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jack bogle
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Post by jack bogle » Sat Jan 03, 2009 5:32 pm

Hi, Bogleheads,

Perhaps, after the ghastly year just ended for stocks and the economy, I should have greeted you with my hopes for a HAPPIER NEW YEAR. Whatever the case, it's high time that I took a few moments to send you all my appreciation and best wishes, and bring you up-to-date on my activities.

BOGLEHEADS VII. First, belated thanks for the wonderful meeting in San Diego. While I was not in tip-top shape, your generosity of spirit and kindness meant more to me than you could possibly imagine--and surely helped give me strength to carry on.

Special thanks to the Globersons for hosting such a successful affair, to the Bogle-ettes for their musical tribute, and to Eric for carving the signature board (and to all of you who signed it). Also to Bill Bernstein for being my partner in the joint Q and A session. I try to avoid--with mixed success!--letting your lovely words about this humble soul go to his head.

MY WORK. I continue to crank lots of information, advice, and idealism, and you'll soon see a memo to our Crew principals and veterans posted on my eblog. It includes a piece on morals and capitalism, my speech to Community College of Philadelphia, and a few other items of special interest. Soon thereafter, I'll post a detailed history of Wellington Fund, commemorating its 80th anniversary on December 27, 2008. Now (with the earlier deaths of Incorporated Investors and State Street) one of only three of today's 10,000 mutual funds to endure all those decades. (And to think that I've now been associated with the Fund for 58 of those 80 years!) I'm still in the office every morning before 8, and when I leave (a bit earlier than usual) I fear that I've exhausted the wonderful Kevin, Emily, and Sara, who continue their great support.

MY LIFE. With four stays in UPenn Hospital (and all since June) dealing with a balky heart, I've had to slow down, and am doing only the most limited sort of travel. But my energy is slowly returning, and the medical prognosis is pretty good. While I wish I could do more, who could possibly complain after 13 extra years of life (effective February 21)? Eve and I are infinitely blessed to have our large family mostly nearby, and I'm doing my best to be a better husband, father, and grandfather.

MY BOOK. ENOUGH. is doing quite well in the stores, and is the subject of multiple postings on Amazon and more than a score of terrific reviews in the blogosphere. Barron's compared it--and favorably, at that!--to Tom Paine's Common Sense and Tom Peters said it was "one of the ten best business (and 'life'?) books" of all time. But the New York Times and Wall Street Journal have yet to publish reviews. But I feel very good about having written it, and believe it will still be talked about when most of today's popular volumes are long forgotten. Lord knows, America has lost her way, and we'll find it again only by returning to the values that have made us the greatest nation on earth.

INVESTING. I hardly need to tell any of you that we've just put a truly horrible year behind us. In my note to you a year ago, I talked about my risk aversion, in part because of my view that there were low probabilities of decent stock returns, in part because of the painful consequences more aggressive investors would face if their confidence was misplaced.

I'm sure it was partly a lucky guess on my part, but in my year-end "peek" at my portfolio, my performance looks to be about minus 12 percent. That's just the result of mostly indexing, staying US in focus, and going to a 65/35 bond stock ratio back near the 2000 high--with no reallocation on my part since then. Of course with stocks down and bonds up since then, my ratio has reallocated itself, and I'm now about 75/25.

This is one of the toughest times I've ever seen to figure out what--if anything--to do with our portfolios. Yes, the economy is tumbling and lots of innocent citizens are being hurt by the disgraceful--one might say stupid--conduct of our financial and business leaders. The mess took a long time to develop, and it will take a long time to be resolved, 18 to 24 months in my amateur opinion. Yet the stock market decline--some 40% from the high a year-plus ago, even after the little year-end/year beginning rally we've just seen--could well be anticipating something worse. So what's to be done? We're all in different circumstances, so once again it comes down to assessing probabilities and recognizing the consequences if we're mistaken. I for one--this will not amaze you--intend to Stay the Course.

BOGLEHEADS VIII. I feel badly about investors--especially older and retired investors (the present mess has created great opportunities for younger investors who continue to save, even though they may get, well, greater!)--who have suffered painful losses in this worst-in-my-adult-lifetime market. But I look forward to being with the Bogleheads in Dallas come September. You can't possibly realize how much you warm my soul!

Please forgive me for writing at such length, but there was a lot to say.

With best wishes for a happier 2009, always,


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Post by dgrdfd » Sat Jan 03, 2009 5:41 pm

Thanks Jack. Happy New Year to you, too. Thanks for everything that you do.

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Post by kylevet » Sat Jan 03, 2009 5:43 pm

Thank you Jack - I just finished your book "Enough" - your integrity is rivaled only by my Dad's

Cheers, Kyle

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Post by Leif » Sat Jan 03, 2009 5:50 pm

It was very nice to meet you for the first time in San Diego. We are all wishing you good health and happy new year.

Best Regards,
Leif Eriksen

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Post by Norris » Sat Jan 03, 2009 5:52 pm


As always, thanks for your words of wisdom. May your year be filled with good health and much happiness.

With respect,
Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated. Confucius

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Post by bobcat2 » Sat Jan 03, 2009 5:54 pm

Thanks Jack and a very Happy New Year to you and your family. Your work is much appreciated.

Best regards,
Bob and Heather
In finance risk is defined as uncertainty that is consequential (nontrivial). | The two main methods of dealing with financial risk are the matching of assets to goals & diversifying.

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Post by Rubiosa » Sat Jan 03, 2009 5:57 pm

Improved health and great happiness for a great American hero.

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Post by VictoriaF » Sat Jan 03, 2009 6:21 pm


In the times of the financial turmoil and uncertainty, you and this Forum -- created in your honor and your spirit -- provide precious refuge, community and camaraderie to understand better ourselves and the world around us.

Happy New Year!


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Happy New Year

Post by Laura » Sat Jan 03, 2009 6:34 pm


Thank you for taking time away from your family and busy schedule to post such a nice message to all of us on the forum. As you probably know we endlessly debate "What Jack Bogle meant by..." so it is nice to hear from your directly.

Your latest book was terrific.

Happy New Year to you and your family, including your Vanguard family.

The views presented are my own and not necessarily those of the Department of State or the U.S. Government.

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Post by DRiP Guy » Sat Jan 03, 2009 6:38 pm

A tremendous offering; I am glad to have had a chance to read it.

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Post by SquawkIdent » Sat Jan 03, 2009 6:50 pm

Thank you Jack. What a great post. I appreciate all the work you have done for the little guy. May the New Year be your happiest!!!!!

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Post by Aaron » Sat Jan 03, 2009 6:57 pm

Thank you Mr. Bogle
I am looking forward to your new book during my vacation in the Bahamas in a couple months :)

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Post by imbogled » Sat Jan 03, 2009 7:01 pm

Dear Jack,

It is very nice to see you posting in this forum which has helped me and many others.

I recently "strayed the course" but have received excellent advice from several very talented and dedicated people here ( Laura (':wink:')
Wink) and look forward to getting back on course.

Thanks to all !!! imbogled

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Post by Mel Lindauer » Sat Jan 03, 2009 7:02 pm

Hi Jack:

Thanks for dropping by and sharing your thoughts. A very happy and healthy new year to you, Eve and your family. We know that you took some risk to your health by coming to San Diego, but we also know getting together with your Bogleheads has special meaning for you, just as your presence did for all of those of us in attendance.

Here's hoping that 2009 finds you in ever-increasing better health. Looking forward to seeing a strong and healthy Jack again at DH VIII in Dallas.
Best Regards - Mel | | Semper Fi

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Post by BarbInSD » Sat Jan 03, 2009 7:06 pm

Dear Jack,

Thank you for your wonderful and heartfelt message. Wishing you and your family a Happy and Healthy New Year.

I feel so blessed to have found this forum which taught me how to invest with index funds through Vanguard and to stay the course as outlined by you. Your wisdom allows me to sleep at night.

I was so pleased to be part of Diehards VII here in San Diego and look forward to seeing you and the Bogleheads next fall in Dallas.

All My Best,

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Post by chaz » Sat Jan 03, 2009 7:07 pm

Jack, A very nice post. I'm glad to hear that your writing has been favorably compared to that of Tom Paine. A wonderful compliment.

Happy New Year.
Chaz | | “Money is better than poverty, if only for financial reasons." Woody Allen | | http://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/index.php/Main_Page

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Post by DA » Sat Jan 03, 2009 7:17 pm


It is good to hear from you. Thank you for creating Vanguard and giving all of us the opportunity to earn the returns of the market.

I wish you and your family all the best in 2009.


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Post by LynnC » Sat Jan 03, 2009 7:17 pm

Hi Jack,

Wishing you much health and happiness in the new year.

Thank you taking the time for all of us, all of the time. I appreciated you meeting with me privately in San Diego I really enjoyed your warm bear hug when I saw you at lunch that day with Kevin.

I'm so glad you have enjoyed the Boglettes. It has been a kick in the pants for all concerned.


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Post by Rager1 » Sat Jan 03, 2009 7:26 pm

Dear Jack,

Thank you for stopping by on "your" forum to give us an update. I'm glad to see that your Enough book is doing well....I gave a bunch of them out as Christmas gifts.

Patti and I wish you continued success and we look forward to seeing you again in Dallas.


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Post by tetractys » Sat Jan 03, 2009 7:52 pm

jack bogle wrote:Perhaps, after the ghastly year just ended for stocks and the economy, I should have greeted you with my hopes for a HAPPIER NEW YEAR.
Dear Jack Bogle,

Certainly it's what we learn from you that makes your kind wish of a HAPPY NEW YEAR just fine, never minding the present economy, yet being well prepared for it.

Best Regards for a Prosperous 2009!, Tet

PS. One of these days my turn will come up at the local library for your latest book. Gauging from the length of the wait so far, it's very popular. :D

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Post by mickeyd » Sat Jan 03, 2009 7:56 pm

Hey Jack,

As others have said, thanks for posting. Always a treat to read anything that you write. Just finished reading Enough.. Wonderful reading.
Part-Owner of Texas | | “The CMH-the Cost Matters Hypothesis -is all that is needed to explain why indexing must and will work… Yes, it is that simple.” John C. Bogle

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Post by RTR2006 » Sat Jan 03, 2009 8:17 pm

Hi Mr. Bogle, happy new year! Please accept our best wishes for good (read "better!!!") health and continued happiness as we enter 2009 filled with anticipation and hopes for good things to come (peace in the Middle East and less hunger and suffering in the world also come to mind, since we're making wishes for the new year...).

Thank you for everything you've done for us; without this Forum I know I'd be feeling pretty lonely right now.

All our best wishes to you and your family,


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Post by JMacDonald » Sat Jan 03, 2009 8:27 pm

Hi Jack,
Thanks for dropping by. Have a wonderful year.
Best Wishes, | Joe

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Thank you

Post by Omo » Sat Jan 03, 2009 8:29 pm

Dear Mr. Bogle

All the best for the years ahead.

I was amazed to find "Enough" at my local library and found it an honest and sincere book. Thanks.

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Post by Blue » Sat Jan 03, 2009 8:51 pm


A heartfelt thank you for making our society immeasurably better. You are a paragon that we should all strive to be.

Happy New Year,

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Post by woof755 » Sat Jan 03, 2009 9:30 pm

Thank you, Mr. Bogle, for everything you've done and are still doing. I love hearing your voice of reason on NPR and elsewhere.

Was in Barnes and Noble tonight. I placed a copy of The Little Book of Common Sense Investing face-forward in front of a book of investment noise. My little rebellion. Enough was already facing forward. (some other Boglehead might have beaten me to the punch!)

May your heart stay strong in 2009, sir.

"By singing in harmony from the same page of the same investing hymnal, the Diehards drown out market noise." | | --Jason Zweig, quoted in The Bogleheads' Guide to Investing

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Post by danwalk » Sat Jan 03, 2009 9:40 pm

Dear Mr. Bogle,

Thank you for all your work on behalf of investors.

Three hours spent with your book Common Sense on Mutual Funds led me to this forum and to the style of investing you advocate. Those three hours in a bookstore in the late winter of 2008 singlehandedly changed the way I thought about investing and set me up well to confront this very aggressive bear market. What I learned in 2008 will serve as the base of the rest of my financial life and for that I will be forever grateful.

Happy New Year,
Image | "Time is your friend; impulse is your enemy."—Jack Bogle

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On to 2009

Post by krumw » Sat Jan 03, 2009 10:05 pm


Thank you for being a good friend and wise counsel. If all goes right I will see you in Dallas this fall.

“For Auld Lang Syne”


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Thank you

Post by grok87 » Sat Jan 03, 2009 10:21 pm

Dear Jack,
Thank you for your inspiring words. I look forward to reading "Enough" soon.
RIP Mr. Bogle.

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Post by catchup » Sat Jan 03, 2009 10:25 pm

Dear Mr. Bogle,

My father-in-law recently celebrated the "bar-mitzvah" year of his heart transplant. To you, in your 13th year, Mazel Tov, and to your health.

This forum and Vanguard has helped me to steer a straight financial course for my wife, 3-year-old son, and future daughter whom we are expecting soon.

As a surgeon, I see the best and worst of humanity, and constantly struggle to feel that I am doing "enough". I have bought your book and hope to learn the meaning of enough.

Thank you, thank you, thank you, for your continued work and inspiration. L'chaim. (To Life)

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Post by nisiprius » Sat Jan 03, 2009 11:14 pm

Thank you, Mr. Bogle. I made my first tentative purchase of "Vanguard Index Trust" in the mid-1980s. At the time, I couldn't find many people to talk to about it, and I was nervous about it the people I did talk to thought it was a very weird thing to do. I believe I learned about it through Andrew Tobias' book, "The Only Investment Guide You'll Ever Need," and it seemed to me to have a compelling logic to it. I wasn't even think about expense ratios at the time, but the logic of just buying the whole darn market instead of trying to pick stocks seemed luminously obvious.
Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen nineteen and six, result happiness; Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery.

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Jack Bogle -- Our beacon of light.

Post by Taylor Larimore » Sat Jan 03, 2009 11:30 pm

Dear Jack:

What a treat it is to read your inspiring New Year's Message after a day of sailing on Biscayne Bay!

I am glad the message in "ENOUGH" is getting into the hands, minds, and hearts of many people (unfortunately, not Mr. Madoff). I, of course, included it in our Collection of Investment Gems:


Thank you for visiting us with your kindness and wisdom. You are our beacon of light on the road to personal and investment success.
"Simplicity is the master key to financial success." -- Jack Bogle

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Post by White Coat Investor » Sat Jan 03, 2009 11:42 pm

Thank you.
1) Invest you must 2) Time is your friend 3) Impulse is your enemy | 4) Basic arithmetic works 5) Stick to simplicity 6) Stay the course

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Post by indexer » Sun Jan 04, 2009 1:41 am

Mr. Bogle, Thank you for your kind words. Your words are an inspiration to all of us...Happy new year to you too..

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Post by Ella » Sun Jan 04, 2009 2:25 am

Dear Mr. Bogle,

Thank you for your message! We're honored by your presence. I so admire your integrity and intellect. I wish you improved health and continued happiness, and I look forward to meeting you in Dallas this year.


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Post by Gregory » Sun Jan 04, 2009 4:47 am

Mr. Bogle,

Have a happy, healthy 2009.

Many thanks for all you do in standing up for the small investor. You've changed the world for the better, and continue to do so.
Pecuniae imperare oportet, non servire. | Fortuna vitrea est; tum cum splendit frangitur. -Syrus

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Post by Qtman » Sun Jan 04, 2009 5:49 am

ENOUGH is a great book, thanks.
Don’t wear yourself out trying to get rich; be wise enough to control yourself. | Wealth can vanish in the wink of an eye. It can seem to grow wings and fly away | like an eagle. - King Solomon

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Post by sar » Sun Jan 04, 2009 5:57 am

Thank you for your post and all that you do. Cheers.

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Post by bikeguyken » Sun Jan 04, 2009 8:32 am

Dear Jack,
Thanks for the message and most of all the creation of Vanguard, a low cost and transparent investment vehicle which has transformed the mutual fund industry. All the best in 2009!


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Post by Latecomer » Sun Jan 04, 2009 9:57 am

Dear Jack,
Thank you for being such a calm, serene beacon of light in the financial world. It isn't your money expertise so much that inspires me, but your integrity and caring efforts to assist us all on the great wide road of investing.

I hope many blessings come to you in 2009.

Latecomer :)

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Post by scubadiver » Sun Jan 04, 2009 10:22 am

Dear Jack,

Thanks so much for everything you have done to benefit the individual investor. I'm looking forward to reading your new book.

Best wishes to you for a happy and healthy 2009!


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Post by Heath » Sun Jan 04, 2009 11:35 am


Thanks for all you have done and another great January message.


Jack’s last post was in January 2008. There was a lot of meat in that message that seems to have been largely ignored. Likewise there is a lot of meat in this message,
This is one of the toughest times I've ever seen to figure out what--if anything--to do with our portfolios. Yes, the economy is tumbling and lots of innocent citizens are being hurt by the disgraceful--one might say stupid--conduct of our financial and business leaders. The mess took a long time to develop, and it will take a long time to be resolved, 18 to 24 months in my amateur opinion. Yet the stock market decline--some 40% from the high a year-plus ago, even after the little year-end/year beginning rally we've just seen--could well be anticipating something worse. So what's to be done? We're all in different circumstances, so once again it comes down to assessing probabilities and recognizing the consequences if we're mistaken. I for one--this will not amaze you--intend to Stay the Course.

Please read closely everything he is saying about investing today and DON’T just read the words “Stay the Course”. Focus instead on assessing probabilities and individual consequences.

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Post by HueyLD » Sun Jan 04, 2009 11:44 am

Mr. Bogle,

Just finished listening to your audio book ENOUGH during my road trip. Your wisdom and integrity is simply admirable. I sincerely hope that your legacy stays with the world forever.

I especially like your straight talk such as: "There are innovators followed by immitators and idiots." I also admire your fighting spirit and your self-appointed role of fighting the mutual fund industry for the rest of us.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart and have a healthy and wonderful new year.

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Post by haberd » Sun Jan 04, 2009 11:49 am

Same to you, and many more.

From Your Biggest Fan

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Post by ruralavalon » Sun Jan 04, 2009 11:58 am

Thank you.

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thank you

Post by hollowcave2 » Sun Jan 04, 2009 12:02 pm

Thank you Mr. Bogle for all of your contributions. It is an honor for me to be a part of a forum where I can respond to a post from you.

I read your new book Enough and enjoyed it very much. And I also appreciated your personal struggles, especially with a new heart for nearly 13 years. That's an amazing story in itself. I hope that the New Year brings you happiness and good health!!!!!

Steven Haynes

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Post by dcd » Sun Jan 04, 2009 12:40 pm

Thank you Mr. Bogle. You've been a great help to me and my family.

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Post by Gorji » Sun Jan 04, 2009 12:50 pm

Thank you Jack.
You are our role model.

Happy 2009.

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Post by Xenophon » Sun Jan 04, 2009 1:21 pm

As I prepare for my own retirement I do so with the knowledge that my own battered index portfolio is still intact, will survive and recover, and I haven't spent much time wondering if Vanguard is real or a ponzi scheme.

Because of you and your research, books and actions, myself and many tens of thousand other Americans have a strategy for the future and the means to realize it. Thanks.
I've seen the blogsphere, and it looks nothing like Hamlet.

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Post by PaPaw » Sun Jan 04, 2009 1:49 pm

Thank you Mr. Bogle for a wonderful post. I too have greatly enjoyed your books, keep on telling the world how you see it. Your guidance has kept my wife and I from losing our shirts in our retirement.

Best wishes to you and your family for 2009.

... PaPaw