The name Jack Bogle wasn’t familiar to me until I read of his recent passing. He created the world’s first index fund. He was also the founder of the Vanguard group and huge proponent of low costs in mutual funds.
I’m surprised his name isn’t mentioned more in the news alongside investment legends like Warren Buffet and Ray Dalio. His work has likely benefited individual investors more than anyone else.
Vanguard’s official statement of his death also added some history of the first index fund:
In 1976, Vanguard introduced the first index mutual fund—First Index Investment Trust—for individual investors. Ridiculed by others in the industry as “un-American” and “a sure path to mediocrity,” the fund collected a mere $11 million during its initial underwriting. Now known as Vanguard 500 Index Fund, it has grown to be one of the industry’s largest, with more than $441 billion in assets (the sister fund, Vanguard Institutional Index Fund, has $221.5 billion in assets). Today, index funds account for more than 70% of Vanguard’s $4.9 trillion in assets under management; they are offered by many other fund companies as well and they make up most exchange-traded funds (ETFs). For his pioneering of the index concept for individual investors, Mr. Bogle was often called the “father of indexing.”
He was very customer centric - in his case being a champion for low costs and transparency in the mutual fund industry:
A champion of the individual investor, Mr. Bogle is widely credited with helping to bring increased disclosure about mutual fund costs and performance to the public. His commitment to safeguarding investors’ interests often prompted him to speak out against practices that were common among his peers in other mutual fund organizations. “We are more than a mere industry,” he insisted in a 1987 speech before the National Investment Company Services Association. “We must hold ourselves to higher standards, standards of trust and fiduciary duty. Change we must—in our communications, our pricing structure, our product, and our promotional techniques.”
His impact is quite literally going to compound for generations, and you can’t really say that about many people.