Investing Lessons From Vanguard's Bogleheads

Their zealous devotion to the principles espoused by John Bogle means a nearly exclusive reliance on index funds and close ties with Vanguard.

They call him by his first name: Jack. He isn't in the room and has never met most of them. Yet on a recent Sunday afternoon, a group of his devotees has gathered at a public library in Ar­lington, Va. They've come to discuss such things as the stock market's wild swings and what to do with their retirement accounts. Jack's presence is felt, infusing the conversation and advice that's being doled out ("don't time the market" is a common refrain). At the end of the session, a retiree named Lydia Segal sums up her affection for him: "Jack Bogle is responsible for my financial happiness."

If the fund world has a patron saint, it would likely be John "Jack" Bogle. The founder of fund giant Vanguard Group and the mastermind behind the index fund for individual investors, Bogle may be the only person in the business with a fan club of thousands, many of whom view his investing wisdom as gospel. "A Boglehead is someone who follows the advice and path set up by Jack Bogle," says Mel Lindauer, coauthor of The Bogleheads' Guide to Investing, a book that details the group’s thinking and has a Bogle bobblehead on its cover.

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Daren Fonda
Senior Associate Editor, Kiplinger's Personal Finance
Daren joined Kiplinger in July 2015 after spending more than 20 years in New York City as a business and financial writer. He spent seven years at Time magazine and joined SmartMoney in 2007, where he wrote about investing and contributed car reviews to the magazine. Daren also worked as a writer in the fund industry for Janus Capital and Fidelity Investments and has been licensed as a Series 7 securities representative.