Vanguard Founder Jack Bogle's Rise to Success, Wealth and Modesty

For Vanguard’s 83-year-old founder, it’s always been about the greater good. Just spare him the superlatives.

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“It’s a greedy industry,” says Bogle. “I love it, but I’ve also had a lover’s quarrel with it.”

One thing Bogle will acknowledge is that he’s responsible for three simple yet unprecedented innovations: the “mutual”  mutual fund structure, the index fund, plus municipal bond funds and their three short-term, long-term and intermediate-term levels.

His creation, Vanguard is now one of the two largest mutual fund organizations in the world. He drew investors by the thousands at first, then by the millions. Today, the group comprises more than 130 mutual funds, with current assets totaling $1.82 trillion.

The largest is the Vanguard 500 Index Fund—which, together with its sister Institutional Index fund, has combined assets of more than $220 billion. It was founded and incorporated by Bogle in 1975, then launched the following year. The Vanguard 500 was the world’s first index mutual fund.

Bogle calls indexing a “world-changing concept.” Still, he’s not sure it will change the world in his lifetime. “But it will,” he promises.

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