A trailblazer in the global mutual fund industry John. C. Bogle revolutionised investing for the common man. By popularising index funds, he provided ordinary investors with a low cost alternative to participate in equity markets. His relentless focus to reduce costs saw him structuring Vanguard as a mutual company (where unit holders are shareholders of the company). Competitive forces meant that his actions led to lower fees in the entire US MF industry. A strong believer in safeguarding investor interests, he was an outspoken critic of unethical practices in the industry.
While, Jack is no longer with us, his mantra of ‘common sense investing’ and ‘buy and hold strategy’ will guide millions of investors going forward too.
An avid follower of John Bogle, Prashant Jain, CIO, HDFC Mutual Fund said that he has tremendous respect for him. In fact, reading John Bogle’s book helped him develop a deeper understanding in his initial days. Jain said, “John’s message is simple yet powerful. He taught us beating index is not easy and odds are always against you. These learnings helped us understand that you have to take a balanced approach and respect the index to generate alpha.”
Expressing his grief over demise of the Vanguard founder, Navneet Munot, CIO SBI Mutual Fund said that John had popularized the concept of wealth creation among investors through passive funds. “John pioneered passive investments. In fact, the entire credit goes to him for the massive growth of the passive fund industry. He was the first to spot potential of this low cost investment four decades ago.”
Munot said that John taught us to keep investment simple and have faith in the power of equity.
Vetri Subramaniam, Group President and Head of Equity, UTI MF fondly recollects John’s powerful investing mantras. Vetri said, “He was a strong believer of ‘revision to mean’. He extended this philosophy to both asset class returns and sectoral returns, a principle, which resonates with value investing.”
Vetri salutes John’s entrepreneurial spirit, which disrupted the asset management industry and made passive funds popular among masses.
Soumendra Nath Lahiri, CIO, L&T MF, much admires John. C. Bogle’s drive and investor first approach. “Despite widespread scepticism, he introduced and popularised low cost index funds. He explained to investors that active funds may see intermittent underperformance and are fund manager dependent. Passive funds, on the other hand, enable investors to earn returns in line with markets.”
Talking about his contribution to the global asset management industry, Soumendra said that fund houses could learn from his relentless efforts, which let to Vanguard managing around US$ 5 trillion in assets. He also changed the industry’s structure globally with fund houses offering both active and passive funds instead of proclaiming them as active fund managers, added Soumandra.
Cafemutual salutes the visionary who has been instrumental in re-shaping the global mutual fund industry.