1975 - First Retail Index Fund

John Bogle

On December 31, 1975, Princeton graduate John C. Bogle created Vanguard’s First Index Investment Trust with just $11 million, the first index fund available to individual investors. Now known as the Vanguard 500 Index Fund, the fund was initially met with criticism, even earning the nickname, “Bogle’s Folly.” The fund became the security industry’s largest mutual fund in 2000 and as of December 2017, managed nearly $391 billion.1

Bogle is widely recognized as a vocal champion of the individual investor, even earning him the moniker of “St. Jack” for his unwavering commitment to keeping fees as low as possible and ensuring fund transparency and purity. Bogle has received significant accolades in recognition of his efforts. In 2004, TIME Magazine named Bogle one of the world’s 100 most powerful and influential people, and Institutional Investor presented him with its Lifetime Achievement Award. In 1999, Fortune designated him as one of the investment industry’s four “Giants of the 20th Century.” In 1998, Bogle was presented the Award for Professional Excellence from the Association for Investment Management and Research, and he was inducted into the Hall of Fame of the Fixed Income Analysts Society, Inc. in 1999.

Bogle is also a prolific and best-selling author of many books. Some of my favorites are Common Sense on Mutual Funds: Fully Updated 10th Anniversary Edition (2009); The Little Book of Common Sense Investing: The Only Way to Guarantee Your Fair Share of Stock Market Returns: 10th Anniversary Edition (2017); and Bogle on Mutual Funds: New Perspectives for the Intelligent Investor (1994).

Step 2John BogleVanguardCommon Sense on Mutual FundsIndex Fund