I arrived at the hotel at about 9:00 p.m. a night before the Bogleheads 11th Reunion began on Tuesday, October 16, 2012. While checking in, the first person I saw was Mel T. We said hello, and both agreed that we couldn’t wait until the next day. I asked how his wife Kathie was and if she was attending. He said, "Yes," and then we said good night. I opened the door to my room which was very nice. It was a suite with a living room, and a four poster king size bed. I slept very well that night, from sheer exhaustion!
The next morning, 10/17/12, I went to the dining room. When I arrived, I looked around and saw a table with Mel Lindauer, Paul Globerson, and Ed Rager seated together. I went up and said, “Hi Mel!”, and he got up and we hugged. I then said Hi to Ed, and Paul, and asked if I could join them. Mel, pulled out a chair, and the three of us had a wonderful conversation. Then Mel asked,(in true Boglehead style) “Do you have a coupon for a free breakfast?”" No," I replied, and he gave me one. They all let me know they had to leave, as numerous duties called. I thanked them for their company. I continued eating, and heard someone call my name. It was Rose, one of the, “Boglettes” whom I had met several reunions ago. I got up and we hugged hello, chatted a few minutes, and she left. When I had finished my breakfast, I got up to leave, and saw a table with three more of the “Boglettes, “ aka Marlene, Linda, and Patty. I asked if I could join them and they replied, “Yes.” We all started talking and catching up as I had missed the last two reunions. Then Laura Dogu’s mother, “The Queen Mother,” as she is affectionately know, joined us. We were entertained to no end with the many adventures of her daughter, which she shared with us. During our time together, a few people passed by our table on their way out. I met a very nice couple, Martha & Carl, and this was their first time attending a reunion.
After breakfast, I decided to take a walk around the hotel grounds, as it was a warm, autumn day around 60 degrees. There was a sidewalk throughout the beautiful setting of lawn, several kinds of pine trees, and different trees with the leaves changing color. During my, "walking tour,", I said hello to a very nice young man with a warm smile. I later found out it was "verfasser," and he was attending the Bogleheads reunion. He traveled all the way from Taiwan, and won the, "Furthest distance traveled to attend," with 8,000 miles logged.
In the afternoon, before the Bogleheads check-in, I visited with a few people that were in the lobby and were seated at a table. I pulled up a chair and started talking with Sheila, John, Dion and his lovely mother, Rose, Dale, and Kathie. Then Gail arrived. Later, at 1:45, I reported for my time to volunteer from 2:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m., with Dale, John, and "LadyGeek." At this time, we started checking Bogleheads 11 attendees in. Each volunteer checked a photo id, and then checked off the person on the attendee list. Each attendee received a packet with the BH 11 Agenda, list of attendees, and other information. And of course in true Boglehead fashion, a coupon for $10.00 off food and/or beverage from the hotel pub or restaurant.
At 4:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m., the wine and cheese reception began. We had a chance to visit with all the people who had arrived so far. Mr. Bogle arrived, and everyone in attendance clapped and gave him a warm welcome. Mel Lindauer, was the emcee and introduced Mr. Bogle, and he-(Mr. Bogle) spoke briefly. Next it was time for introductions. First Mel introduced all the people involved with the arrangements for BH 11. Next he introduced the BH local chapter coordinators. When Mel introduced me, I went forward and gave Mr. Bogle a hug, as I was so happy to see him again. Then each and every attendee introduced themselves, and told where they were from, and how many previous reunions each person had attended. Some people had some very witty things to say to Mr. Bogle. My favorite was from a beautiful woman named, Christian. She said, (paraphrasing) “I asked my husband and he said it was okay to tell you that I’m in love with your mind.” Everyone laughed!
After the reception, we all went our separate ways for dinner. At the reception, I finally met Nadeem, who I have been working with online at our Facebook Bogleheads site for the past two years. We had much to discuss. We went to the hotel pub where they served very good steaks. We were joined by Sunny, who also volunteered to be another administrator at our Facebook Bogleheads site. Dr. Rich, Kris, and Hubert also joined us. We had wonderful conversation over the dull roar of the other folks visiting. I called it a night aroung 9:30 p.m.
The schedule of events started at 7:00 a.m. on Thursday, 10/18/12 with a very nice breakfast buffet which included; a pastry table, fresh fruit, scrambled eggs, breakfast potatoes, bacon, sausage, coffee, and orange or cranberry juice.
From 8:15 - 8:30 a.m., Mel told the history of the BH reunions starting with BH 1 which was held at Taylor and Pat Larimore's condo in FL. At 8:30 a.m. Mr. Bogle and Dr. Bill Bernstein had their now famous, “Fireside Chat.” Then there was a break and we all returned and Mr. Bogle gave a speech from 9:30 a.m. - 10:40 a.m. Next we had a very nice lunch buffet. From 1:00 - 3:00 p.m., we had a chance to have our books signed by Mr. Bogle, Dr. Bill Bernstein, Professor Ed Tower, Mel Lindauer, Alan Roth, Rick Ferri, and Bill Schultheis. At this time each book author had a separate table where each attendee could sit and listen to, and ask questions of each author.
At 4:30 p.m. we arrived by shuttle bus to the Vanguard Campus. As I walked through the doors, I felt overwhelmed with sadness. This surprised me to no end. Vanguard had changed so much from what I remembered. During my first visit to Vanguard, during BH 2 on June 9, 2001, in the lobby I had stopped to admire a ship model of the H.M.S. Vanguard. It was no longer there. Instead was another ship model. You see my dad used to like to sail, sailboats and so does Mr. Bogle. His name was Jack, and so is Mr. Bogle’s. My dad wanted me to learn about investing before he died from pancreatic cancer, and this is the only reason I found Mr. Bogle and Vanguard, as I had NO interest in finances, nor investing. Because this was my dad’s request that I learn, I did. And luckily, I’ve learned from the best. My dad was a fighter just like Mr. Bogle is and kicked death in the ass for 1 year and 9 months during his bought with pancreatic cancer. Mr. Bogle has kicked death in the ass for over 50 years, from heart attacks too numerous to count, a heart transplant, and from a serious infection. At the last reunion I attended, Mr. Bogle, was seriously ill with listeria, an infection few people recover from. Because he is Mr. Bogle, a phone line was installed in his hospital room and he was able to keep his speaking engagement with us. People were so happy to hear his voice, that we were laughing through our tears of joy. Mr. Bogle pulled through once again, and never looked better. Words cannot describe how happy I was to see him again at BH 11.
That first day I met John C. Bogle, Founder, The Vanguard Group, was in June, 2001, Mr. Bogle greeted me with, “You must be Kathleen,” as we had corresponded a few times via email, after Taylor Larimore had shared a letter I wrote about Mr. Bogle at BH 1 in Taylor’s home. In the letter, I expressed my dismay at not being able to attend BH 1. I of course was surprised beyond belief when Mr. Bogle answered my letter with an email to me! When my dad passed, Mr. Bogle was kind enough to write me a letter of condolence.
At our first meeting, instead of a handshake, Mr. Bogle greeted me with a hug,-something I have never forgotten. Mr. Bogle then gave us a personal tour of HIS company. First he showed us the boardroom. On the way to his office, was a painting of Walter Morgan, his mentor. Next we went to a meeting room. Much has changed. During my trip back to Vanguard, I guess I didn’t expect Vanguard to be so, “Institutionalized.“ It is true what they say, “Nothing remains the same.” I guess I just hoped it could. One thing that was wonderful was that I saw Kevin L., Mr. Bogle's former assistant in the lobby. =)
When I think of Mr. Bogle, I don’t know of any other human being with this fortitude, nor have I ever heard of one. My dad’s favorite poem was, “Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night,” by Dylan Thomas. Again, the parallels between the two are overwhelming. Mr. Bogle has been like a father to me ever since my dad passed. I feel so safe with the knowledge he has given me regarding investing. I have made many friends at these reunions and feel blessed that something so good came from the horrible loss of my father. But loss is an inevitable part of life, but that does not make it any easier to accept. And we are truly blessed when some people come into our lives. We know the world is a better place because of them, and only hope they can see this in themselves.
Many thanks to Victoria F. for cheering me up on the ride back from Vanguard to the hotel. She is a very wise lady, and shared her insights with me. (paraphrasing) - Mr. Bogle will leave a legacy in all the people he has touched. You for instance. “Me?”, I asked. “Yes,“she replied. She then went on to say, “I don’t know if you have had a chance to read my notes, but Dr. Bernstein quoted you at one of the meetings you didn’t attend. “ Really?, I asked. “No, I haven’t had a chance to read these yet,” I replied. Thank you again Victoria, for your understanding. Also many thanks to Marlene L., for our conversation which cheered me up considerably too.
On Thursday, 10/18/12, from 4:30 p.m - 5:30 p.m., we visited for an hour with the many very nice representatives from Vanguard, in the new lobby, regarding 529 plans, etc. At 5:45 - 7:15 p.m. we went into the meeting room. On all the chairs there were black, hardcover spiral notebooks with, "Vanguard," in white letters across the front. The notebooks also had an elastic loop holing a pen with, "Vanguard," written on it. Soon the meeting began and we had a chance to ask the Vanguard Panel many questions, and received excellent answers. Next was a raffle! Umbrellas, golf balls, a tie, a scarf, blankets, and waterbottles, with Vanguard embossed on them, were the prizes. LadyGeek won a the lovely scarf, Chris H. won the tie, Daisy Dog , the water bottle, and Gene L., the small golf tote bag with three Vanguard golf balls. I didn’t win anything till we got to the shuttle bus. Gene asked, “Does anyone want these golf balls, I don’t golf?” I do I yelled and raised my hand. I was first to reply and won them! Thank you Gene. Upon our return to the hotel, we had a nice late supper buffet.
Friday, October 19, 2012 we had breakfast from 7:00am - 8:00 a.m. Next, from 8:00 a.m. - 9:00 a.m., Dr. Joe Davis, Vanguard’s Chief Economist gave a talk about historical perspectives on investing. The things he discussed are actually science fact but seemed like science fiction with the latest advances in technology! I was floored. Please be sure to tune into this when it is posted.
From, 9:20 - 12:00 p.m. (with a break from 10:40 - 11:00 am), we had the Q & A session with our Boglehead Panel of Experts; Chritine Benz, Bill Bernstein, Rick Ferri, Mel Lindauer, Allan Roth, and Bill Schultheis. We got into the finer details of investing. Again please check these out when they are posted..
From 12:00 p.m. - 12:30 we had our Final Announcements. I caught a shuttle bus to the airport with two people I didn’t know. When one got out, I had a new friend. His name is Adam, and he works at Vanguard in Australia! He showed me his autographed book from Mr. Bogle, and a photo on his ipad of he and Mr. Bogle in his office at Vanguard. We talked the entire time from the hotel to the airport. I told him of this site, and the Facebook site, of which he said he’d visit.
A wonderful experience once again. The only way it could have been better is if Taylor and Pat Larimore had attended, as they were very much missed.
I would like to finish by saying, Thank you Mr. Bogle for all you do for us.
Last edited by Kathleen Ryan
on Tue Oct 23, 2012 10:46 am, edited 1 time in total.