It's Answers' third annual Loofie Awards! Alison Southwick and Robert Brokamp are joined in the studio by Matt Argersinger, Aaron Bush, and Tim Hanson to highlight their picks and pans in the investing arena.
Among the investing greats, Jack Bogle stands out. In this segment, Robert awards Bogle the Loofie Lifetime Achievement award for his lifelong commitment to serving investors.
A full transcript follows the video.
This video was recorded on April 3, 2018.
Alison Southwick: We have a Lifetime Achievement Award to give out.
Robert Brokamp: We do.
Southwick: And that is the honor of Bro.
Brokamp: It is. In considering who should win this award, I considered who devoted their whole lifetime serving investors and whose influence would go on for years after this person passed away. For me, the easy answer to this is Jack Bogle, the founder of Vanguard Group and the father of the index fund. <Yay! Woo hoo! Applause.>
Early on, Bogle recognized the difficulty that the average mutual fund would have in beating the market. He wrote his college thesis about how most mutual funds don't beat the market.
He graduates. Joins a company called Wellington. Becomes its CEO but gets fired in 1974 because of an ill-advised merger. He said it was embarrassing and he was immature to make that decision, but if he hadn't been fired, he wouldn't have gone on to found Vanguard.
Which he did in 1975 with 11 actively managed funds. It started off without an index fund, but the index fund came in 1976. They were hoping to raise $150 million. They only raised $11 million. The folks who were helping him launch it wanted to close the fund, but he said no and that he wanted to stick with it. Years later, he we are. Right now, Vanguard manages $4.5 trillion dollars, second in the world behind BlackRock. About 30% of global assets are indexed nowadays.
But the other thing I like about Jack Bogle in terms of lifetime achievement is that he's remained very active throughout his life. I found this interview with him from 2007. Someone asked him what someone should do if they're going to retire in 20 years and his reply [and this was back when he was 78] was, "People are retiring later in life. I'm 13 years past 65 and I still have plenty of energy to work every day. I got up at 05:30 this morning in New York and was ready for an 08:30 meeting in Philadelphia. If I can do it, I don't see why everyone else can't, either." Now he's 88. He has a little more trouble traveling, but that didn't prevent him from having a front row seat at last year's Berkshire Hathaway Annual Meeting.
I will conclude a little bit about Bogle with something Warren Buffett wrote about Bogle in the 2016 Annual Letter. Buffett wrote, "If a statue is ever erected to honor the person who has done the most for American investors, the hands-down choice should be Jack Bogle. For decades Jack has urged investors to invest in ultra-low-cost index funds. In his early years, Jack was frequently mocked by the investment management industry. Today, however, he has the satisfaction of knowing that he helped millions of investors realize far better returns on their savings than they otherwise would have earned. He is a hero to them and to me." And I would say to many Fools, as well.
So, congratulations, Jack Bogle, on winning our yet-to-be-coveted Inaugural Lifetime Achievement Award...
Tim Hanson: Named after swingers.
Brokamp: Named after swingers. [Academy Awards theme song]
Southwick: Geriatric swingers. It's perfect for that.
Matt Argersinger: Swinger Villages. When is he going down there?
Brokamp: That's right.
Southwick: He has tons of energy, it sounds like.