Jack Bogle is gone, but his impact will last forever. That’s certainly true for me. No single person had a bigger impact on my firm and career direction than Bogle did. He is, essentially, what I’ve modeled so much of my life and work around.
It started with “Enough”, Bogle’s second most brilliant piece of work (behind the Little Book of Common Sense Investing). I remember reading it in the depths of the financial crisis and it shaped the way I see so much of life. The key message of the book was finding what was “enough” for you. For me, I realized it was surprisingly little. Or at least less than social norms had led me to believe. Bogle made me feel like I had been tricked into thinking I needed mansions and fancy cars and all that stuff. Boy was I wrong. But that was Bogle…
Bogle was a giver. Arguably, he was the greatest giver in financial history since Vangaurd has returned more to small investors than any firm in history. But that was who he was. He was a net giver, not a taker in a world where so many people want to take, take, take. For me, that was the game changer. When you need less of yourself you need less from other people.
My firm and its entire ethos is essentially an attempt to keep it simple and give more than it takes. With ultra low fees for advisory and portfolio management Bogle’s life lessons helped me establish a foundation for a sustainable business. I don’t need high fees because, simply, I learned a long time ago what was ”enough” for me.
Bogle will be missed, but his lessons will live on forever. I know I’ll certainly try to continue to promote the views he espoused and I hope his legacy lives on just a little bit through people like myself who try to replicate just a little bit of the huge impact that Jack Bogle had on this world.