NH | Member Since 2013
Yes. This book helped change my financial life. It's hard to imagine that a fictional work of stories and parables could be so inspirational and enlightening. I can't wait to read it again!
Arkad was my favorite character. His lectures to men, teaching them the "seven cures for a lean purse" was so simple and true, that it escaped the men of his time, just as it escapes people today.
"Control thy Expenditures"
I immediately began cutting my expenditures to equal 90% of my net income. Then allocated the remaining 10% to my investments. It was painstaking work, and took several months, but it was worth it. I can now see why the majority of people never achieve financial independence. It's because they continue to adjust their expenditures upward when their income rises, and cannot delay gratification until a future date.
Take lottery winners for example, 70% of lottery winners go broke. More than 50% of professional athletes go broke, and Hollywood actors and actresses who earn more than 10 million dollars per movie go bankrupt. As the wise Arkad said - "That what each of us calls our necessary expenses will always grow to equal our incomes unless we protest to the contrary". Arkad then goes on to say - "Don't confuse necessary expenses with your desires, that all men (and women) are burdened with more desires than they can gratify".
I've come to realize that becoming wealthy, or financially independent, is not natural. It takes incredible discipline and self-control. It's not about how much money you make, but about how much money you keep.
I'm not sure that anyone would get any practical, valuable advice on getting rich from reading this book. I don't even see how someone could better their position by reading this book. It keeps talking about doing things "in a certain way" and speaks in mysteries that are hard to comprehend. It has a religious, spiritual tone (and I have nothing against religion or spirituality) that is difficult to apply. I made myself listen to the whole thing so that I could at least be entitled to my opinion.
Yes. It may be the best practical book on equity investing ever written. Simple and precise, it lays out the case for passive investing in a way that will change your thinking about mutual funds forever.
No other books really compare in content. Although there are parallels in "Fooled by Randomness", and many of Warren Buffet's books espouse the benefits of Indexing.
John Bogle may be the most influential and honest voice in the investment world. His creation of the world's first Index Fund (Vanguard Index 500) and the subsequent rejection of it by almost everyone, is a great example of how many new ideas are not initially seen for their greatness or truth. Standing the test of time, Bogle's Vanguard Index Funds have beaten the majority of professional (active) money managers. My biggest take-aways from this book are "don't look for the needle, buy the haystack", "reversion to the mean", "most untrained investors can beat well-trained investment professionals by investing in a low-cost index fund" and "active equity mutual funds take a significant portion of an investor's risk premium through fees and expenses, created by excessive portfolio turnover, taxes and 12-b1 fees". This book is a "must read" for anyone trying to build an investment portolio.
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