Vanguard Founder on Staying Positive

Retired for 18 years, Jack Bogle stays busy with correspondence and writing.

Mar 13, 2014 at 2:00PM

John C. Bogle is the founder and retired CEO of The Vanguard Group, the largest mutual-fund organization in the world, with more than 160 mutual funds and current assets totaling more than $1.4 trillion. Since his retirement from Vanguard in 1996, Bogle has spent his time studying, writing, and speaking on the financial markets and mutual funds. He is president of the Bogle Financial Markets Research Center, created in 2000 to support his ongoing work on behalf of investors.

In this video segment, Bogle shares his views on optimism in the face of adversity and mentions the many projects he's been involved with recently, including upcoming articles in The Journal of Portfolio Management and the Financial Analysts Journal.

We hope you enjoyed this exclusive interview with Jack Bogle, the father of index funds himself.

If you did, it may surprise you to learn that over the past two years, Motley Fool co-founder and CEO Tom Gardner has sat down with dozens of the world's brightest investors and business minds on behalf of his Motley Fool ONE members -- we're talking true American legends like Whole Foods Co-CEO John Mackey, Costco founder Jim Sinegal, and Chipotle Co-CEO Monty Moran.

On March 20, this "crown jewel" service will reopen to new members for only the third time ever. And to celebrate, Tom would like to offer you a front-row seat to watch these visionaries share the keen insights and unparalleled business acumen that got them to where they are in life.

Even if you aren't an investor, the business lessons you'll take from these conversations are priceless. So please click here to access our Motley Fool ONE member lobby and our entire collection of these interviews absolutely FREE of charge!

Tom Gardner: My final question: How are you spending your time now? An incredible part of your story -- which we haven't talked about here but we've talked about on the radio -- is your human heart. How old is your heart right now?

Jack Bogle: Well, I got my heart when it was 26 and I've had it for almost 18 years.

Gardner: A year younger than I am.

Bogle: Forty-two. But I'm starting to feel a little more like 84. The trail in recent years has been a little difficult -- the physical trail. I've had some very profoundly serious problems and long hospitalizations, but you go into them optimistically. My wife is a powerful support, and my kids are wonderful. You get over the bumps. You're always optimistic.

The idea when you go into a hospital again is they put you down on the gurney and you just go, "Here we go again." Like the whole business with the transplant, my reaction is just the same, Tom.

If I thought jumping up and down on the kitchen table and screaming and yelling about the unfairness of life would help my condition, I would do it! But it occurs to me it would make it even worse. So you kind of go along. You speak out with honesty. I'm not trying to say something to hurt somebody, but I'm not going to agree with something I don't agree with. I think Vanguard benefits from that immensely.

The shareholders -- I'm still close to a lot of them. I still get a lot of correspondence. I'm still writing a lot. I have an article about to come out in The Journal of Portfolio Management, another article about to come out in the Financial Analysts Journal, a foreword to a book about Paul Cabot, one of the founders of the industry, and a book about John Maynard Keynes published by, I think, Oxford University Press, in which I write the final chapter, called "Adam Smith and Capitalism." And I did a foreword for John Wasik's book on John Maynard Keynes as an investor.

So, I've got Keynes. I've got Adam Smith. I've got one of the industry's founders, and I've got two academic articles, and I'm starting to worry that I'm going to run out of things to do.

Gardner: I don't think that's possible, Jack! Any time you need any extra work that you'd want to do, just come hang out with Fools.

Bogle: OK. Well, you've been a good Fool, Tom.

Gardner: Well, it all started with "Bogle's Folly."

Bogle: We're associated.

Gardner: We're bound by name. Jack Bogle. Thank you so much for taking time. We could continue this conversation for another hour, but let's let you get on with your day.

Bogle: But we tire.

Gardner: Thanks, Jack.

Bogle: Thanks, Tom, very much.

John Mackey, co-CEO of Whole Foods Market, is a member of The Motley Fool’s board of directors. Tom Gardner owns shares of Chipotle Mexican Grill and Whole Foods Market. The Motley Fool recommends Chipotle Mexican Grill, Costco Wholesale, and Whole Foods Market. The Motley Fool owns shares of Chipotle Mexican Grill, Costco Wholesale, and Whole Foods Market. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

1 Key Step to Get Rich

Our mission at The Motley Fool is to help the world invest better. Whether that’s helping people overcome their fear of stocks all the way to offering clear and successful guidance on complicated-sounding options trades, we can help.

Feb 1, 2016 at 4:54PM

To be perfectly clear, this is not a get-rich action that my Foolish colleagues and I came up with. But we wouldn't argue with the approach.

A 2015 Business Insider article titled, "11 websites to bookmark if you want to get rich" rated The Motley Fool as the #1 place online to get smarter about investing.

"The Motley Fool aims to build a strong investment community, which it does by providing a variety of resources: the website, books, a newspaper column, a radio [show], and [newsletters]," wrote (the clearly insightful and talented) money reporter Kathleen Elkins. "This site has something for every type of investor, from basic lessons for beginners to investing commentary on mutual funds, stock sectors, and value for the more advanced."

Our mission at The Motley Fool is to help the world invest better, so it's nice to receive that kind of recognition. It lets us know we're doing our job.

Whether that's helping the entirely uninitiated overcome their fear of stocks all the way to offering clear and successful guidance on complicated-sounding options trades, we want to provide our readers with a boost to the next step on their journey to financial independence.

Articles and beyond

As Business Insider wrote, there are a number of resources available from the Fool for investors of all levels and styles.

In addition to the dozens of free articles we publish every day on our website, I want to highlight two must-see spots in your tour of fool.com.

For the beginning investor

Investing can seem like a Big Deal to those who have yet to buy their first stock. Many investment professionals try to infuse the conversation with jargon in order to deter individual investors from tackling it on their own (and to justify their often sky-high fees).

But the individual investor can beat the market. The real secret to investing is that it doesn't take tons of money, endless hours, or super-secret formulas that only experts possess.

That's why we created a best-selling guide that walks investors-to-be through everything they need to know to get started. And because we're so dedicated to our mission, we've made that available for free.

If you're just starting out (or want to help out someone who is), go to www.fool.com/beginners, drop in your email address, and you'll be able to instantly access the quick-read guide ... for free.

For the listener

Whether it's on the stationary exercise bike or during my daily commute, I spend a lot of time going nowhere. But I've found a way to make that time benefit me.

The Motley Fool offers five podcasts that I refer to as "binge-worthy financial information."

Motley Fool Money features a team of our analysts discussing the week's top business and investing stories, interviews, and an inside look at the stocks on our radar. It's also featured on several dozen radio stations across the country.

The hosts of Motley Fool Answers challenge the conventional wisdom on life's biggest financial issues to reveal what you really need to know to make smart money moves.

David Gardner, co-founder of The Motley Fool, is among the most respected and trusted sources on investing. And he's the host of Rule Breaker Investing, in which he shares his insights into today's most innovative and disruptive companies ... and how to profit from them.

Market Foolery is our daily look at stocks in the news, as well as the top business and investing stories.

And Industry Focus offers a deeper dive into a specific industry and the stories making headlines. Healthcare, technology, energy, consumer goods, and other industries take turns in the spotlight.

They're all informative, entertaining, and eminently listenable ... and I don't say that simply because the hosts all sit within a Nerf-gun shot of my desk. Rule Breaker Investing and Answers contain timeless advice, so you might want to go back to the beginning with those. The other three take their cues from the market, so you'll want to listen to the most recent first. All are available at www.fool.com/podcasts.

But wait, there's more

The book and the podcasts – both free ... both awesome – also come with an ongoing benefit. If you download the book, or if you enter your email address in the magical box at the podcasts page, you'll get ongoing market coverage sent straight to your inbox.

Investor Insights is valuable and enjoyable coverage of everything from macroeconomic events to investing strategies to our analyst's travels around the world to find the next big thing. Also free.

Get the book. Listen to a podcast. Sign up for Investor Insights. I'm not saying that any of those things will make you rich ... but Business Insider seems to think so.


Compare Brokers