There have been so many press articles written about Vanguard, my new book, and my career that I don’t feel comfortable sending all of the stories to you. Instead, I’m attaching to this note six ofthe most prominent articles, and then posting the others on my eblog–In The Press.
2. Main Line Today, October 2012, “You Don’t Know Jack.” (But you will know him-a bit-after you read it.)
3. Inc., October, 2012, “The Finance Industry’s Only Living Saint.” (Over the top!)
4. Philadelphia Inquirer, December 9,2012. “Antidote to Market Mania: ‘Hold Tight.’ ” (Nice preview of Michael Smerconish’s Book Club gathering at Villanova last week. Full house.)
5. Research Magazine, October 2012. “How John Bogle Really Sees ETFs.” (More accurate than most characterizations of my views.)
6. Index Universe, September 28,2012. “The Clash of the Cultures .. . is the latest and perhaps best book by the … founder ofThe Vanguard Group.”
If that’s not, well, Enough for you, I have also posted the following on my eblog: “The Scourge of Speculation” (FIX Global); “Dim View of the Asset-Management Industry” (U S News and World Report); a comprehensive book review (Financial Analysts Journal); “Best Books for an Investing Novice,” (The Wall Street Journal,) selecting The Little Book of Common Sense Investing; “Forget Trading, Start Investing,” (Money-Life Show, Chuck Jaffe); “Fund Directors (Secret) Holdings” and “Bold Commitment and Personal Magic,” (Directors and Boards); “Bogle Walks the Talk,” (Corporate Board Member); “Bogle’s Lament for Investing’s Culture Clash,” (Toronto Globe and Mail); and-finally!-”Long Live Buy and Hold” (Investment Advisor).
You’ll enjoy the surprising Editor’s Note at the end of this final story, a nice way to end this huge compilation. The good news : there’s almost nothing left to be said!
Last Thursday, I was honored to be the recipient of the inaugural Humanitarian Award by the Lown Cardiovascular Research Center. It was a gala evening in Boston, before a packed house.
Dr. Lown, my cardiologist from 1967 through 1987, helped me to survive for two decades between my first heart attack in 1960 and my heart transplant in 1996. He is the inventor of the cardioverter (for shocking failed hearts back to life) as well as a winner of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1985. This citizen of the world, now 91, remains an articulate and passionate phrasemaker, as you’ll see from his remarks at the presentation of the award. I’ve also attached my words of response.
The evening was well supported by numerous mutual fund managers. GMO’s Jeremy Grantham was the keynote speaker and numerous (past and present) officials of Wellington Management, Granaham Management, and other fund advisers were in attendance.
I must repeat my usual disclaimer. I am reluctant (and more than a little embarrassed) to circulate commentaries like these on my long career, but well aware that if I don’t do so myself it won’t get done. But so many of you have expressed appreciation for these notes in the past that I’ll continue the practice. These attachments may help you to better understand the great struggle that was required to build Vanguard.
As one who wrote a book entitled Enough., I’m wondering whether my mission to serve investors hasn’t now gotten “enough” attention in this 60th year of my career.
I raise this (delightful) concern following the “JCB Legacy Day” celebration on Wall Street three weeks ago, for this morning I received a copy of the current issue of Journal of Indexes, devoted almost entirely to my work-”The Bogle Issue.”
It includes comments from a wide range of industry participants about my role in making the financial world-and especially the mutual fund world-a better place for investors. Particularly interesting are the kind comments of our own Gus Sauter and Burt Malkiel, and the analysis of Chris Philips in “The Case for Indexing.” (Thanks, group!)
I’m attaching just a few excerpts from the 64 pages(!) published in JOI, including the crossword puzzle (pretty exciting to have that!).
I’ll get some extra copies of “The Bogle Issue” for those who want to see more of it … though I expect that most of you will find these attachments “enough.”
Yesterday, a star-studded group of our nation’s investment leaders celebrated my 60th anniversary in the financial field. “The John C. Bogle Legacy Forum” took place at the Museum of American Finance on Wall Street, and I must tell you that this recognition delighted my soul (even as I was embarrassed that, despite my good intentions, my pride sometimes peeped out).
I’m pleased to attach a few items that you might enjoy:
You should know that I had to overcome my extreme reluctance to circulate this summary of a true “red-letter” day in my life and career. But there’s no other way to inform the many ofyou who care, and for that I am in your eternal debt.
Next Monday and Tuesday (and possibly Wednesday), CBS Evening News will present excerpts from a group interview yesterday on the problems facing America, our nation’s challenges and our hopes. The interview was conducted by new anchor Scott Pelley (moving over from “60 Minutes”). He did, I thought, a really outstanding job. I was honored to be part of the ten-person panel – a diverse group of citizens of various ages, genders, races, and backgrounds. If you happen to catch any of the shows, I’d be interested in your reaction.
Last Friday, Michael Smerconish wrote a generous column in The Philadelphia Inquirer, discussing my reaction to the “Occupy Wall Street” movement and its many aspects. In case you missed it, a copy is attached. (Not sure about being called a “patrician.”)
Virtually every day, I receive complimentary letters about Vanguard and my long career. I couldn’t possibly circulate all of them, but I just received a very special one. It comes from James Grant, publisher of Grant’s Interest Rate Observer and host of a well-attended and prestigious semi-annual forum for senior money managers. Their reaction to Jim’s interview with me was truly remarkable. He describes it in his lovely letter, also attached.
Thanks to you all for doing the exceptional work you do. Happily, much of it continues to reflect on me.
I’m attaching a copy of my speech to the NMS Investment Management Forum, presented to a packed house of some 400 endowment fund and pension fund officers in Washington, D.C., last Monday, September 12.
It includes a discussion of endowment fund investment policy; a comparison of endowment fund returns with the model index fund portfolio (50 percent stocks, 50 percent bonds) that I recommended 15 years ago in an essay for the Common Fund; and a forecast of future stock and bond returns. It also includes commentary about the risks involved in the greatly expanded use of alternative investments, now the dominant portion of endowment portfolios.
If these subjects interest you, I think you’ll enjoy the talk.
Note 1: On Monday September 19, I’ll be doing a full hour—from 1PM to 2PM—on CNBC’s “Power Lunch,” with Tyler Mathisen. We’ll be talking about current issues, including Vanguard’s growth and industry position, index funds, and today’s financial markets.
Note 2: The endowment fund speech, along with most of my other speeches, interviews, etc. have all been posted on my Bogle eblog—www.johncbogle.com.
I’m attaching a copy of a Wall Street Journal interview with me by Jason Zweig that appeared in the WSJ last Saturday, September 10. I think you’ll enjoy the perspective.
The interview arose from a request by the WSJ for a taped conversation with Jason Zweig for wsj.com. That interview took place last Wednesday and began to run over the weekend on the web.
I’m told it got the second highest number of “hits” (or whatever the right formulation is) in the WSJ website over the weekend. The first tape ran on Saturday and you might enjoy that too (warning: it runs about 20 minutes). If you have time, you might want to give it a glance.
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.
After Sixty Years of Past Service, Looking to the Future
I can still remember my first day on the job at our predecessor company (Wellington Management). It was July 5, 1951, as I walked into our offices at 1420 Walnut Street in Philadelphia, where Wellington employed about 60 people. I had the same aspirations and apprehensions that any young person would feel. It was my first full-time job, but I’d been working at part-time jobs year-round since I was about ten years old, and also worked while attending Blair Academy and Princeton University. So I knew what work was all about—doing whatever job I was assigned to the best of my ability; seeking and accepting responsibility; always doing more than was expected of me; and treating those with whom I worked with kindness and trust.
That proved to be a pretty sound framework for my long career, and served me well through times of accomplishment as well as times of failure; of keen perceptions and embarrassing misjudgments; of days of hearty health and days of illness, often severe. But you know most of these vicissitudes, for I’ve written about them all in my voluminous outpouring of essays, speeches, and books. I’m already working on yet another: The Clash of the Cultures: Investment vs. Speculation, continuing my role as Vanguard ambassador and investor advocate, with “Common Sense” as my theme.
Vanguard at 100
But at this 60-year milestone, I’m less interested in looking back than looking forward. In fact, I’m already thinking about Vanguard’s 100th Anniversary, dating back to the founding of our first fund, Wellington Fund, on December 28, 1928. Coincidentally, I recently came across a speech I gave way back in 1992 entitled “Vanguard: The First Century.” That was a brassy (maybe even arrogant) theme, for remarkably few companies in the annuals of American business and finance have passed that stern test.
In the near-two-decade span since I gave that speech, virtually all of my predictions for us have been met, as you’ll see. (EXHIBIT A includes excerpts from that speech.) I’m confident that—with our strong human values and our simple investment strategies—the (mere!) 17 years that remain before Vanguard’s first century is completed will be an era of continuing growth and service to investors.
IBM At 100
When we reach Vanguard’s 100-year milestone in 2028, how will we look at ourselves? One possible example emerged only a few weeks ago, when IBM reached that mark. In a four page advertisement in The Wall Street Journal, this extraordinary technology company described what it took to get there. (Excerpts are attached in EXHIBIT B.) I’m sure you’ll be struck, as I was, at the many parallels between our corporate cultures, our philosophies of service, and our structures of independence. (I hope someone here will file that ad away and exhume it early in 2028!)
This industry will likely look far different when 2028 rolls around. But at the moment, our strategies and structure—implemented by the astonishing commitment, professionalism, and loyalty of our crew—have made us the industry leader. Yes, “uneasy lies the head that wears the crown,” but even as we have grasped the mantle of leadership, it will take all of our wisdom, character and steadfastness to hang on to it.
It has been the thrill of a lifetime to work with such a great group of colleagues over all of these years. Thanks to you all, and best always. “Press On, Regardless!”