September 6, 2011
To Veterans and Principals:
It seemed only appropriate to celebrate (as it were) the 35th anniversary of the index fund, the first major innovation of the then-tiny and young Vanguard Group. So last week, I wrote an essay on the creation of the fund and its initial public offering, which took place on August 31, 1976.
I sent the essay to the op-ed editors of The Wall Street Journal, hoping they could help me get it placed in the “Review” section, which runs on Saturdays. But they wanted to publish a significantly shortened version on “their” page, so I (reluctantly) did the merciless editing required.
I’m attaching the the piece as it appeared in the Journal on September 3, but also the full essay as originally penned. I like my title better (of course!); and I loved the flourish of my final sentence, sadly absent from the published version.
Can you even imagine Vanguard without index funds?