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This Day In Market History: The First Balanced US Mutual Fund

Wayne Duggan

Each day, Benzinga takes a look back at a notable market-related moment that happened on this date.

What Happened?

On this day 89 years ago, Walter Morgan founded the first balanced mutual fund in U.S. history, a fund that would eventually become the basis of the Vanguard Group of Investment Cos.

Where Was The Market?

The S&P 500 was trading at 23.15 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average was trading at 278.65.

What Else Was Going On In The World?

In 1928, Amelia Earhart became the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean and the home pregnancy test became available for the first time. The price of a pair of Keds tennis shoes was 98 cents.

The Birth of the Mutual Fund

The $17 trillion global mutual fund industry can trace much of its success all the way back to Walter L. Morgan. In 1928, Morgan raised $100,000 from relatives and business leaders in Pennsylvania and launched the Industrial and Power Securities Company, the first U.S. balanced mutual fund that invested in both stocks and bonds. The fund was later renamed the Wellington Fund.

In 1933, Morgan founded the Wellington Management Company, an investment management company centered on the Wellington Fund. Morgan stayed on as chairman of Wellington Management Company until he was replaced in 1970 by John Bogle. Bogle later founded Vanguard Group, which today manages more than $4.5 trillion in assets. The Wellington Fund is still open and remains one of the oldest surviving U.S. mutual funds.

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