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Review: The Bogleheads’ Guide to Investing

Bogleheads' Cover The Bogleheads’ Guide to Investing, by Taylor Larimore, Mel Lindauer, and Michael LeBoeuf, Foreword by John C. Bogle

On the outset, this book just doesn’t seem very interesting – at least not to the demographic I belong to. Like most college students, I probably wouldn’t have touched this book if I hadn’t received it for free. And I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that it gets a little dry at times, and my eyes glazed over while reading some of the sections that don’t apply to me (yet).

But despite the dry sections, the book is exceptionally well-written and packed with information, without being overwhelming. I especially enjoyed the book’s use of humorous quotes and analogies to connect the world of investing to the world we know.

The guide offers a comprehensive walk-through on the different types of investments available, the types of accounts, asset diversification, estate planning… alright, sorry. I see your eyes glazing over now. But I promise, it’s not boring stuff! This is an excellent guide that I highly recommend for anyone who finds themselves saying “I know that I should be investing, but I have no idea where to start.”

Who are these “Bogleheads” and why should you take their advice on investments? They’re the followers of John C. Bogle, founder of the Vanguard Group. They believe in a simple, diversified investment strategy that blocks out all the “noise” of hot stock tips and media posturing.

The chapter I most appreciated was Chapter 15: How to Manage a Windfall Successfully. I find that this is a subject that just isn’t tackled often enough. Falling in line with my favorite theory (money doesn’t solve money problems), the Bogleheads suggest that you put a windfall aside for six months while you ride out the emotions related to it. Then, look at the true buying power of that windfall before you do anything with it.

By Age Group

High school: this book is a little too detailed and dry to appeal to high schoolers. However, if you read The Motley Fool Investment Guide for Teens and wanted more, more, MORE, this book would be a good continuation for you.

College/Early 20s: Not the first personal finance book you should read, but if you’ve already made your way through some Suze Orman or Your Money or Your Life and you’re looking for more details specifically on investing, put this book next on your reading list.

Late 20s and beyond: Read this book if you haven’t yet.

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4 responses to “Review: The Bogleheads’ Guide to Investing”

  1. selena

    Being a student I knew that this book is not an interesting one. Investing really is not my cup of tea. Cheers!!!

  2. Roger

    Not a bad review, I suppose. Since I’m in my later twenties, I suppose I’ll have to check this out (especially as I do subscribe to the Bogle method of investing).

  3. Maureen

    I loved this book. I asked for it for christmas last year and I was not disappointed. I also agree about how apt the quotations are. The tone isn’t too serious but everything is really to the point. I especially liked the beginning where they described 3 different types of people and the 3 step to take before investing.

    Like you, aged 20 and 1.5 years away from graduation, a lot of it was stuff that doesn’t apply (yet). It’s good to refer to which is why I decided to get my own copy. I think the tables they used were really easy to access as well.

    It’s a shame that it all applies to the american system (as I’m in England) but it was still a fun read. I’m trying to find an equivalent that discusses investing in England. One thing’s for sure. I am going to go with Vanguard Europe for my first investment.

  4. Ian

    I just got this book the other day and for a money geek like me its a great book that I have trouble putting down. Packed with lots of information without going into too much detail (at least most of the time). I would definitely recommend it

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