Born in 1929, John “Jack” Bogle was a child of the Great Depression. As a matter of fact, he and his family were greatly affected by the nationwide depression. He earned a scholarship to Blair Academy, a private boarding school located in Blairstown, New Jersey, after which he earned an undergraduate degree from Princeton University. His senior thesis formed the foundation for his career as a proponent of index funds over mutual funds.
Upon graduation, Bogle accepted a position at Wellington Management Company, one of the largest investment management companies in the world. He spent 23 years at Wellington Management Company, eventually working his way up to the position of chairman. He was fired in 1974 for approving a risky merger. However, Bogle credits the merger mistake with teaching him a valuable lesson and he went on to form his own investment firm named The Vanguard Group later that year. He acted as CEO and chairman of The Vanguard Group until his retirement in 1999.
Bogle’s investment strategy promotes investing in index funds that have lower yield but also incur lower costs over more highly managed mutual funds especially for long-term investments. He stresses that this strategy is particularly important for individual investors. He maintains that investors should not own too many funds and should consider past fund performance before investing. The octogenarian continues to lecture and write and has published nine books to date. He was named one of the four investment industry “Giants of the 20th Century” by Fortune magazine in 1999 and one of the “World’s 100 Most Powerful and Influential People” by Time magazine, among other accolades.