The Bogleheads’ Guide to Investing: Buy or Don’t Buy?

The Bogleheads' Guide To InvestingAs an investor with Vanguard and an occasional visitor to the Vanguard Diehards forum, I’ve been looking forward to reading The Bogleheads’ Guide to Investing for a while now. It’s a guide to how to invest your money written based on the principles of Jack Bogle, the founder of Vanguard. Is it a good read for you? Let’s find out.

As we found out this week, The Bogleheads’ Guide to Investing is a very detailed “starter manual” for conservative investors. The principles in this book are very fundamentally sound, but are not going to be the foundation for any “get rich quick” scheme.

Before you decide whether or not this is a good book for you, you need to ask yourself what your general investment goals really are. If your goal is to have a shot at getting rich quickly with a lot of risk mixed in, I don’t recommend this book. You’re better off reading something like Jim Cramer’s Real Money, which is an excellent book for people who are willing to take on some significant risk and dabble in individual stock investment (and even that is fairly moderate risk compared to some investments).

On the other hand, if you’re planning on investing for the purpose of building a stable, lifelong economic backbone, I couldn’t recommend this book more highly. It’s a well-conceived explanation, from top to bottom, of an investment philosophy that will create a life full of steady gains and sustainable wealth.

I really commend the writers for putting together a stellar book. I knew going in that there would be a focus on index funds and the like, but this book really spells out a great overall investing philosophy. Most of the personal finance books that I read I usually pass one; this one might just be a keeper.

The Bogleheads’ Guide to Investing is the nineteenth of fifty-two books in The Simple Dollar’s series 52 Personal Finance Books in 52 Weeks.

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