Difference between revisions of "Bogleheads® Conference history"

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Revision as of 04:59, 19 November 2017

Bogleheads® Conference history describes the background of the Bogleheads® Conferences.

Overview

The Bogleheads conferences provide an opportunity for forum members and respected experts to meet in-person and discuss investing. This interaction is encouraged from the start of a conference. Early conferences started with check-in and registration and banquet dinners. Since 2007, conferences open with a social "wine and cheese" reception.

The conferences have provided substantive speeches and presentations from noted investment professionals such as John (“call me Jack") Bogle, Gus Sauter, and a number of officials from the Vanguard Group.

The introduction, presentation and discussion of academic papers was featured at three of the conferences. Question and answer sessions with both Jack Bogle and with a panel of investment experts have become conference staples, as has a non-scripted dialog session between Mr. Bogle and noted author William Bernstein, affectionately known as “The Fireside Chat”.

Over time, the conferences have grown more and more popular, with steady, measured increases in attendance. Conference organizers believe the current level of 200 attendees strikes a nice balance between participation levels and the desire to keep attendance low enough to assure friendly social interaction with Jack Bogle and the other authors and celebrities in attendance.[note 1]

Conference attendance [1]
Conference Attendance Conference Attendance
Diehards I 22 Bogleheads 9 160
Diehards II 50 Bogleheads 10 160
Diehards III 51 Bogleheads 11 180
Diehards IV 71 Bogleheads 12 200
Diehards V 83 Bogleheads 13 200
Diehards VI 117 Bogleheads 14 200
Bogleheads 7 130 Bogleheads 15 200
Bogleheads 8 150 Bogleheads 16 200


The early “reunions”

The first two national meetings were unique in that they were held at the private residences of individuals who participated in the old Vanguard Diehards forum, an investment discussion forum hosted by Morningstar Inc. The social interaction in both of these early meetings firmly established the friendly atmosphere that is a frequently noted special feature of ensuing conferences.

The first meeting, now known as Diehards I, had its start in a Thanksgiving forum posting by prominent poster and author Taylor Larimore. John Bogle so liked this forum topic that he contacted Larimore and suggested a possible meeting. The meeting, organized by Taylor and fellow author Mel Lindauer, took place during the Miami Herald’s Making Money Seminar in March of 2000, where Mr. Bogle was slotted to give a keynote speech.[2]

The meeting took the form of an evening dinner at the Larimore's Miami condo, where 21 forum members met with John Bogle. This dinner meeting was warmly appreciated by all present. [3] The following day, attendees had reserved seating for Bogle’s keynote speech.

Organized dinners would become a standard feature of the first seven conferences.

The impetus for a second meeting came a year later when forum member Dave Kirtland contacted Lindauer with an offer to host a meeting at his family farm in southeast Pennsylvania, near Vanguard. Sadly, Mr. Kirtland died before plans could be made for a meeting. The surviving family, however, insisted on hosting the event in Dave's honor.

This second meeting, Diehards II, was the first multi-day event. Additional novel features of the meeting included the inclusion of a featured speaker, noted financial columnist Jason Zweig [note 2] at the Friday night banquet and a Saturday visit to the Vanguard campus, where John Bogle directed attendees through Vanguard’s board room and trading room. Bogle answered questions after the Vanguard tour; and, later, signed books during an afternoon barbeque lunch at the Kirtland farm.

The successful conclusion of two meetings convinced all involved to make annual national meetings a yearly event.

Conferences linked with public events

The next three Diehards conferences were held in Chicago, Denver, and Las Vegas and were scheduled to coincide with a John Bogle public appearance.

Diehards III was held in Chicago on June 25 -27, 2002 and was hosted by Morningstar. John Bogle was scheduled to be the keynote speaker at the 2002 Morningstar Conference. At the time, the Morningstar Diehards Forum was the largest and most active discussion forum on the Morningstar website. Carl Sibiliski, the moderator of the forum, approached the conference organizers with an invitation from Morningstar to host the Diehards third reunion. The invitation was accepted. Morningstar handled the conference logistics and arrangements.

Diehards III introduced two elements that were to become standard for subsequent conferences. For the first time the conference held a panel discussion along with a question and answer session. The panel included John Bogle, authors William Bernstein and Larry Swedroe, and Don Phillips, managing director of Morningstar. After this panel session, John Bogle stated that the panel was the smartest panel he had ever been a part of. [4]. The second new feature was a separate book signing session.

Conferences around the country

The Philadelphia conferences

Notes

  1. The current Conference organizing team consists of Mel Lindauer and wife Marlene, Gail Cox, from Dallas/Ft. Worth, Paul and Linda Globerson from San Diego, Ed and Patti Rager from the DC local chapter, and Mel and Kathy Turner from San Diego.
  2. Jason Zweig wrote about his experience at the Diehards II meeting in his Money Magazine article, Here Come the Bogleheads

References

  1. Google sheet: Bogleheads Conference attendance
  2. A Thanksgiving to Remember
  3. See:
  4. Larimore, Taylor; Lindauer, Mel; Ferri, Richard A. et al., eds. (2009). The Bogleheads Guide to Retirement Planning. John Wiley & Sons. p. 324. ISBN 978-0470919019.