John Bogle

From Bogleheads
John Clifton Bogle
John Bogle. Photo by Paul (sddiehard)
BornMay 8, 1929
Montclair, New Jersey
DiedJanuary 16, 2019 (89 years old)
Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania
Alma materPrinceton University
OccupationBusinessman, executive, author
Known forFounder of The Vanguard Group
Notable work
Common Sense on Mutual Funds
The Little Book of Common Sense Investing

John C. (Jack) Bogle (1929 - 2019), after whom the Bogleheads® are named, was founder of the Vanguard Group and creator of the world's first retail index mutual fund. He wrote several investing books, and after retiring from the Vanguard Group in 2000, worked tirelessly as an investor advocate. He was president of the Bogle Financial Markets Research Center, whose website contained comprehensive biographical information, as well as a list of books authored and the texts of speeches delivered.[note 1] Among his latest books are The Clash of the Cultures: Investment vs. Speculation (2012) and Stay the Course (2018). John Bogle died on January 16, 2019.

Followers of John Bogle's investment philosophy admire him not just for his eloquence in tirelessly speaking and writing about the importance of fees and advantages of indexing, but in his conscious decision in the creation of The Vanguard Group not to enrich himself at the expense of consumers.

Vanguard is unusual among mutual fund companies since it is owned by the funds themselves. The company says that this structure better orients management towards shareholder interests. Other mutual fund sponsors are expected simultaneously to make a profit for their outside owners and provide the most cost-effective service to funds for their shareholders.


Early life and schooling

John C. Bogle was born on May 8, 1929 to William Yates Bogle, Jr. and Josephine Lorraine Hipkins in Montclair, New Jersey. The family's fortunes were wiped out during the Depression. During his childhood, John Bogle contributed to the family finances by delivering newspapers and magazines and working at an ice cream parlor. During his teens, he worked summers for the U.S post office.

John Bogle was educated at Blair Academy, where he graduated, cum laude, in May 1947. He attended Princeton University, where he graduated magna cum laude in Economics, due in part to a 123 page thesis, The Economic Role of the Investment Company.[1][2][note 2]

Business career

In June 1951, he joined the Wellington Management Company when he was hired by company founder Walter Morgan. Morgan transferred management of the company to John Bogle in 1965 by naming him executive vice president.

In 1966, John Bogle merged the company with the Boston based investment counseling firm of Thorndike, Doran, Paine and Lewis, managers of the Ivest Fund. A corporate dispute led to him being fired from the firm on January 23, 1974. He appealed to the Wellington Company's mutual funds' board of directors to retain him as the funds' chairman and CEO. The board agreed, and a settlement was reached whereby a new firm, Vanguard, was established (May 1, 1975).[1][3]

Over the next two years John Bogle began to implement his vision of mutual fund management. The fledgling firm was established as a mutual organization, with the mutual funds (and by extension, fund shareholders) owning the management company. This structure is designed so that the management company can provide services to the funds at cost and conflicts of interest can be reduced.[4][note 3] In 1976, he created the first index fund available to retail investors, Vanguard Index Trust (now known as Vanguard 500 Index Fund). In 1977, the firm abandoned broker distribution and moved to no-load fund distribution. The year also saw the creation of a series of defined maturity bond funds (short-term, intermediate-term, and long-term).[4]

John Bogle led Vanguard from 1975 to 1996. He remained a senior chairman of the firm until 2000 when, upon reaching mandatory retirement age, he stepped down from any management role. After retiring he founded the Bogle Financial Markets Research Center.

Writing career

In addition to his business career, John Bogle wrote extensively. He produced articles for The Journal of Portfolio Management and the Financial Analysts Journal.

In 1993, John Bogle published his first book, Bogle on Mutual Funds: New Perspectives for the Intelligent Investor. Ten additional books followed; one of which, Common Sense on Mutual Funds: New Imperatives for the Intelligent Investor (1999), received a fully updated anniversary edition in 2009.

In his books, John Bogle consistently argues for the superiority of index funds over actively managed funds and over the primacy of low cost investing. He argues that investors should simplify investment decisions; maintain a long term perspective on markets; and, having once established a diversified portfolio, remain disciplined by holding tight and staying the course.[5]


  1. After John Bogle died, Vanguard stopped hosting the Bogle Financial Markets Research Center. Most of the information regarding John Bogle, including downloadable links to many of John Bogle's articles and speeches can be found at the Bogle eBlog.
  2. Excerpts from John Bogle's thesis are available at "The Economic Role of the Investment Company". February 28, 2012. Archived from the original on October 25, 2021. Retrieved June 2, 2023.
  3. The SEC gave final approval of Vanguard's mutual form of business organization in 1981. See The Culture That Gave Rise To The Current Financial Crisis, John C. Bogle.

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 "John Bogle". American National Business Hall of Fame. Retrieved June 2, 2023.
  2. Slater, Robert (October 1, 1996). John Bogle and the Vanguard Experiment. McGraw-Hill. pp. 1–7. ISBN 978-0-7863-0559-9.
  3. Slater, Robert (October 1, 1996). John Bogle and the Vanguard Experiment. McGraw-Hill. pp. 28–39. ISBN 978-0-7863-0559-9.
  4. 4.0 4.1 John Bogle (February 27, 2007). "Vanguard: Saga of Heroes" (PDF). Retrieved June 2, 2023.
  5. Allen Roth (August 20, 2012). "John Bogle's 10 rules of investing". CBS News. Retrieved June 2, 2023.

External links


John Bogle discusses his book, The Battle for the Soul of Capitalism, with Dean Lawrence R Velvel, July 1, 2009.