They called his quixotic little mutual fund “Bogle’s Folly,” “a sure path to mediocrity” and even “un-American” after he introduced it in 1976. But Vanguard founder John C. Bogle – who died Wednesday, Jan. 16, at age 89 – had the last laugh.
Vanguard has grown into a $5.3 trillion juggernaut with 16,600 employees worldwide, making it one of the world’s largest investment companies. And what has fueled (and continues to fuel) its long-lasting growth is low-cost investing, in general, and the index fund, in particular.
Bogle’s many admirers called him “Saint Jack” for his efforts to slash investing costs. His thoughts and investing lessons inspired a popular investment website, Bogleheads.org, which describes itself as offering “investing advice inspired by John Bogle.” He authored numerous books, almost all after leaving Vanguard in 1999, and they all made the same basic point: Costs are virtually everything in investing, and index funds are the best way to deliver low costs.
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