I read LOTS of books. And it’s funny – a lot of people are amazed at the number of books I read. I don’t think I read a lot – but many people I meet think I’m crazy about spending time reading books. Candidly, I feel that it’s a clear sign of the ‘dumbing down’ of America. People are ‘shamed’ into not reading – you should see the faces of people when I mention I read 3-5 books at a time and finish 100-150 books a year. “Don’t you have better things to do with your time?”
Candidly, I don’t. And you should be reading too – start with this timely and powerful tome.
You need to get Enough – True Measures of Money, Business and Life by John Bogle. Why? Let William Bernstein tell you:
“If you are wondering about the cause of the current market crisis, then you haven’t been reading enough of Jack Bogle.
Because he certainly knows not only where, but why and how. For decades Jack has been communicating his disquiet in previous books, speeches, and public testimony. Years from now, when historians and investors dissect the economic and market meltdowns of 2008, they’ll consult this slim, well-written volume.
In order to understand the intellectual and moral platform from which he surveys the economic wreckage, you need to know a little of his story. Bogle founded one of the world’s great investment companies, the Vanguard Group. Most men in his situation would have levered such success into a multi-billion-dollar net worth; instead, he “mutualized” Vanguard, converting it, in effect, into a nonprofit organization whose only goal was to benefit its fund holders. From an ethical perspective, Vanguard is the only “investment company” worthy of that name. (As opposed to most financial firms, which are in fact “marketing companies” whose main purpose is to milk unwitting investors of fees and commissions.)
The answer to the conundrum of 2008 lies in the book’s title, “Enough,” which is the punch line from a delightful Kurt Vonnegut/Joseph Heller story. Simply put, our nation has been suffering from decades of unchecked financial excess, for which we are now paying the piper: excess in investment company fees; excess in financial speculation masquerading as diversification and innovation; excess in the salaries of top executives; excess in salesmanship; and most importantly, excess in the role played by the financial industry in our national economy and national life.”
Go out today and get it – it will change how you think about business, your career, money and your life.