1. Greatest Investors: Introduction
  2. The Greatest Investors: John (Jack) Bogle
  3. The Greatest Investors: Warren Buffett
  4. The Greatest Investors: David Dreman
  5. The Greatest Investors: Philip Fisher
  6. The Greatest Investors: Benjamin Graham
  7. The Greatest Investors: William H. Gross
  8. The Greatest Investors: Carl Icahn
  9. The Greatest Investors: Jesse L. Livermore
  10. The Greatest Investors: Peter Lynch
  11. The Greatest Investors: Bill Miller
  12. The Greatest Investors: John Neff
  13. The Greatest Investors: William J. O'Neil
  14. The Greatest Investors: Julian Robertson
  15. The Greatest Investors: Thomas Rowe Price, Jr.
  16. The Greatest Investors: James D. Slater
  17. The Greatest Investors: George Soros
  18. The Greatest Investors: Michael Steinhardt
  19. The Greatest Investors: John Templeton
  20. The Greatest Investors: Ralph Wanger
John (Jack) Bogle

Born: May 8, 1929 (Verona, New Jersey)

Key Positions: Vanguard Group (founder)

Personal History:
Jack Bogle grew up in a family that had been deeply affected by the Great Depression. As a student of economics at Princeton University, Bogle focused on mutual funds; he graduated magna cum laude in 1951 with a senior thesis entitled "The Economic Role of the Investment Company." This early work contributed to Bogle's lifelong investment philosophy, later career, and eventual development of the index mutual fund.

Bogle worked at Wellington Management from 1951 to 1974, where he quickly rose through the ranks. Bogle famously challenged Wellington's strategy of concentrating its investment efforts on a single fund. In 1974, Bogle founded the Vanguard Group mutual fund company. With Vanguard 500, debuted in 1976, Bogle pioneered index investing as a low-cost, high-return option for investors outside of the wealthiest echelons of the financial world. Bogle also championed the no-load mutual fund.

Bogle served as CEO and chairman of Vanguard until 1999, when he retired from his active role. In the same year, Fortune named Bogle one of the four "investment giants" of the 20th century. Bogle remained on as the president of Vanguard's Bogle Financial Markets Research Center, where he has maintained an active post-investment career as an author and speaker on a variety of financial matters.

In "The Vanguard Experiment: John Bogle's Quest to Transform the Mutual Fund Industry" (1996), biographer Robert Slater describes Bogle's life as "evolutionary, iconoclastic and uncompromisingly committed to his founding principles of putting the interests of the investor first and constructively criticizing the fund industry for practices that run counter to low-cost, client-oriented mutual fund investing."

Investment Philosophy:
As the creator of the broad-based index mutual fund, Bogle focused much of his attention on low-cost and low-turnover funds that are passively managed. With an eye toward helping individual investors to grow their assets, Bogle has recommended the following considerations:

  • A focus on simplicity in investment strategy (not rebalancing asset allocation too frequently, for instance)
  • The reduction of costs and expenses associated with investments
  • Consideration of the long-term investment horizon
  • A reliance on rational analysis and an avoidance of emotions in the investment decision-making process
  • The universality of index investing as an appropriate strategy for individual investors

Bogle's own portfolio has maintained a strict focus on U.S. markets. This has drawn some criticism and confusion from contemporary investors, but Bogle has long asserted that his approach is not U.S.-centric, but rather that he invests in what he knows best, and U.S. companies best fit that description.

Noteworthy Publications:

  • "Bogle On Mutual Funds" by John C. Bogle (1994)
  • "Common Sense On Mutual Funds: New Imperatives For The Intelligent Investor" by John C. Bogle (1999)
  • "John Bogle On Investing: The First 50 Years" by John C. Bogle (2000)
  • "The Little Book Of Common Sense Investing: The Only Way To Guarantee Your Fair Share Of Stock Market Returns" by John C. Bogle (2007)
  • "Clash of the Cultures: Investment vs. Speculation" by John C. Bogle (2012)
  • "The Vanguard Experiment: John Bogle's Quest To Transform The Mutual Fund Industry" by Robert Slater (1996)

Bogle Quotes:

"[It's] 100% economics in the stock market and 0% emotions."

"Time is your friend; impulse is your enemy."

"If you have trouble imagining a 20% loss in the stock market, you shouldn't be in stocks."

"When reward is at its pinnacle, risk is near at hand."

The Greatest Investors: Warren Buffett
Related Articles
  1. Investing

    Jack Bogle Advises to Cut it Out With ETFs

    The founder of the Vanguard Group and the index fund cautions against ETFs.
  2. Investing

    Jack Bogle Doesn't Think You Should Get Cozy With ETFs

    Bogle likes index ETFs, but he doesn't think that using them as trading vehicles or as ways to beat the market is a sound investing strategy.
  3. Investing

    The Index Fund Turns 40

    Forty years ago, after losing his job at an investment firm, Vanguard founder Jack Bogle launched the world's first index fund.
  4. Investing

    Vanguard Founder Bogle Blames Hedge and Mutual Funds for "Excuses"

    The father of the index fund says stop blaming "straw men" for poor fund performance.
  5. Financial Advisor

    Vanguard's Bogle: The SEC Should Issue Its Own Fiduciary Rule

    Vanguard founder John Bogle says that the SEC should have been “the first in line” to issue a fiduciary rule instead of the DOL.
  6. Retirement

    The Vanguard Effect: Lower Expenses, Higher Returns

    Vanguard distinguishes itself by being the low-cost provider in a crowded field of mutual funds and ETFs.
  7. Investing

    Vanguard Mutual Funds Overview (VFINX, VFIAX)

    Learn about Vanguard Mutual Funds, including its history, investment management philosophy, client base, mutual fund offerings, leadership and more.
  8. Investing

    Are Vanguard Funds Good for Your Portfolio? An Unbiased Review

    Find out why funds offered by Vanguard, the leading provider of low-cost mutual funds, index funds and ETFs, are good for your portfolio.
  9. Trading

    Fund Costs and Expenses

    How much a fund charges for its services is the most important indicator of how well it will perform.
Frequently Asked Questions
  1. What is the formula for calculating earnings per share (EPS)?

    Learn why earnings per share (EPS) is often considered to be one of the most important variables in determining a stock’s ...
  2. What is the formula for calculating internal rate of return (IRR) in Excel?

    Understand how to calculate the internal rate of return (IRR) using Excel and how this metric is used to determine anticipated ...
  3. What is the formula for calculating net present value (NPV) in Excel?

    Understand how net present value is used to estimate the anticipated profitability of projects or investments, and how to ...
  4. Why are IRA, Roth IRAs and 401(k) contributions limited?

    Find out why contributions to IRA, Roth IRA and 401(k) retirement savings plans are limited by the IRS, including what the ...
Trading Center