John Bogle Quotes on Mutual Funds and Index Investing

Words of Wisdom From the Index Fund Pioneer

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John C. "Jack" Bogle is the Founder of the Vanguard Group, Inc. He may be best known for his relentless teaching and preaching on the virtues of index investing.

John Bogle Quotes

Here are some of the best John Bogle quotes on mutual funds and index investing from various sources, such as his public speaking and some of his books, such as Common Sense on Mutual Funds: New Imperatives for the Intelligent Investor:

Don't look for the needle in the haystack. Just buy the haystack!
Fund investors are confident that they can easily select superior fund managers. They are wrong.
The miracle of compounding returns is overwhelmed by the tyranny of compounding costs.
The idea that a bell rings to signal when investors should get into or out of the market is simply not credible. After nearly 50 years in this business, I do not know of anybody who has done it successfully and consistently. I don't even know anybody who knows anybody who has done it successfully and consistently.
Of 1,028 stock recommendations made by the typical brokerage firm during the first quarter of 2001 (the peak of the bull market), only 7 were 'sell' recommendations.
In 1950, individual investors held 92% of U.S. stocks and institutional investors held 8%. The roles have flipped, with institutions, now holding 70%, predominating, and individuals, now holding 30%, playing a secondary role. Simply put, these institutional agents now collectively hold firm voting control over Corporate America.
On balance, the financial system subtracts value from society.
In the mutual fund industry, for example, the annual rate of portfolio turnover for the average actively managed equity fund runs to almost 100%, ranging from a hardly minimal 25% for the lowest turnover quintile to an astonishing 230% for the highest quintile. (The turnover of all-stock-market index funds is about 7%.)
Financial markets are far too complex to isolate any single variable with ease, as if conducting a scientific experiment. The record is utterly bereft of evidence that definitive predictions of short-term fluctuations in stock prices can be made with consistent accuracy. The prices of common stocks are evanescent and illusory.

John Bogle's investing philosophy led him to create the first index fund available to the general public, Vanguard 500 Index (VFINX) in 1976. To this day, the fund is considered one of the best S&P 500 Index funds and the largest of the Vanguard investments, accounting for an estimated 75 percent of approximately $5 trillion in assets. Although the fund is no longer available to new investors, you can purchase Vanguard 500 Index Admiral Shares (VFIAX) or the corresponding ETF, which trades as VOO.

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