It Bogles the Mind

Enough.jpgOur renaissance woman-commentator Judith Ellis recently mentioned Vanguard Mutual Fund Group founder John Bogle’s Enough. The Measures of Money, Business, and Life. Judith’s reference led me to add the 79-year-old Mr. Bogle’s opus to my bookshelf. I will simply say that it is one of the best business books (“life” books?) I have ever read, an easy All-time Top 10. And its timing is, well, read it yourself …

Rather than spend several sentences summarizing the short-but-very-sweet-and-very lucid tome, I’ll let the brilliant chapter titles do the work for me. Here’s a sample:

“Too Much Cost, Not Enough Value”
“Too Much Speculation, Not Enough Investment”
“Too Much Complexity, Not Enough Simplicity”
“Too Much Counting, Not Enough Trust”
“Too Much Business Conduct, Not Enough Professional Conduct”
“Too Much Salesmanship, Not Enough Stewardship”
“Too Much Focus on Things, Not Enough Focus on Commitment”
“Too Many Twenty-first Century Values, Not Enough Eighteenth-Century Values”
“Too Much ‘Success,’ Not Enough Character”

As to the overarching theme captured by the book’s title, “Enough,” Mr. Bogle begins with this vignette:

“At a party given by a billionaire on Shelter Island, Kurt Vonnegut informs his pal, Joseph Heller, that their host, a hedge fund manager, had made more money in a single day than Heller had earned from his wildly popular novel Catch-22 over its whole history. Heller responds, ‘Yes, but I have something he will never have … enough.'”

And thank you, John Bogle!
(And Judith Ellis.)