If one person can be credited with making the existence of this publication possible, it would be John Bogle. Yes, indexes have been around for over a century, but it wasn't until Mr. Bogle launched the Vanguard 500 and kick-started an entire investment phenomenon that they were viewed as anything other than measures of the market. So some 35 years after the advent of the first index fund, it makes sense to pay tribute to the man who started it all.
We open the issue with excerpts from Bogle's 1951 college thesis, "The Economic Role of the Investment Company." Some 60 years later, it remains a fascinating read, and you can easily tease out the premises that eventually evolved into Bogle's investment philosophy. We then fast-forward several decades for a recent interview with the man himself: Find out what Jack Bogle really thinks about our current investment environment, taxes, politics and his accomplishments.
Next is a roundtable that asks Bogle's friends and colleagues about his impact on them and the investing public. Gus Sauter, Burton Malkiel, William Bernstein, Rob Arnott, Don Phillips and others offer their personal impressions and thoughts, with additional commentary from David Swensen, Paul Volcker and the late Paul Samuelson. What follows is a sneak peek at Bogle's upcoming book, "The Clash of the Cultures: Investment vs. Speculation," which will be published this summer by John Wiley & Sons.
After that, Standard & Poor's Srikant Dash weighs in with his top 10 takeaways from a decade's worth of SPIVA reports and Persistence Scorecards—you might be surprised by some of his findings! And Christopher Philips offers the latest version of "The Case for Indexing," Vanguard's seminal research paper on why passive investment is the only sound decision. If anything, the argument has grown stronger over time.
Rolf Agather of Russell Investments takes a look at the history of indexing and the modern-day blending of passive and active strategies, offering suggestions on best practices for index providers in the current environment. Then David Blitzer chimes in with a look back at the original academic arguments underlying the advent of the index fund. Finally, Bruce Greig rounds out the issue with a crossword puzzle built around Bogle's career and influences.
Let's all raise our glasses to the marvelous, brutally honest and passionately sensible Jack Bogle!