John C. Bogle

John C. Bogle

John Clifton "Jack" Bogle (born May 8, 1929) is an American investor, business magnate, and philanthropist. He is the founder and retired chief executive of The Vanguard Group.

His 1999 book Common Sense on Mutual Funds: New Imperatives for the Intelligent Investor became a bestseller and is considered a classic within the investment community.

After graduating from Princeton in 1951, Jack Bogle narrowed his career options to banking and investments. He managed to land a position at Wellington Fund where he showed great talent that made the manager of the fund, Walter L. Morgan to say that "Bogle knows more about the fund business than we do". Bogle was promoted to an assistant manager position in 1955 where he obtained a broader access to analyze the company and the investment department. Bogle demonstrated initiative and creativity by challenging the Wellington management to change its strategy of concentration on a single fund, and did his best to make his point in creating a new fund. Eventually he succeeded, and the new fund became a turning point in his career. After successfully climbing through the ranks, in 1970 he replaced Walter L. Morgan as chairman of Wellington, but was later fired for an "extremely unwise" merger that he approved. It was a poor decision that he considers his biggest mistake, stating, "The great thing about that mistake, which was shameful and inexcusable and a reflection of immaturity and confidence beyond what the facts justified, was that I learned a lot."

In 1974, Bogle founded the Vanguard Company which is now one of the most respected and successful companies in the investment world. In 1999, Fortune magazine named Bogle as "one of the four investment giants of the twentieth century".

In 1976, influenced by the works of Paul Samuelson, Bogle founded First Index Investment Trust (a precursor to the Vanguard 500 Index Fund) as the first index mutual fund available to the general public. In a 2005 speech, Samuelson ranked "this Bogle invention along with the invention of the wheel, the alphabet, Gutenberg printing".

Bogle had heart problems in the 1990s and, in 1996, he relinquished his role as Vanguard CEO to John J. Brennan, his handpicked successor and second-in-command whom he had hired in 1982. Bogle had a successful heart transplant in 1996. His subsequent return to Vanguard with the title of senior chairman led to conflict between Bogle and Brennan. Bogle left the company in 1999 and moved to Bogle Financial Markets Research Center, a small research institute not directly connected to Vanguard but on the Vanguard campus.

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