The title and general message of this book, written by the founder of the fund giant Vanguard, John Bogle, is taken from a poem that was written by the author Kurt Vonnegut about an experience he and author Joseph Heller had when visiting the home of a billionaire. Heller commented as a response to Vonnegut’s statement about the wealth disparity between the two that Heller had something the billionaire would never have – enough.
Written ten years ago, this small book makes the case that many people lose their way with respect to what is truly important in life. Bogle addresses how excessive fees and costs for investment funds provide little value for investors. He demonstrates that, in an effort to achieve wealth, many individuals speculate instead of invest. He addresses the issues of the lack of trust, ignorance of professional standards, and a general lack of leadership in both business and finance today. The general populace, he contends, is too interested in things, not enough on commitment, too much on so called 21st century values and not enough on 18th century values – too much on success and not enough on character.
I believe the book is appropriate for people of all ages, but should be required reading for university graduates embarking on a career in business. It helps redefine success.
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Contributor: Robert R. Johnson