Jack Bogle And His Independent Thinking

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Note: At Growtist, one of my objectives is to curate articles about great men. Their professional domains do not matter to me. They may come from Finance, Strategy, Sports, Music, Politics, etc. What matters is their common mental qualities. Qualities that we can borrow and apply to our own lives. I hope that this will motivate and guide us to become excellent ourselves!

Jack Bogle is one such example. And, the quality that makes him stand out is: Independent thinking.

He wrote his Princeton senior thesis in 1951, arguing that mutual funds “may make no claim to superiority over the market averages”. So, he started his first index fund in 1976, with a goal of capturing the overall market’s return at much lower costs than the stock-picking fund managers.

He initially faced a lot of criticisms.

But, eventually, he received praise from people like Warren Buffett, Paul Samuelson, etc. Today, his approach has become so conventional that Vanguard’s assets under management have swollen to $3.5 trillion, mostly in index funds.

Read his interview here. Some excerpts that give a glimpse into this person’s mindset are below:

“People are going to be using more index funds in 2025 than they are today. This is an underlying, fundamental trend—not one built on opinion, but on the relentless rules of humble arithmetic.”

“You don’t need people to tell you you’re right all the time. You need people to tell you that you’re wrong.”

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