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Stay the Course: The Story of Vanguard and the Index Revolution Kindle Edition
A journey through the Index Revolution from the man who started it all
Stay the Course is the story the Vanguard Group as told by its founder, legendary investor John C. Bogle. This engrossing book traces the history of Vanguard—the largest mutual fund organization on earth.
Offering the world’s first index mutual fund in 1976, John Bogle led Vanguard from a $1.4 billion firm with a staff of 28 to a global company of 16,000 employees and with more than $5 trillion in assets under management. An engaging blend of company history, investment perspective, and personal memoir, this book provides a fascinating look into the mind of an extraordinary man and the company he created.
John Bogle continues to be an inspiring and trusted figure to millions of individual investors the world over. His creative innovation, personal integrity, and stubborn determination infuse every aspect of the company he founded. This accessible and engaging book will help you:
- Explore the history of some of Vanguard’s most important mutual funds, including First Index Investment Trust, Wellington Fund, and Windsor Fund
- Understand how the Vanguard Group gave rise to the Index Revolution and transformed the lives of millions of individual investors
- Gain insight on John Bogle’s views on values such as perseverance, caring, commitment, integrity, and fairness
- Investigate a wide range of investing topics through the lens of one of the most prominent figures in the history of modern finance
The Vanguard Group and John Bogle are inextricably linked—it would be impossible to tell one story without the other. Stay the Course: The Story of Vanguard and the Index Revolution weaves these stories together taking you on a journey through the history of one revolutionary company and one remarkable man. Investors, wealth managers, financial advisors, business leaders, and those who enjoy a good story, will find this book as informative and unique as its author.
About the Author
John C. Bogle is founder of the Vanguard Mutual Fund Group and president of its Bogle Financial Markets Research Center. He created Vanguard in 1974 and served as chairman and chief executive officer until 1996. In 1999, Fortune magazine named Mr. Bogle as one of the four investment giants of the twentieth century; in 2004, Time named him one of the worlds 100 most powerful and influential people. Bogle is also the author of Enough and The Little Book of Common Sense Investing.--This text refers to the audioCD edition.
From the Inside Flap
Stay the Course is the gripping story of the creation of what would become largest mutual fund organization in the world, as told by its founder, John C. Bogle. Readers will come to appreciate Bogle as a unique innovator in the world of mutual fundsan investor who used his market wisdom and business savvy to bring mutual fund investors their fair share of stock and bond market returns. This book will delight anyone who enjoys a good story with a happy ending.
In 1974, when the story of The Vanguard Group began, the idea of a mutual fund that was truly mutualowned by the fund shareholders themselves and operating on an "at-cost" basis with no profits to outside shareholderswas viewed as anathema by many seasoned investors. Not deterred by his colleagues' caution and, sometimes, outright hostility, John Bogle persevered, building what would become a $5 trillion mutual fund complex.
Vanguard's remarkable success is inextricably intertwined with the index revolution that has changed the way we think about professional money management. Buying and holding the market portfolio turns out to be the simplest and soundest path to investment success. Bogle's creationthe S&P 500 Index fundis the spark that ignited the flame of the index revolution.
Bogle concludes his book with some personal insights. His memoir-like final chapter gives readers some valuable insights into the thinking of Vanguard's legendary creator. Bogle's engaging tale overflows with business insights and inspiration that you won't want to miss.--This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.
- ASIN : B07KRVY5FZ
- Publisher : Wiley; 1st edition (November 16, 2018)
- Publication date : November 16, 2018
- Language : English
- File size : 4292 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 316 pages
- Lending : Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #731,653 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
Top reviews from the United States
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Alas, this book was a big disappointment. (i) It is a continuous stream of conceit. There's no denying his superlative achievements, but this book reads like an arrogant twenty-something's LinkedIn posting. (ii) The book is desperately short of objectivity He relentlessly presents every argument he can find in support of his own ideology, but the only references to arguments against are to those that he feels he can knock down. (iii) His references to performance are all based on comparative returns, but he makes no mention of comparative volatility.
This book would have been *so* much better if it had been written by an outsider. (i) The inevitable huge praise for Vanguard would have come across as much more seemly than the boastful tone to which the reader is subjected here. (ii) The reader would (I hope) have been presented with a much more objective viewpoint. (iii) The points against the Bogle approach would have been evaluated more fairly. I have little doubt that Bogle would have been described as a vitally important and beneficial force in the investment world and that would have carried so much more credibility coming from an outsider than coming from Bogle himself.
Your achievements speak for themselves, Jack: you do yourself no favours with such unbridled bragging.
Top reviews from other countries
I picked this up because I had heard of Bogle’s financial acumen and of his reputation for emphasising the difference between investment and speculation and promoting the former. I’m also a bit of a sucker for corporate history because I enjoy reading about why companies were set up and then learning of the successes, stumbles and lessons learned as they go from start-up to established player. So I came into it with high hopes, partly driven by the Blurb on the Back, which is unfortunately not what I found on the page.
The book is structured into 4 parts:
- Part 1 is the story of Vanguard, which is set out in a lineal fashion and starts with some personal information from Bogle about his student days and how his college thesis at Princeton was about mutual funds (which, in turn, landed him his very first job after university). Each chapters generally focuses on a different time periods in Vanguard’s history (e.g. 1974-1981) although there are also chapters on Bogle’s legacy and a general chapter on how other fund providers picked up and sought to emulate Vanguard’s success with index funds of their own;
- Part 2 looks at a history of Vanguard’s funds. This for me was dry and fairly pointless as Bogle literally goes through the various types of fund that Vanguard established and then looks at the performance of the same. Given that so many of the funds are now closed, I really struggled to see who would benefit from this and although Bogle displays candour in admitting when he was wrong to have a product set up because of underperformance, he is very low in analysis as to why he made that wrong decision (usually dismissing it as giving in to the desire to market rather than invest, which seems strange given he was clearly a driven man who led from the front);
- Part 3 contains some of Bogle’s thoughts on the future of investment management, which I did find genuinely interesting as Bogle takes on academic critics who point to the concentration of ownership in index funds and what this might mean for competition going forward. I actually wanted more of this as he gets stuck into what fund ownership means and what can be done with it; and
- Part 4 which is a loose collection of Bogle’s personal reflections on life and finance, all very short paragraphs, which for me didn’t bring a huge amount to the book and could easily have been cut.
What does come through the different chapters is that Bogle was firmly committed to the principle of maximising returns to investors and truly believed that index tracking mutual funds were the best ways of keeping costs down to keep returns solid. I certainly didn’t disagree with his disapproval of more traditional fund structures where ownership is with the managing company, which can then cream off fees, thus reducing the amount available to the investors who are actually paying for it. I also couldn’t argue with his points about how active managed funds generally fail to beat the market in the long term when compared with passive trackers - certainly this is a point that a number of UK based financial commentators have been highlighting for those interested in market investments. He’s also good in taking apart exchange-traded index funds (ETFs), which he categorises as a speculation vehicle rather than an investment index fund product on the basis that investors are encouraged to trade them rather than hold onto the shares long-term, which is where the real value comes from.
Some of the writing is a little dry (and the constant repetition of “stay the course” got very old, very quickly for me) and at times the book reads as if Bogle has some scores to settle as he seeks to prove wrong those who criticised what he was trying to do back in the day. I don’t begrudge someone a little payback when they’ve been proved right, but again this is all done quite dryly and Bogle doesn’t really give a lot of himself away in the book - even in the final part, which is supposed to be more personal I didn’t get a huge sense of who he was as a person. I would have liked some more detail about the internal company discussions at big points in Vanguard’s history (such as the decision to bring management in house) but it appears that Bogle was stymied by the decision of the board not to allow him use/visibility of board minutes from the time so the book instead relies heavily on Bogle’s more benign memories, which are broad and low on detail. I was also a little frustrated that the book makes no comment on Vanguard since Bogle left the company in 1999 other than to discuss fund performance - again, I admire his discretion but it would still be interesting to know his views on the direction that the company is going in.
Ultimately I came away from this book feeling that it’s neither one thing nor the other. It doesn’t really work as a corporate history because Bogle deliberately focuses on funds and figures rather than the corporation or its culture. Nor does it work as a “part-memoir” given that Bogle doesn’t seem keen to give too much of himself away. There are some interesting nuggets in here but you have to go through some dry material to get there. However, I have heard good things about his other books on investment and would be minded to check them out.
It is split into four parts. The first part (c150 pages) gives a potted history of Vanguard from 1974 to 2018.
The second part (c60 pages) is a gallop through the main funds, or type of funds, that Vanguard has produced.
The third part (c30 pages) is a rumination on the future of the investment industry, while the fourth part (c30 pages) covers personal reflections.
It's an okay book, but really didn't do it for me. It's an easy read, although sometimes the endless figures do blur a little in the mind.
It's a lightweight, semi-autobiography. Overall I suppose it's not the book I wanted to read. I would have preferred something a little more objective and something with a little more context (other than "we were the first...we became the best").
I got to the end and thought "so what?". Mr Bogle was certainly a legend in the industry, and his history deserves to be known and celebrated. But I'm not that interested in the fund management landscape in the US in the 1960s and 1970s.
There's nothing wrong with this book, it's just not what I hoped it would be.