John Bogle Started an Investing Revolution

(Bloomberg Opinion) -- John Bogle, perhaps more than any person in modern finance, changed the course of investing by relentlessly focusing on lowering costs and putting investors’ interests ahead of his own. With his death last week, we revisit our 2016 Masters in Business podcast with the creator of the index fund and founder of Vanguard Group.

Bogle regaled us with fascinating stories, including Vanguard’s origin tale. He tells of getting fired as chairman of the Wellington Funds amid a tumultuous merger. He ended up within the asset-management group, running what he describes as Wellington’s “unmanaged” funds — that is, the first equity index fund.

He named the new management company for the HMS Vanguard, flying Rear Admiral Sir Horatio Nelson’s flag. He discussed Wall Street’s initial response to index funds, explained why no one ever really decided to compete with Vanguard, and held a master class on the proper way to invest. He later created the first bond index fund.

My remembrance of Bogle is here; my column explaining why he was so important to finance is here.

His favorite books are here; our transcript is posted here.

You can stream the full podcast at iTunesOvercastBloomberg and Stitcher. Our earlier podcasts can all be downloaded at iTunes, StitcherOvercast and Bloomberg.

Next week, we speak with restaurateur Cameron Mitchell, founder and chief executive officer of Cameron Mitchell Restaurants, which manages numerous restaurants across the country.

This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.

Barry Ritholtz is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist. He founded Ritholtz Wealth Management and was chief executive and director of equity research at FusionIQ, a quantitative research firm. He is the author of “Bailout Nation.”

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