John Bogle, the man who made passive, low-cost index investing a real world thing and who, as a result, built Vanguard into one of the world's largest investment management firms, passed away on 16 January 2019 at Age 89.
The idea of index investing that Jack Bogle championed proved to be very a big deal, which is why the index fund made Tim Harford's list of 50 Inventions That Made the Modern Economy (the UK edition is 50 Things That Made the Modern Economy), where we can strongly recommend the 10-minute podcast episode of the related BBC radio series if you want to learn more about its history.
If your available time is shorter than that, Jack Bogle once claimed that he could teach the essentials about investings in just a few minutes. In 2010, the Bogleheads' Ricardo Guerra put him to the challenge, where he distilled a lifetime of learning about successful investing into 3 minutes and 42 seconds....
Back in October 2006, we participated in a chapter-by-chapter review of the original edition of The Bogleheads' Guide to Investing (now in its second edition), where we had the honor of reviewing the final chapter of a book that sought to capture Jack Bogle's wisdom....
That was a lucky break for us, because the final chapter summarized all the lessons presented throughout the book, which gave us the opportunity to further condense Jack Bogle's thoughts on investing into just six lines, although with quite a few links to follow for deeper insights gleaned by the other participants in the project:
- Choose and live a sound financial lifestyle.
- Start to save early, invest regularly and diversify your investments!
- Don't invest in things you don't understand.
- Pay attention to investing costs and especially taxes!
- Plan! Plan! Plan! Plan! Plan! Plan! Plan!
- Avoid fads and master your emotions.
Today, millions of people are considerably richer than they might otherwise have been because of what Jack Bogle wrought. That's one hell of a legacy in the financial world!