With the sad death of John (Jack) Bogle last week we thought it would be a great time to remember Warren Buffett’s public adulation of Bogle at the 2017 Berkshire Hathaway Shareholder Meeting in which Buffett said:
There’s one more person I would like to introduce to you today and that is Jack Bogle who I talked about in the annual report. Jack Bogle has probably done more for the American investor than any man in the country.
Jack Bogle many years ago, he wasn’t the only one that was talking about an index fund, but it wouldn’t have happened without him. I mean Paul Samuelson talked about it. Ben Graham even talked about it.
But the truth is it was not in the interest of the investment industry, of Wall Street. It was not in their interest actually to have the development of an index fund because it brought down fees dramatically.
And as we’ve talked about, some in the reports, and other people have commented, that index funds overall have delivered for shareholders a result that has been better than Wall Street profession as a whole, and part of the reason for that is that they’ve brought down the costs very significantly.
So when Jack started, very few people, certainly Wall Street did not applaud him. He was the subject of some derision and a lot of attacks. Now we’re talking trillions when we get into index funds and we’re talking a few basis points when we talk about investment fees in the case of index funds, but still hundreds of basis points when we talk about fees elsewhere.
I estimate that Jack at a minimum has saved, left in the pockets of investors, without hurting them overall in terms of performance at all, most performance. He’s put tens and tens and tens of billions into their pockets and those numbers are gonna be hundreds and hundreds of billions over time.
So it’s Jack’s 88th birthday on Monday… So I just say Happy Birthday Jack and thank you on behalf of American investors… And Jack I’ve got great news for you, you’re gonna be 88 on Monday and in only two years you’ll be eligible for an executive position at Berkshire, hang in there buddy…
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