There isn’t an evidence-based investor or advisor around who doesn’t owe an enormous debt of gratitude to John “Jack” Bogle for popularizing index fund investing. He was able to see – and more importantly, stubbornly stick with – a vision of what it could bring to everyday investors, even when his peers were taunting his idea as “Bogle’s Folly.”
Hooray for Bogle; he not only got the last laugh on his detractors, it’s been an incredibly long and lucrative laugh. Well-deserved!
Which brings me to this week’s Wall Street Journal op-ed by Bogle, “Bogle Sounds a Warning on Index, Funds.” In it, he warns of potentially dark days ahead in an industry that could end up being dominated by a few massive fund managers.
Far be it from me to assume Bogle is wrong. There are certainly lessons to be learned from those who laughed at him the last time he stuck to his vanguard guns (pun intended).
That said, I do have a quibble with how he communicated his message. In particular, his data visualization, i.e., the charts and graphs, struck me as disturbingly disingenuous.