The Bogleheads®

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Bogleheads, a term intended to honor Vanguard founder and investor advocate John Bogle, are investing enthusiasts who participate in the Bogleheads Forum. The forum's regular posters discuss financial news and theory, while also helping less experienced investors develop their portfolios. There are nearly 26,000 registered Bogleheads Forum users who normally make between 500 and 1,000 posts each day. Some members also participate in national or local chapter get-togethers.

Investing philosophy

The Bogleheads approach begins with an investor deciding on percentage allocations to various asset classes, such as U.S. stocks, international stocks, U.S. bonds, etc. The desired allocations are then implemented using low-cost vehicles which are true to the targeted asset classes. Tax costs are carefully considered, influencing decisions as to what investments to place in taxable versus tax-advantaged accounts.

Bogleheads emphasize regular saving, broad diversification, and sticking to one's investment plan regardless of market conditions. Information relevant to the group's core beliefs is available in The Twelve Pillars of Wisdom and Vanguard's Investment Philosophy, and are explained in greater detail in Bogleheads Investment Philosophy.

Online history

The Bogleheads' history is one of growth and an increasing sense of group identity.

Vanguard Diehards

The Bogleheads group informally began in March 1998 when Morningstar established the Vanguard Diehards Forum to discuss Vanguard Funds. Taylor Larimore provides the following account of the forum's founding and early days in 100,000 POSTS !!!! !!!!, written in October 2001.

Congratulations Diehards:

Today is a very special day for Morningstar's Vanguard Diehard Forum. It is the first time any Morningstar Forum has received 100,000 postings. Despite our late start, we have more than three times the "hits" of any other Morningstar forum. Now is a good time to review how the "Vanguard Diehards" forum started.

"Investment Basics" was Morningstar's first forum started in June, 1997. Other "topic" forums were soon added. One of the major subjects in all these early forums was Vanguard and its index funds. Several Vanguard shareholders led by Luahiwa, Fred Holtz, Floyd Taylor, rferren, popeck, and others, began pestering Jennie Barrie, Community Coordinator, for a separate Vanguard Forum.

Morningstar resisted. They doubted that there would be enough response for a single company forum. But their biggest objection was that it would be unfair to have a forum for just one company. However, after much controversy Morningstar finally relented to our pleas. A contest was held for the best name. "Bogleheads" was favored. But Jennie decided "Vanguard Diehards" was more suitable because Diehards are "persons who vigorously promote a hopeless position."

My first Diehard post was in Conversation # 1 in March 1998. None of us ever dreamed that 43 months later we would be Morningstar's most popular forum . . .

Diehards.org

In July 2001 Alex Frakt and Larry Auton debuted diehards.org as a convenient index and search capability in support of the Morningstar Vanguard Diehards Forum. Alex details the site's inception in the 2007 post Diehards.org history.

The idea for what would become diehards.org was planted in this thread started on 6/13/01 http://socialize.morningstar.com/NewSocialize/asp/FullConv.asp?forumId=F100000015&convId=42509


. . .
It's funny, Larry (Mingstar) and I posted completely independently. We didn't get together on diehards.org until after I partially followed through on my "threat" to M* on 6/22 by announcing the creation of a page that showed the 50 most recently updated conversations. It was very primitive and buggy at first, but 3 days later...

Larry contacted me and told me he had been indexing all the posts with the idea that he would eventually build a search engine around them and offered to work with me on a site to include my listings and his search engine. He did the coding and I did the front end, and we had a working prototype up within a week. We brought in beta testers (Taylor, Mel, Bylo, Bonesly, Claudia and Bob Stowe) on 7/11 and...

diehards.org launched on 7/27/01.
Figure 1: The Diehards.org homepage as it looked in September, 2001.

Figure 1 shows how the diehards.org homepage originally looked in September, 2001.

The Bogleheads Forum

An independent and noncommercial Bogleheads Forum was established on February 19, 2007 by an individual with username Phoenix, who remains a site administrator. The primary driver behind creation of a new forum was acute disruption at Vanguard Diehards resulting from Morningstar's lax moderation policies. Technical obsolescence of the Morningstar boards was a secondary reason.

The conversation An announcement to the forum's membership, which occurred a week later, provides background information, and it details the willingness of Alex Frakt and Larry Auton to host the upstart forum at diehards.org. Alex and Larry accomplished the changeover quickly, and the diehards.org homepage adopted a split-screen format, listing posts from both forums.

Figure 2: The Diehards.org homepage as it looked in March, 2007.

Figure 2 shows the look of the diehards.org homepage in March, 2007, when it incorporated posts from both Morningstar and the Bogleheads forum.

Bogleheads.org

Since inception of the Bogleheads Forum, activity on Vanguard Diehards decreased markedly, primarily due to rapid growth of the competing board. Also contributing to the decline was Morningstar's unpopular site redesign in September 2007: M* to Launch Upgraded Message Boards.

On May 31, 2008 Alex and Larry switched default domain names from diehards.org to the more natural bogleheads.org. The new bogleheads.org homepage features a link to the Bogleheads Wiki, but it no longer indexes posts from the Vanguard Diehards Forum. Alex provides an explanation in Why?

The John C. Bogle Center for Financial Literacy

The John C. Bogle Center for Financial Literacy, a non-profit organization set up to help support the forum as one of it's stated objectives, was approved by the IRS as a 501(c)(3) public charity on February 6, 2012. The approval was retroactive to Nov. 22, 2010, the date of the organization's incorporation as a non-profit Texas Corporation.

Donations to the Bogle Center are tax-deductible. [1]

Donors should make their checks out to: "The John C. Bogle Center for Financial Literacy" or "Bogle Center for Financial Literacy" (for short) and mail their checks to:

The John C. Bogle Center for Financial Literacy
6977 Navajo Rd., Suite 147
San Diego CA 92119

In one of it's first actions, the Center trademarked the name "Bogleheads", and it is now a Registered Service Mark of The John C. Bogle Center for Financial Literacy. [2]

Bogleheads in the news

The Bogleheads Fund pioneer finds diehard fans in Miami
by Beatrice E. Garcia, March 19, 2000 edition of The Miami Herald
http://socialize.morningstar.com/NewSocialize/asp/FullConv.asp?forumId=F100000015&convId=22888

Vanguards frugal ways and good performance have earned the company, and Bogle, a loyal following. The Bogleheads, as they call themselves, are diehards. Their gathering place had always been in cyberspace until a meeting in Miami nearly two weeks ago.

Here Come the Bogleheads
by Jason Zweig, September 1, 2001, Money
http://money.cnn.com/magazines/moneymag/moneymag_archive/2001/09/01/308655/index.htm

On Friday afternoon, when the group first gathers outside the hotel, a Boglehead wants to capture a group photo. "Cheese," she calls out from behind her lens, but not everyone smiles. "The market was down today!" she chirps, and grins spread across a few more faces. "The market was down today, and we don't care!" she yells, and now all the Diehards are smiling. Finally the mood is just right. She snaps her picture.

'Bogleheads': Who cares about WorldCom?
by Martine Costello, CNN/Money Staff Writer, June 27, 2002: 12:55 PM EDT
http://money.cnn.com/2002/06/27/funds/q_mstar_bogle/index.htm

CHICAGO (CNN/Money) After WorldCom announced the biggest case of crooked accounting in history, the markets trembled and President Bush vowed heads would roll. Some money managers predicted investor confidence would take years to recover.

But at the Morningstar investing conference in Chicago this week, at least one group of people ignored the news: the "Bogleheads," a loose-knit organization of investors who follow the teachings of fund industry legend John Bogle.

Vanguard Diehards Never Say Die
by Sue Stevens, 09.02.04, 7:00 AM ET
http://www.forbes.com/feeds/mstar/2004/09/02/mstar1_11_17568_132.html

The forum began in March 1998 with a post from Taylor Larimore. He and several others lobbied Morningstar for a conversation forum for some time. Originally the "founders" of the forum wanted to call it "Bogleheads"--an affectionate name for these followers of Jack Bogle.

Where You Can Turn for a Helping Hand
by Penelope Wang, January 1, 2006 (MONEY Magazine)
http://money.cnn.com/magazines/moneymag/moneymag_archive/2006/01/01/8365194/

Trying to figure out the right thing to do with your money can be a daunting, lonely experience. Who do you talk to when you want to kick around an idea or get the answer to a perplexing question? You can consult an adviser and worry that he wants to sell you something.


. . .

Instead, how about talking to a committed, knowledgeable disciple of Vanguard founder John Bogle, the index-fund pioneer who ranks among the small investor's best friends? Welcome to the Vanguard Diehards message board, . . .

Planning ahead can help keep holiday spending out of the red
by Huberto Cruz, October 25, 2006 (The Boston Globe)
http://www.boston.com/business/personalfinance/articles/2006/10/25/planning_ahead_can_help_keep_holiday_spending_out_of_the_red/

Another gift that older children -- and adults -- may enjoy is the board game Look Out Wall Street! (information at www.lookoutwallst.com). Players try to get the most money by investing in stocks and bonds. Luck, as it does in life, plays a large role in the form of "random events," including bull and bear markets.


...

The game's creator, Kathleen Ryan, said she was inspired by John Bogle, founder of the Vanguard mutual funds and a champion of low-cost investing in index funds. Bogle has endorsed the board game as "a fun game that teaches valuable lessons about investing."

The common-sense cult of John Bogle
by Kara McGuire, Star Tribune, November 21, 2007 - 7:29 PM
http://www.startribune.com/business/11917421.html

Jeff McComas used to actively manage his investments, trying to time the market to boost his portfolio's returns. But then he happened upon an online forum seven years ago. Figuring he'd visit once and that would be it, he registered as "Chuck D"-- like the rapper from Public Enemy. But after spending hours on the forum, he ditched his former ways and became a Boglehead.

Where to go for advice you can trust
by Joe Light, Ismat Sarah Mangla and Pat Regnier, December 4 2007: 1:32 PM EST (MONEY Magazine)
http://money.cnn.com/2007/11/29/pf/bestweb_advice.moneymag/

And talking a lot about stocks has a way of encouraging you to trade more, which will make you poorer.

The best advice - in print, online or in conversation - is about long-term strategy, not stock picks.

And that's where the "Boglehead" message boards shine.

The Long Road: Diehard II
by Murray Coleman of www.indexuniverse.com
http://www.indexuniverse.com/sections/features/3599.html


Of Diehards and Bogleheads By Katy Marquardt, June 6, 2008, U.S. News & World Report
http://www.usnews.com/blogs/new-money/2008/6/6/of-diehards-and-bogleheads.html


It's official: The Bogleheads—proud disciples of Vanguard founder and index-fund pioneer Jack Bogle—have cut ties with the Vanguard Diehards message board, which has long been the most active discussion group on Morningstar..

Investing Advice From the Bogleheads
by Katy Marquardt August 11, 2008 10:30 AM ET New Money US News & World Report
http://www.usnews.com/blogs/new-money/2008/8/11/investing-advice-from-the-bogleheads.html


Jack Bogle - Market Moralist
By Art Carey, October 19, 2008, Philadelphia Enquirer
http://www.philly.com/inquirer/online_extras/20081019_Market_Moralist.html

To Jack Bogle, the reckoning for Wall Street, "with all its sins," reaffirms Vanguard's pioneering course in funds.
The Bogleheads, devotees of Vanguard founder and index-fund pioneer Jack Bogle, run a highly active online forum of more than 16,000 registered posters. If you have time to sift through posts (anyone can read and search the site without registering), the site offers a wealth of free investing advice—and it's not just for Vanguard investors. Under the forum's broad discussion topics, the Bogleheads chat about long-term indexing strategies, investing theory, ideas for building portfolios, and specific funds. You can also ask the group for help with your own portfolio (you'll have to register for this).

See also

References

  1. IRS Exempt Organizations Select Check
  2. Legal Force:Bogleheads

External inks