John Bogle is an industry legend in investments. He founded Vanguard, one of the four US giants of the investment industry, and created the world’s first index-linked investment fund.
His investment fund is now the third largest and most powerful in the world. The other two are BlackRock and State Street.
Bogle was also a pioneer in using computers for investment analysis and has written several books on the subject.
He also founded the Bogle Center for Financial Research at Vanguard University.
When he was little he had shown a particular propensity for mathematics, but he was born into a humble family. So the ascent to such a powerful and successful person came with time and sacrifice.
You must know that at some point he was also fired from a really important position in a company.
Above all, he applied a rule that some psychologists who have done tests have found in other personalities who have reached the highest levels of society
As you read on, I will share the characteristic common to minds like Jobs, Musk, and Gates.
From an early age, Bogle demonstrated a great aptitude for mathematics.
By age 11, he had already read the second-year high school algebra textbook and enrolled in the Pennsylvania Mathematical Society.
Bogle’s family did not belong to the upper echelons of society. So after graduation, he was forced to work as a clerk in a local investment firm to pay for his studies at Princeton University.
Despite this, his passion for math and investing continued to grow.
In 1949, after earning his business degree from Princeton University, Bogle was hired by the prestigious investment firm Wellington Management Company.
The firm was led by Walter L. Morgan, who had founded one of the first mutual funds in the United States in 1928.
Bogle began as a junior analyst and soon became involved in developing new models for investment analysis.
In 1951, Bogle earned his master’s degree in economics from Yale University and returned to the Wellington Management Company.
The next year, he married the daughter of the company’s president, Joan Murray.
Bogle, after graduating from high school, restricted his career paths to banking and trading.
Her career on Wall Street began after graduation when she was hired as an assistant manager with the Wellington Fund in 1955.
In 1970, he took over for Morgan as Wellington’s president after rising through the ranks.
He was later fired for an “extremely reckless” merger which he had approved.
On May 1, 1975, Bogle founded the Vanguard Company.
Passionate about naval history, Bogle named the company in honor of Admiral Horatio Nelson, the hero of the Battle of the Nile in 1798.
Bogle thought the name “Vanguard” resonated with the themes of leadership and progress.
To get his new business off the ground, Bogle sold all of his savings and mortgaged the house.
Despite this, Vanguard Group has never been a conventional investment company.
Bogle has introduced some innovations that have revolutionized the way people think about investing.
First, Bogle introduced the concept of “total cost of ownership.”
This meant that Vanguard would only charge its clients for the actual portfolio management costs, with no “margin calls.”
Second, Bogle established the first index-tracking mutual fund in the United States.
The fund, called the Vanguard 500 Index Fund, was launched in 1976 and tracked the Standard & Poor’s 500 indexes.
Bogle’s idea was to offer investors a simpler and less expensive way to invest in stocks.
Finally, Bogle introduced the concept of a “mutual society.”
This meant that Vanguard Group could only be owned by its customers, who would benefit from any profits the company might have.
In other words, Vanguard was built to serve investors and not shareholders.
Even though Bogle had very innovative ideas, his business didn’t take off right away.
In its first year of operation, Vanguard managed just $12 million.
But Bogle didn’t give up and continued to work hard to build the Vanguard Group.
In 1981, Vanguard launched the second index tracking fund, called the Vanguard Index Trust Growth Portfolio.
This fund tracked the Russell 1000 Index, another major US equity index.
In the 1980s and 1990s, Vanguard continued to grow and launch new investment funds.
In 2000, Vanguard hit a major milestone: managing $1 trillion.
Today, Vanguard is one of the four giants in the US industry and its investment fund is the third most powerful in the world.
John Bogle managed to build Vanguard Group from the ground up and forever changed the way people invest their money.
It has shown that it is possible to offer investors a simpler, less expensive and more efficient way to invest their money.
Bogle has been fired. But he was also born without much money. Do you know what 99% of the population says? That to get rich or to be successful it already takes money or luck.
If you get fired from a very important position, you are not so lucky.
Still, John Bogle founded Vanguard Group and today he is one of the four giants of the US industry.
Its investment fund is the third most powerful in the world.
He did not pay attention to clichés, or to what the masses say and above all he did not feel non-existent for being fired. In fact, that’s when he created Vanguard.
It doesn’t matter what others think of you. It doesn’t matter if someone underestimates you or doesn’t believe in you.
The important thing is that you believe in it and that you fight for your dreams. Because in the end, as John Bogle proved, it’s always worth it.
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