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The Index Revolution: Why Investors Should Join It Now



"Index funds combine intelligent academic theory with practical common sense and so does Charley Ellis in this new book. With warmth and wit, Charley paints the picture of an investment industry that was ripe for the index revolution. He presents the enduring case for indexing through stories, insights, and simple math. It's an enjoyable read for long-time indexers and novices alike."
—Bill McNabb, Vanguard Chairman and CEO

"This book is a must-read for any investor looking to learn more about indexing or for those who are skeptics of index investing. After reading his compelling case on the benefits of index investing, readers will be asking why they are not index investors already."
—Amy Schioldager, Global Head of Index Equities, BlackRock, Inc.

"Indexing is not being passive; it is an active decision to not be foolish and pay for something that isn't there."
—Suzanne Duncan, State Street Corporation Senior Vice President, Global Head of Research

"To the debate over indexing, Charles Ellis brings not only powerful arguments, but also his own long history. While others have belatedly and grudgingly come to accept the wisdom of indexing, Charley has spent decades at the forefront of The Index Revolution, arguing that trying to win the investment game is the surest way to lose. Want to ensure a prosperous financial future for your family? It's time to join Charley and the revolution he helped spark."
—Jonathan Clements, author, How to Think About Money

"Every investor wants to believe they can be above average. Charley Ellis has finally convinced me there is a foolproof strategy to reach that goal. It is indexing and his overwhelming proof is in The Index Revolution."
—Consuelo Mack, Anchor and Executive Producer, Consuelo Mack WealthTrack

"Indexing makes sense because indexing works. It is the only strategy that effectively guarantees that investors will earn their fair share of whatever returns are provided by the stock and bond markets."
—John C. Bogle, Vanguard Founder and retired CEO

CHARLES D. ELLIS is one of the most widely respected experts in the world of investing. He is a consultant to some of the world's largest pension, endowment, and sovereign wealth funds. For three decades, he was managing partner of Greenwich Associates, the leading strategy consulting firm in institutional financial services world-wide. He has written 16 books and well over 100 articles, mostly on investing, is a popular speaker on key issues, and taught advanced courses on investment management at Harvard Business School and at the Yale School of Management and the investment profession's in-service workshop at Princeton.

He served as a Successor Trustee at Yale University and on the Yale investment committee for 16 years. He has served on the governing boards of the Stern School of Business, Phillips Exeter Academy, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and chairs the board of the Whitehead Institute. He has served on 14 investment committees. One of 12 people honored by the profession for lifetime contributions, he was chair of the CFA Institute.

Foreword vii

Introduction xvii

Acknowledgments xxxvii

Part One Over 50 Years of Learning to Index 1

1 My Half-Century Odyssey 3

Part Two The 10 Good Reasons to Index 73

2 The Stock Markets of the World Have Changed Extraordinarily 75

3 Indexing Outperforms Active Investing 83

4 Low Fees Are an Important Reason to Index 97

5 Indexing Makes It Much Easier to Focus on Your Most Important Investment Decisions 125

6 Your Taxes Are Lower When You Index 147

7 Indexing Saves Operational Costs 151

8 Indexing Makes Most Investment Risks Easier to Live With 153

9 Indexing Avoids “Manager Risk” 157

10 Indexing Helps You Avoid Costly Troubles with Mr. Market 161

11 You Have Much Better Things to Do with Your Time 169

12 Experts Agree Most Investors Should Index 171

Appendix A: How About “Smart Beta”? 177

Appendix B: How to Get Started with Indexing 185

Appendix C: How Index Funds Are Managed 193

About the Author 197

Index 199