John C. Bogle

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
For the Scottish portrait miniaturist, see John Bogle (artist).
John C. Bogle
Born John Clifton Bogle
(1929-05-08) May 8, 1929 (age 87)
Montclair, New Jersey
Nationality American
Alma mater Princeton University (B.A.)
Occupation Founder and former CEO of The Vanguard Group
Spouse(s) Eve
Children 6[1]

John Clifton "Jack" Bogle is an American businessman and investor. He is the founder and retired CEO of The Vanguard Group. His 1999 book Common Sense on Mutual Funds: New Imperatives for the Intelligent Investor became a bestseller and is considered a classic within the investment community.[2][3]

Early life and education[edit]

John (Jack) Bogle was born on May 8, 1929 in Verona, New Jersey to William Yates Bogle, Jr., and Josephine Lorraine Hipkins.

His family was affected by the Great Depression. They lost their inheritance and had to sell their home, with his father falling into alcoholism which resulted in his parents' divorce.[4]

Bogle attended Manasquan high school on the New Jersey shores on a full scholarship. His academic record was excellent. That enabled him to join the prestigious Blair Academy where he showed a particular aptitude for math as numbers and computations fascinated him. In 1947, John graduated from Blair Academy cum laude and got accepted to Princeton University where he decided to study economics and investment. During his university years, John was determined to examine the subject of mutual fund industry that had not been analyzed before. Bogle spent his junior and senior year working on his thesis “The Economic Role of the Investment Company”.[5]

He earned his undergraduate degree in 1951, and attended evening and weekend classes at the University of Pennsylvania.


After graduating from Princeton in 1951, Jack Bogle narrowed his career options to banking and investments. He managed to land a position at Wellington Fund where he showed great talent that made the manager of the fund, Walter L. Morgan to say that "Bogle knows more about the fund business than we do". Bogle got promoted to an assistant manager in 1955 where he got a broader access to analyze the company and the investment department. Bogle demonstrated initiative and creativity by challenging the Wellington management to change its strategy of concentration on a single fund, and did his best to make his point in creating a new fund. Eventually he succeeded, and the new fund became a turning point in his career. After successfully climbing through the ranks, he was named chairman of Wellington, but was later fired for an "extremely unwise" merger that he approved. It was a poor decision that he considers his biggest mistake, stating, "The great thing about that mistake, which was shameful and inexcusable and a reflection of immaturity and confidence beyond what the facts justified, was that I learned a lot."[6]

In 1974, Bogle founded the Vanguard Company which is now one of the most respected and successful companies in the investment world. Bogle managed to turn Vanguard into a giant company which made Fortune Magazine in 1999 to name Bogle as "one of the four investment giants of the twentieth century".[7]

In 1975, influenced by the works of Eugene Fama, Burton Malkiel, and Paul Samuelson, Bogle founded the Vanguard 500 Index Fund as the first index mutual fund available to the general public.[8]

Bogle had heart problems in the 1990s and in 1996 he relinquished his role as Vanguard CEO to John J. Brennan, his handpicked successor and second-in-command whom he had hired in 1982. Bogle had a successful heart transplant in 1996 but his subsequent return to Vanguard with the title of senior chairman, led to conflict between Bogle and Brennan. Bogle left the company in 1999 and moved to Bogle Financial Markets Research Center, a small research institute not directly connected to Vanguard but on the Vanguard campus.[9]

Bogle is a member of the board of trustees at Blair Academy. He is also an advisory board member of the Millstein Center for Corporate Governance and Performance at the Yale School of Management. Bogle received an honorary doctorate from Princeton University in 2005.

Bogle also serves on the board of trustees of the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia, a museum dedicated to the U.S. Constitution. He had previously served as chairman of the board from 1999 through 2007. He was named chairman emeritus in January 2007, when former president George H. W. Bush was named chairman.

Investment strategy[edit]

Bogle’s innovative idea was creating the world’s first index mutual fund in 1975. Bogle’s idea was that instead of beating the index and charging high costs, the index fund would mimic the index performance over the long run. Thus, achieving higher returns with lower costs than actively managed funds.

Bogle’s innovative idea of index investing offers a clear yet a prominent distinction between investment and speculations. The main difference between investment and speculation lies in the time horizon. Investment is concerned with capturing returns on the long-run with lower risk, while speculation is concerned with achieving returns over a short period of time. Bogle believes this is an important analysis to be taken into account as short-term, risky investments have been flooding the financial markets.[10]

Bogle is known for his insistence, in numerous media appearances and in writing, on the superiority of index funds over traditional actively managed mutual funds. He contends that it is folly to attempt to pick actively managed mutual funds and expect their performance to beat a low-cost index fund over a long period of time, after accounting for the fees that actively managed funds charge.

Bogle argues for an approach to investing defined by simplicity and common sense. Below are his eight basic rules for investors:[11]

  • 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 (as in, star mutual fund managers)
  • Beware of asset size
  • Don't own too many funds
  • Buy your fund portfolio - and hold it

Awards and distinctions[edit]

  • Named one of the investment industry's four "Giants of the 20th Century" by Fortune magazine in 1999.
  • Awarded the Woodrow Wilson Award from Princeton University for "distinguished achievement in the Nation's service" (1999).
  • Named one of the "world's 100 most powerful and influential people" by Time magazine in 2004.[12]
  • Institutional Investor's Lifetime Achievement Award (2004).[13][14]

Personal life[edit]

Bogle and his wife Eve have six children and are grandparents. They reside in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania.



  1. ^ Rotblut, Charles (March 2016). "Six Questions With John Bogle". American Association of Individual Investors. Retrieved 2016-04-05. 
  2. ^ David Brancaccio (October 10, 2003). "John Bogle". NOW on PBS. 
  3. ^ Scott Burns (March 13, 2010). "A visit with John Bogle". Seattle Times. 
  4. ^ Berr, Jonathan (2010-02-14). "Vanguard Founder John Bogle Sees No Good Alternatives to Indexing". Retrieved 2016-01-23. 
  5. ^ Slater, Robert (1997). The Vanguard Experiment: John Bogle's Quest to Transform the Mutual Fund Industry. Irwin Professional Publishing. 
  6. ^ Boyle, Matthew (December 17, 2007). "Fortune Magazine interview". CNN. Retrieved 2007-12-17. 
  7. ^ Rostad, Knut (2013). The Man in the Arena, Vanguard Founder John C. Bogle and His Lifelong Battle to Serve Investors First. John Wiley and Sons, Inc. 
  8. ^ Amy Barrett and Jeffrey M. Laderman (January 7, 1999). "That's Why They Call It Vanguard". Business Week. 
  9. ^ Sommer, John (2012-08-11). "A Mutual Fund Master, Too Worried to Rest -". New York Times. Retrieved 2016-01-23. WHILE he has no operational role at Vanguard, he hasn’t entirely left it. He works on its campus, heading the Bogle Financial Markets Research Center, a small research institute 
  10. ^ Bogle, John (2012). The Clash of Cultures: Investment vs. Speculation. John Wiley and Sons, Inc. 
  11. ^ Sigma Investing. Review of Common Sense on Mutual Funds.
  12. ^ TIME 100 Most Influential People, 2004
  13. ^ Biography at
  14. ^ World Wide Speakers Group - John Bogle

External links[edit]