Chairman Emeritus of the Blair Board of Trustees John C. Bogle ’47 garnered two high honors, as well as national and international media recognition over the past several months, thanks to his lifetime of work in the financial industry. Mr. Bogle founded The Vanguard Group, Inc., in 1974, a company noted as having “transformed investing forever with the index fund,” in a February 2017 Business Insider article. Today, Vanguard is the world’s largest mutual fund organization, surpassing $4 trillion in assets under management globally as of January 31, 2017.
Praise from Warren Buffett
Mr. Bogle, who stepped down as Vanguard’s chief executive officer in 1996, now heads the Bogle Financial Markets Research Center, where he continues to study and write about financial markets and advocate powerfully on behalf of investors. His advocacy was extolled by business magnate and investor Warren Buffett in his recent annual letter to Berkshire Hathaway investors.
“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,” Mr. Buffett wrote. “For decades, Jack has urged investors to invest in ultra-low-cost index funds. In his crusade, he amassed only a tiny percentage of the wealth that has typically flowed to managers who have promised their investors large rewards while delivering them nothing–or, as in our bet, less than nothing–of added value.”
“In his early years, Jack was frequently mocked by the investment-management industry,” Mr. Buffett continued. “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.”
Honored by Pennsylvania Organizations
The Philadelphia Inquirer and the Pennsylvania Society celebrated Mr. Bogle’s lifetime of service to investors with prestigious awards in fall 2016. Mr. Bogle received an Industry Icon award from The Philadelphia Inquirer on November 20 in honor of his distinguished record of civic engagement and professional achievement. He was also one of five inaugural inductees to the publication’s Business Hall of Fame, and he expressed his appreciation to the Philadelphia community and spoke about Vanguard’s accomplishments in his remarks that evening.
“The idea of fiduciary duty, honest disclosure, and candor, along with our simple mutual structure and our simple index strategy that followed—all of which, it happens, are Quaker in spirit—have become ‘the way,’” he said. “We now effectively serve the needs of the 22 million human beings who have entrusted us with their investments, their hopes, and their confidence. We are proud of our heritage, and faithful service to investors has always been my goal.”
Following on the heels of that honor, the Pennsylvania Society awarded Mr. Bogle its 108th-annual Gold Medal for Distinguished Achievement on December 10, a tribute that has been accorded to Andrew Carnegie (1911), Henry Ford (1929) and President George H. W. Bush (2003), among many others. The award recognizes leadership, citizenship, and contributions to the arts, science, education and industry.
In the News
In addition to the February Business Insider piece and a January interview in the same publication, Mr. Bogle has been featured by numerous news outlets over the past several months, including Bloomberg Markets, The Sunday Times of London and Forbes. He also penned a February 9 New York Times op-ed titled “Putting Clients Second,” in which he strongly expressed his opinion on the controversy surrounding the Trump administration’s possible overturn of an Obama-era fiduciary duty rule. The rule’s demise, he wrote, “would be a step backward for our nation, allowing Wall Street to continue to profit by providing conflicting advice at the expense of working Americans saving for retirement.”
Mr. Bogle’s respect for hard work and his deep satisfaction in having helped investors meet financial goals over the years is evident in all of the coverage he has received of late. “We are in the business of helping ordinary human beings,” he told writer Louise Cooper in The Sunday Times interview. “If I have made a difference in the lives of individual investors, I feel good about that.”