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The John Bogle Blog and His Financial Article About ETFs

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John C. Bogle’s Blog and his article about ETFs

This article is a heads-up to people interested in investment blogs and personal finance blogs.

John C. Bogle, the founder of The Vanguard Group, Inc., has a blog called The Bogle eBlog. (If you are wondering about “eBlog,” it is an anagram of Bogle.) Mr. Bogle just posted an excellent article about the proliferation of exchange-traded funds (ETFs), which is a reprint of his Op-Ed article in today’s Wall Street Journal. If you are not a WSJ subscriber, you can find a link on his blog to a .pdf file of the full article.

His article is titled, ‘Value’ Strategies. In it, Mr. Bogle states that ETFs can be interchangeable with classic index funds, but only if you select and manage them in a manner in keeping with the original rationale for index mutual funds. This rationale includes very broad market diversification, very low costs, and buying-and-holding to match closely the broad market’s return. However, the current ETF market place seems to be heading in directions that are probably not in the best interests of individual investors. The proliferation of hundreds of ETFs has lead to positions in extremely narrow market segments, higher management expenses, and higher trading costs for the average ETF.

I wanted to make you aware of Mr. Bogle’s excellent ETF article and his blog, so I will stop at this high level summary. If you want to read this very informative article, click on one of the links above.

In addition, here is an idea for bloggers. Unfortunately, at this point Mr. Bogle’s blog is a bit hidden in the cyberweeds. However, I am also guessing that Mr. Bogle feels little need to spend time trying to drive up his link counts. Bloggers can help to make his blog more prominent. I suggest those of you who have blogs and are willing to do so put a link to Mr. Bogle’s blog in your blogroll. If enough of us do this, it will lift his blog ranking. The link to “The Bogle eBlog” is http://johncbogle.com/wordpress/

I suggest we do this, because what Mr. Bogle publishes on his blog is likely to be of interest to many financial blog readers. He is one of the truly honest men in the financial world. I personally I have tremendous respect for Mr. Bogle’s contribution to the financial welfare of individual investors. While index funds are an obvious financial idea to almost everyone now and they hold 10% of total mutual fund assets, in the 1970s most people in finance thought that indexing was completely nuts. If you want to understand the environment of that time better, I suggest that you read “The Constellation” chapter of Peter Bernstein’s book, Capital Ideas. In that chapter, he discusses the resistance to the very earliest index fund pioneers at Wells Fargo who tried to launch an index fund, the Stagecoach Fund, which really did not get off the ground and died in the bear market of 1974. Mr. Bogle finally got the first successful index fund off the ground beginning in 1975.

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