional balance away from that of trusted professions serving the interests of their clients of the community and toward that of commercial enterprises seeking competitive advantage, the human beings who rely on those services are the losers. P 125

Ch 6 – Too Much Salesmanship, Not Enough Stewardship

Each one of these profound changes has fostered a new and far less lofty mission for the industry. Over the past half-century-plus, the fund business has turned from stewardship to salesmanship, from managing assets to gathering assets. We have become largely a marketing industry, engaging in a furious orgy of product proliferation. Our apparent motto: “If you will buy it, we will make it.” P 146

Ch 7 – Too Much Management, Not Enough Leadership

A caution: Many leaders intuitively understand the need to press on when the weather is stormy and the going is hard. Far fewer, it seems to me, understand the need also to press on when the weather is sunny and the going is easy. Yet leaders and managers alike need to be reminded that the good times as well as the bad will pass away. The best course that I know is to keep pressing forward, no matter the circumstances. P 174

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6 Responses
  1. Those are some powerful quotes, and the first one begs the question that if we don’t rely on economic history then what should we rely on?

    Side note:my wife and I were just discussing John Bogle earlier today; his thoughts on index investing shape our investing philosophy.

    1. Fin Engr

      @ Roshawn:

      More so, I believe the statement was highlighting: we shouldn’t solely rely on economic data & we should carefully interpret the data

  2. “Enough” is a good read. Bogle keeps pounding the same themes book after book, simplicity, low costs, diversification, character counts. And one of my favorite quotes on investing expenses is: “You get what you don’t pay for.”

    1. Fin Engr

      @ Biz of Life:

      That’s a great quote! I guess he needs to keep hammering the same points because we’re not all abiding by his mantras yet?

  3. Thanks for reviewing this book and pulling such thought-provoking quotes. Concerning what we learn from Economic History, I think we can learn some things of value, in particular what we can’t predict very well. For instance:

    “Experts” can’t be relied upon to accurately predict the future economy. One study (1965-2001) by economic professors at George Washington University found that the Fed did a pretty good job of describing where the economy is currently, but is a dismal failure at predicting the next quarter.


    And on pressing forward, I believe it was Churchill who said, “When you’re going through hell, keep going.”

    As author Kurt Vonnegut observed in his novel, Slapstick,

    “History is merely a list of surprises. It can only prepare us to be surprised again.”

    J. Steve Miller
    President, Legacy Educational Resources
    Author of Enjoy Your Money! How to Make It, Save It, Invest It and Give It
    “The money book for people who hate money books.”

    1. Fin Engr

      @ Steve M:

      Appreciate the insight and I was amazed/surprised by the quote in your article! Especially liked the last quote – that may be a book I need to check out next.

      Thanks again for letting me review the book and hope people stop by to check out your site! Best.

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