The little book of common sense investing by John C Bogle

This is a direct copy paste job from my blog

Book Review - The little book of common sense investing by John C Bogle

This is the 4th Book on “Little Book, Big Profit” series that I read. An advanced warning to reader that this review is more of a critical view of Bogle’s approach to investing.

I had a wrong conception about this book is that this book is about goodness of systematic investment plan (SIP) type of investment; well it turn out to be about investing in an index mutual fund.

From page 10 or so, I started feeling that this book, its philosophy are not for me. Still I persisted throughout the book hoping to get something; but alas I could find pretty much nothing for me. May be there are something for 1st time investor who is paying heavily for investment, but for someone who believe in investing for himself, I no brainer no-use book for sure.

So let me explain on whet point I agree with him

  1. Mutual Fund, by design are a costlier investment option becuase of entry/exit load, transaction cost, and fund management fee

  2. Majority of Mutual fund tends to lag behind sensex because of herd mentality. In India it get severe because here we don’t have star fund manager culture

  3. For 1st time investor, without much knowledge of stock market, it is a good approach to invest in index fund, that too in a SIP approach
    And the list of reasons why it doesn’t make sense to me

  4. Stock market investing is a zero sum game : This logic seems ridiculous as this argument can be extended to any kind of market/transaction where someone sell and some buy

  5. Beating Index fund is difficult in long run :
    1. Hundreds after hundreds example of people/stocks beating sensex return. Warren Buffet, Peter Lynch, Carlie Munger, and thousand other have discovered strategies to get returns that have beaten sensex years after year
    2. John Seigel of Wharton School of Business has found out that removing high PE stocks from sensex, and adding some midcap stock can beat sensex hands down
    3. Buying beaten down stock, available at ridiculously cheap valuation has been the cornerstone of value investing and are known for getting market beating return
    4. Growth investing, which tells us way to find out higher growth stock, and the strategy to get out of them at correct time, can outperform sensex at a decent margin

  6. Use of statistical data to justify your observation:
    1. Statistics is a deadly science. The reason why I tell is that it is very easy to immerse a layman into details. Real world data tends to have a multi-dimensionality build into it. The actual presentation is a projection of the same. There are many such projections possible and hence one can choose the projection that matches his theory.
    2. Statistics can be used only for those variables where we can measure things. And as he doesn’t have reliable data for stock performance of various strategies, hence he just choose to ignore it. Classic academic approach.

  7. Quoting folks who are known for different approach of investing
    1. The author suitably choosen quotes of other people like WB, Charlie Munger to justify his reasoning. The truth is these folks whose quotation is quoted by him, haven’t practiced index based approach, and if they have gone in index path, they wouldn’t have reached a stage worth quoting in a book on index investing.

  8. The list can go on and on … Hence I retire
    If you can invest directly in stock market, and have achieved sensex beating return, than you can safely avoid this book, as there is nothing for you. If you are not able to beat if, well than the approach written in this book might be one of the approach you can follow.

Happy Investing !!!

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copied from my Blog:

There are tomes of books infavour of investing in Index Funds. One of the most common argument favouring index funds is their low transaction costs. The stocks in the index are changed in regular intervals to add/ delete stocks. This creates a churn rate in the Index funds. The average churn rate of index fund is around 33.42%, which is nearly 1/3rd stock every year. It nearly pokes hole in to the Buy and Hold strategy. Below is a table which examines the churn rate of various Nifty Indexes.

Index Name No of years No of stocks Total changes changes per yr Avg. change per yr wrt index size
Nifty 100 13 100 238 18.31 18.31%
Nifty 200 5 200 228 45.60 22.80%
Nifty 50 20 50 160 8.00 16.00%
Nifty 500 18 500 1837 102.06 20.41%
Nifty Alpha 50 3 50 240 80.00 160.00%
Nifty Auto 5 15 8 1.60 10.67%
Nifty Bank 16 15 22 1.38 9.17%
Nifty Commodities 5 30 14 2.80 9.33%
Nifty Dividend Opportunities 50 4 50 74 18.50 37.00%
Nifty Energy 11 10 18 1.64 16.36%
Nifty Financial Services 5 15 10 2.00 13.33%
Nifty FMCG 18 15 64 3.56 23.70%
Nifty Growth Sectors 15 2 15 10 5.00 33.33%
Nifty High Beta 50 3 50 84 28.00 56.00%
Nifty India Consumption 4 30 24 6.00 20.00%
Nifty Infrastructure 12 25 68 5.67 22.67%
Nifty IT 17 10 96 5.65 56.47%
Nifty Low Volatility 50 3 50 72 24.00 48.00%
Nifty Media 4 15 20 5.00 33.33%
Nifty Metal 5 15 24 4.80 32.00%
Nifty Midcap 100 11 100 346 31.45 31.45%
Nifty Midcap 50 12 50 226 18.83 37.67%
Nifty Midcap Liquid 15 1 15 14 14.00 93.33%
Nifty MNC 18 15 237 13.17 87.78%
Nifty Next 50 16 50 262 16.38 32.75%
Nifty Pharma 13 10 20 1.54 15.38%
Nifty PSE 18 20 94 5.22 26.11%
Nifty PSU Bank 11 12 4 0.36 3.03%
Nifty Realty 9 10 33 3.67 36.67%
Nifty Services Sector 16 30 80 5.00 16.67%
Nifty Smallcap 100 5 100 212 42.40 42.40%
Nifty100 Liquid 15 2 15 20 10.00 66.67%
Nifty50 Value 20 1 20 4 4.00 20.00%