Vanguard in the News
Mike - Oct 12, 2016

Vanguard’s recognition in the press continues unabated. Here are some more recent press clippings.

Vanguard’s John Bogle: Ready or Not, an Expanded Fiduciary Rule Is Coming,” Investment News, September 15, 2016. I wrote this op-ed for Investment News in support of the Department of Labor’s recent establishment of a fiduciary standard for all advisers and brokers who advise clients on retirement accounts. My conclusion: “It is in the enlightened self-interest of the distributors, advisers, and brokers for mutual funds to place the interests of investors first. But even if an expanded federal fiduciary standard fails to accomplish this goal, our mutual fund shareholder/clients will ultimately compel this outcome.”

How Vanguard’s Decision to Forgo Profit has Paid Off for Investors,” Washington Post, September 15, 2016. Allan Sloan, former senior editor at Fortune, wrote this column about how Vanguard’s unique, client-owned structure has been incredibly successful both for Vanguard and our clients. Allan observed, “The idea that forgoing profit can be good business is an important lesson that we should all take from the recent celebration of the 40th anniversary of the Aug. 31, 1976, launch of what is now known as the Vanguard 500 Index Fund.” He went on to quote me speaking about the earnings generated by corporate America, “It’s a question of allocating those profits to Main Street rather than to Wall Street. [Our] profits go to the funds’ investors, not to the managers.” [1]

Jack Bogle: Admitting a Mistake Makes You Look Better,” CNBC, September 14, 2016. In the wake of the recent scandal at Wells Fargo, Elizabeth MacBride wrote this article about my belief that trying to cover up a mistake to avoid accountability almost always backfires, while being honest and open about it usually improves your credibility and helps you ultimately move beyond the problem. To be clear, I have refrained from commenting on the ghastly mess that Wells Fargo is now facing up to. My interview with Ms. MacBride took place over two years ago, and she found it relevant to the current situation at Wells Fargo.

They All have One Thing in Common,” The Irrelevant Investor, October 4, 2016. Michael Batnick from Ritholtz Wealth Management wrote this blog post that points out one thing I have in common with the acclaimed investors Seth Klarman, Howard Marks, Warren Buffett, and Phil Fisher: “their ability to clearly communicate their philosophy.” Michael generously appraised one of my books: “His most recent book, Clash of the Cultures, which details how companies went from an investment business to a marketing business, is an excellent read.”

“Fund Legend Still Fighting for Investors,” Kiplinger’s, October 2016. In this interview published in Kiplinger’s, I talk about my 65th anniversary in the mutual fund industry, reasonable expectations for stock and bond returns in the coming years, and the DOL fiduciary rule, among other topics.

Crain 100: 100 Innovators, Disruptors and Change-Makers in Business,” October 2016. Crain Communications celebrated their 100th anniversary in the publishing industry with the “Crain 100” supplement, which recognizes 100 leaders in the industries covered by Crain’s various publications. I am honored to appear right next to Warren Buffett, as you’ll see in the attachment.



[1] The photograph in this story was actually taken, not in 1997, but in 1983. The person on the far right is Jerald L. (“Jerry”) Stevens, who served as president of Vanguard during 1982-1984. It’s a long story, ending with Jerry’s death two years ago at age 73.

Bogleheads XV
Mike - Oct 07, 2016

The Bogleheads held their fifteenth annual celebration of Vanguard’s investment principles on September 28-30. Some 250 of Vanguard’s most loyal and enthusiastic clients heard impressive presentations from the likes of Gus Sauter, Bill Bernstein, Chris McIsaac, Greg Davis, Joe Brennan, John Ameriks, Maria Bruno, and Joel Dickson. My own three parts of the program consumed a total of about 6 hours over the course of two days! My remarks included some 56 slides. If you’re interested, you can find the slides on my website. Here is some of the media coverage of the 2016 Bogleheads conference.

“Meet the Ordinary People Vanguard’s Jack Bogle Made Rich”; “Jack Bogle on the Retirement Crisis, Wells Fargo’s Crackup, and ‘Hamilton’”; “The Case Against ETFs”; and “What Will the Market Bring in 2017? Vanguard’s Best Guesses,” The Street. Nora Morrison from Jim Cramer’s The Street website wrote four articles summarizing my comments as well as those from some of the other speakers at the conference.

Jack Bogle Sounds Off: 10 Provocative New Pronouncements from the Legendary Founder of Vanguard,” and “A Retirement Crisis? There Are Actually Three, Says Vanguard Founder Jack Bogle,” Money. Karen Damato, formerly of the Wall Street Journal, was in attendance and wrote these summaries of my comments at the conference. (NOTE: The term “financial buccaneers” applied not to ETFs as a group, but to those “fringe ETFs” that are designed for speculators.)

What Bogle’s 10-Year Stock Forecast Means for Muni Bond Holders,” Financial Planning. Financial advisor and author Allan Roth, who was also one of the speakers at the conference, wrote this piece about the potential impact lower future returns could have on the municipal bond market.




The 40th Anniversary of the Index Mutual Fund
Mike - Aug 31, 2016

To: Vanguard Veterans and Principals
From: John C. Bogle
Date: August 31, 2016
Re: 40th Anniversary of the Index Mutual Fund

Hi, All,
Today, as you may well know, is the 40th anniversary of the first index mutual fund—now Vanguard 500 Index Fund. There has been reasonably good press coverage of the event (none of which was solicited by me). I attach four of the major stories about the anniversary that have been published today.

1. “Birth of the Index Mutual Fund: ‘Bogle’s Folly’ Turns 40,” The Wall Street Journal.
2. “Guess Who Just Turned 40 and Is Worth $3.6 Trillion?” Bloomberg.
3. “The First S&P 500 Index Fund Turns 40 Years Old Today,” Benzinga.
4. “A Salute to John Bogle, A Real F—— People’s Hero,” The Concourse.*

I’m enjoying this moment, and I hope you are too.


*Since Vanguard is a family company, I’ve bowdlerized this article.

A Memo from Jack Bogle
Mike - Jun 17, 2016

To:       Vanguard Veterans and Principals

From:   John C. Bogle

Date:    June 17, 2016

Re:        Vanguard in the News

Hi, All,

Vanguard continues to be mentioned frequently in the news. Here are some recent clippings.

  1. “Index We Trust,” The Economist, June 11-17, 2016. A nice profile of Vanguard in The Economist, highlighting our success in both the marketplace and in bringing down the costs of investing for our clients. An unnamed competitor summarized the situation well by saying, “How are we supposed to compete when there’s a non-profit disrupting the game?” Vanguard is well-positioned to continue disrupting the industry, and I suspect few will truly want to compete with us on costs. (Today, only Fidelity and BlackRock do, and only with their index funds.)
  2. “Vanguard Founder Jack Bogle Talks about Taxes, Investing, and the Election,” Forbes, June 15, 2016. I recently spoke with Forbes about the 2016 presidential election and its implications for the markets. I stand by my claim that this election cycle is “the most chaotic in recent memory.”
  3. “For John Bogle, Wall Street Is the Problem, Not Stocks,” Market Watch, June 16, 2016. Mitch Tuchman picked up on my recent letter to the editor of the Wall Street Journal and my interview with John Waggoner. (You received both pieces in my previous mailing.) Tuchman highlights my emphasis on low costs and transparency, as well as my criticism that much of the activity on Wall Street involves trading securities back and forth—with Wall Street taking a cut of each trade—rather than capital formation, its true raison d’être.
  4. “Bogle Says Prepare for Stocks, Bonds to Miss Historical Returns,” Bloomberg, June 15, 2016. I recently appeared on Bloomberg Radio and reiterated my belief that it is highly likely that returns on stocks and bonds during the coming decade will be significantly less generous than they have been in the past.




Memo to Veterans and Principals
Mike - Dec 08, 2015

To: Veterans and Principals
From: John C. Bogle
Re: Vanguard in the News
Date: December 3, 2015

Hi All,

Favorable press coverage of our firm seems to be growing just as rapidly as our cash flow. (Well, maybe not quite as fast!) I’m attaching five of the more important news stories with this note.

1. “Vanguard’s Gain is Wall Street’s Pain.” Bloomberg Business, December 1, 2015. I urge all of you to read this remarkably perceptive article by veteran journalist Eric Balchunas. It discusses the often taboo subject of our impact on the entire field of investment, estimating that by 2020 we will have reduced Wall Street’s revenues by $40 billion per year. (Actually, that figure is underestimated.)

2. “The George Washington of Investing Wants You For The Revolution.” NPR’s Chris Arnold wrote this story in connection with his radio segment about me for NPR’s Morning Edition, which you can listen to here. Chris wrote a companion piece about asset allocation, with suggestions from David Swensen, me, and Gretchen Tai of Hewlett-Packard.

3. “John Bogle’s legacy: Falling prices everywhere.” On November 19, 2015, Mitch Tuchman of MarketWatch again refers to “the Vanguard Effect”—the impact of our low pricing strategy on our peers. He concludes: “If better, cheaper advice along with falling prices for funds in a race to the bottom, bring it on!”

4. “The best strategy for everyday investors, according to investing legend Jack Bogle.” In Business Insider, on November 3, 2015, Kathleen Elkins concludes: “Set yourself up for financial success by investing in low-cost index funds.”

5. “Cost Always Matter, So Pick This Winning Read.” Financial adviser Nick Train, writing in FT Adviser on October 29, 2015, quotes at length from the recently published “Classic Edition” of John Bogle on Investing—The First 50 Years. (Curiously, he doesn’t get around to mentioning the name of the book.) He shares my view that “picking winners is a loser’s game.”

Please enjoy this continuing stream of affirmation for the work we do—you and I alike—to serve investors with excellence.


Memo to Veterans and Principals
Mike - Dec 08, 2015

To: Veterans and Principals
From: John C. Bogle
Date: November 23, 2015
Re: “Distinguished Service to Humanity”

Last Thursday evening, November 19, I was honored by the National Academy of Social Sciences with their Gold Medal for Distinguished Service to Humanity. (They’ve been awarding these medals for 101 years.)

The award was based (as the attached dinner announcement states) on my “invention of the first index mutual fund.” I prepared my remarks well before the day of the dinner, and edited them to meet the time constraints of such events.

Nonetheless, I’ve had my talk reprinted in its entirety. I’m guessing that many of you will be interested in the creation of Vanguard, which quickly led to the creation of the world’s first index mutual fund.


Happy Thanksgiving to all of you. We at Vanguard have so much to be thankful for!


John C. Bogle’s remarks upon accepting the Gold Medal for Distinguished Service to Humanity from the National Academy of Social Sciences.

Memo to Veterans and Principals
Mike - Dec 08, 2015

To: Vanguard Veterans and Principals
From: John C. Bogle
Date: September 4, 2015
Re: Vanguard in the Press

Things didn’t slow down much this summer, and I’m pleased to attach another eight stories of special interest.
(1) “The Power of Story,” Forbes, August 22, 2015. It’s always nice to be compared to a genius—in this case Albert Einstein. Here, we are both cited for, “a compelling narrative that inspires a shared sense of mission . . . [and] a long and great legacy.” If the story is valid, it is up to you who lead our crew to determine how long, and how great.

(2) “. . . king of the tracker funds,” The (London) Telegraph, July 30, 2015. (Yes, that’s a young me, age 39, in the photo.) Our John Woerth handled the story with journalist Ed Monk, but later had to correct two errors. “. . . born out of corporate frustration” should read “corporate conflict.” And . . . “go gently into that good night” should read “go gentle.”

(3) “Why 99% of trading is pointless,” MarketWatch, July 30, 2015. Here, journalist Mitch Tuchman puts his own harsh spin on my long-standing view that stock trading is a loser’s game for investors and a winner’s game for brokers.

(4) “The super secret weapon of CEOs,” BBC, July 15, 2015. In Elizabeth MacBride’s view, that super secret weapon is poetry, helping leaders to “adopt a certain way of thinking about . . . broad concepts and challenges.” Her first example cites me and “Ozymandias” (read the story), and my concept that “caring . . . must be the soul of any institution worth its salt.”

(5) “Has the Index Fund Won?” Money, August 2015. All of us at Vanguard know the answer to that question, and I reaffirm it in this interview. “It certainly has.” While some of my responses to journalist Pat Regnier are apparently controversial, none of them are new, and most of them—on ETFs, international allocations, cost, and transparency—reflect positions that I’ve publically held for at least two decades.

(6) (7) (8) Three stories on the recent unpleasantness in the stock market: CNBC on August 24, Market Watch on August 27, and on CNBC again on August 28, 2015. My message remains consistent (“Stay the Course”), but cautious (in this case to Elizabeth MacBride on CNBC), “. . . stay invested, control your fear, and keep your fingers crossed.”

Hope you all had a great summer.


Memo to Veterans and Principals
Mike - Dec 08, 2015

To: Vanguard Veterans and Principals
From: John C. Bogle
Date: July 23, 2015
Re: Vanguard History

As the years roll on, I have come to realize that too much of our proud history inevitably fades away. So I’ve taken on the responsibility of building a first-person chronicle of the events surrounding our major mutual funds.

My first initiative was to tell the story of Wellington Fund, which appeared as Chapter 8 of my 2012 book The Clash of the Cultures.

My second initiative was the history of Vanguard PRIMECAP Fund (attached to this memo), which I completed a year ago in celebration of its 30th Anniversary. Memories fade, so I enlisted the cooperation of PRIMECAP’s co-founder Mitch Milias to assure that the history reflects the actual events surrounding our creation of this extraordinary mutual fund that has done so much to burnish our reputation in low-cost active management.

My third initiative will turn to the creation of Windsor II, recently celebrating its 30th Anniversary. The formation of Windsor II is a fascinating story, in which we ignored “the rules of the game” in the fund industry, and even smashed a few of them. Result: another great Vanguard success.

In many, if not most, of these histories, there are few remaining living links to the creation of Wellington, PRIMECAP, Windsor II, and other jewels in our crown. I plan to continue writing these chronologies as long as I’m able, so that future generations of Vanguard crew members can understand the genesis of our remarkable history.


The Story of PRIMECAP Fund

Memo to Veterans and Principals
Mike - Dec 08, 2015

To: Veterans and Principals
From: John C. Bogle
Date: July 15, 2015
Subject: The Press Coverage Continues

1. FORTUNE, June 16, 2015. “Investors first is slowly taking hold in finance.” This article by Eleanor Bloxham begins with a review of my June speech to CFA/Philadelphia, and then discusses the messages in two of my early books, recently republished as “Classic Editions” with new forewords. (Yes, we’re making arrangements to offer them together to the crew in a “boxed” package.)

2. FORBES, June 29, 2015. “Tiger’s Lair: Inside Vanguard Founder Jack Bogle’s Busy Office.” Some insightful comments. But one more photo of my desk chair—empty—gives me the willies.

3. MARKET WATCH, June 18, 2015. “ . . . Insight that triples retirement returns.” Solid insights by Mitch Tuchman, focused on one of Vanguard’s founding principles: Seek “relative predictability” (to comparable peers) in fund performance, and win with our huge cost advantage.

4. BUSINESS INSIDER, July 8, 2015. “Investing pros John Bogle, Warren Buffett, and Charlie Munger all agree on the best way for the average person to invest.” (I don’t think I need tell you what that way is!) It’s always fun to have Vanguard 500 Index Fund endorsed by experienced experts such as Warren and Charlie.

Enjoy! Hope you are having a good summer.


Memo to Veterans and Principals
Mike - Dec 08, 2015

A Sense of History
The Battle of Waterloo – 200th Anniversary, June 18, 2015

The long and connected history of Vanguard and Wellington now goes back almost 87 years, to Wellington Fund’s founding on December 28, 1928.

When I worked at Wellington Management (until being dismissed as CEO on January 23, 1974), the history of the Duke of Wellington and the battles of his armies across Europe during the Napoleonic Wars were told and retold, and our offices were peppered with engravings of those encounters. “The Iron Duke” was a remarkable warrior, revered by Wellington Fund founder Walter L. Morgan and the inspiration for the Fund’s name.

I still remember the visit to our Locust Street office by the fourth (I think) Duke of Wellington, on a Saturday morning circa 1962. I was entrusted with the honor of opening the front door and welcoming the Duke, a gracious fellow whose meeting with Mr. Morgan seemed to me as natural and jolly as a reunion of two long-separated gentlemen friends.

The Wellington Name

Wellington’s history—and the Wellington name—was precious to Mr. Morgan, and became precious to me. But, in the battle to create a successor firm to Wellington Management Company that would operate Wellington Fund and its sister funds, the Fund’s directors made the decision to allow the management company to keep the “Wellington” name, rather than award it to the new firm (i.e., “The Wellington Group of Investment Companies”).

I was furious with this (to me) wrong-headed—even irrational and stupid—decision, and threatened to resign as chairman and president of the funds. But I calmed down, and was persuaded by lead independent director Charles D. Root, Jr. to stay on as the Funds’ chairman and president. Chuck Root’s challenge to me was clear: “Jack, call your new company by any name you want. And then go out and make it the finest name in the mutual fund industry.”

The Vanguard Name

I wasn’t sure what name to select for the new firm. But through a remarkable series of coincidences (most of you know the story—it’s told in several of my books and speeches—so I’ll not repeat it here), opportunity struck. Without consultation or professional assistance, I chose the name “Vanguard” for the new firm, a name not only meaning “leader in a new trend,” but closely linked to “Wellington” in British history during the Napoleonic War era.

• HMS Vanguard – Lord Nelson’s flagship at the great victory over Napoleon’s fleet at the Battle of the Nile in 1798, emblematic of the triumph of Great Britain on the seas.

• Wellington – The Iron Duke who fought Napoleon’s armies throughout Europe during the early part of the 19th century, culminating in his great triumph at the battle of Waterloo in 1815. Britain’s triumph on the land changed the course of European history.

Linking The Names

Admiral Nelson and the Duke of Wellington (Arthur Wellesley) meet only once, a meeting memorialized by a large etching, a copy of which reposes in my office. Also in my office are a matched pair of large antique prints, one showing the death of Nelson, shot by a sniper at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1872; the other showing the triumph of Wellington at Waterloo. Ironically, these two giants of the British Empire are also linked in death. Their catafalques rest adjacent to one another in the crypt at London’s magnificent St. Paul’s Cathedral.

The 200th Anniversary of Waterloo

I use this occasion to remind each member of our crew of the derivation of the two distinguished and heroic names that have defined our long existence—a fighting spirit, a commitment to our fellow crewmembers, the mission to honor our heritage.

Yes, let’s not forget our proud history; let’s keep it alive and live its values. Yes, much of our work is humble and technical, but our character and conduct must emulate the touchstones of our heritage. “Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet, lest we forget—lest we forget.” (Kipling)