In our latest Masters in Business podcast, we speak with Jack Bogle, founder of the $3.5 trillion dollar Vanguard Group, creator of the index fund, and all around investing legend.
Bogle tells the fascinating story of Vanguard’s origins. At the time, he was Chairman of the Wellington Funds, and due to a disastrous merger, was fired from that role. He found a niche within the asset management group running Wellington’s what he describes as unmanaged funds. This was the first equity index fund — Bogle later created the first bond index fund as well — and he named the new management company company for the HMS Vanguard, flying Rear Admiral Sir Horatio Nelson’s flag.
Bogle discusses Wall Street’s initial response to index funds, explains why no one ever really decided to compete with Vanguard, and holds a master class on the proper way to invest.
In our MiB interviews, we usually come prepared with 5 broad topic areas and over 50 questions I use to guide the conversation. Bogle, however, is a force of nature, and after gamely trying to say on script for about 12 minutes, I quickly gave up, satisfied to merely have an amazing conversation with one of the most legendary personalities in all of finance.
Next week, we speak with Bethany McClean, financial journalist, and author of The Smartest Guys in the Room: The Amazing Rise and Scandalous Fall of Enron.