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The Life And Legacy Of Jack Bogle, Legendary Investor And Founder Of Vanguard Group

Elizabeth Balboa

The founder of the index mutual fund has passed away.

John “Jack” Bogle is survived by his wife, Eve, and six children. He was 89 years old.

Bogle founded the prolific Vanguard Group — the world’s largest mutual fund organization — and wrote several books of financial wisdom, including “Common Sense on Mutual Funds: New Imperatives for the Intelligent Investor.”

The Life

A product of Depression Era struggles, Bogle began his career with Wellington Fund where he pioneered the strategy of focusing on a single fund.

After his firing following an unsuccessful merger, Bogle founded the Vanguard Company and, soon after, the First Index Investment Trust — the public’s first index mutual fund.

The index fund, which passively aligned investors with the index at low costs, was revolutionary. It took time to catch on, and many in the industry understood it as “Bogle’s Folly.” However, the fund slowly expanded and inspired imitators, and by the mid-2010s, passive index trackers represented about 40 percent of U.S. market funds.

Bogle served as CEO of Vanguard until 1996 and later transitioned to lead Bogle Financial Markets Research Center, where he engaged in political activism. The investor and business mogul kept ties with the SEC and advocated tightened financial regulations, including the Volcker Rule.

The Legacy

Despite his success, Bogle never neared the heights of wealth. He claimed “low double-digit millions” — partly a factor of his charitable contributions to his alma maters. His generosity and success earned him a spot on the 2004 Time 100 list as a “hero and icon,” as well as Fortune’s 1999 foursome of “Giants of the 20th Century.”

  • Bogle remains a critical figure in the investing community, particularly among those who emulate his style and adhere to his famous advice:
  • Select low-cost funds;
  • Consider carefully the added costs of advice;
  • Do not overrate past fund performance;
  • Use past performance to determine consistency and risk;
  • Beware of stars (star mutual fund managers);
  • Beware of asset size;
  • Don't own too many funds; and
  • Buy your fund portfolio — and hold it.

Related Links:

John Bogle's Biggest Investing Mistake

John Bogle Projects 'Nominal To Zero' Real Returns Over The Next Decade

Photo credit: "Bogle: Vanguard's Size a Worry"

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