Essays and stories

An archive of reference topics and posts (no new posts can be added)
User avatar
Topic Author
Wiki Admin
Posts: 557
Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2007 12:41 pm

Essays and stories

Post by gbs »

Sometimes a story helps more than a bunch of numbers and graphs.

If it's interested and contains a good investment lesson fire away!

If you add a link to an essay or story write a short paragraph on what it's about in under 50 words.

Thank you!


P.S. Out of scope stories will be deleted a.s.a.p.

Return to the Table of Contents
Last edited by gbs on Mon Oct 29, 2007 2:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
Posts: 552
Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2007 11:10 am
Location: CT

The Way to Wealth

Post by Boris »

From Wikipedia:
"The Way to Wealth" is an essay written by Benjamin Franklin in 1758. It is a collection of adages and advice presented in Poor Richard's Almanac during its first 25 years of publication, organized into a speech given by "Father Abraham" to a group of people. Many of the phrases Father Abraham quotes continue to be familiar today. The essay's advice often centers around themes of work ethic and frugality.
Poor Richard 1758: The Way to Wealth

This essay talks about the ethics one must have to build wealth. Things that were true 350-years ago for building wealth are still true today. Although this article in particular doesn't delve into investing, Benjamin Franklin made a lot of investments to build his wealth. He believed in the power of compounding, diversification, and multiple sources of income.

Several relevant quotes from The Way to Wealth:
If you would be wealthy think of Saving as well as of Getting

Beware of little Expences; a small Leak will sink a great Ship

always taking out of the Meal-tub, and never putting in, soon comes to the Bottom; When the Well's dry, they know the Worth of Water.

If you would know the Value of Money, go and try to borrow some for, he that goes a borrowing goes a sorrowing

'Tis easier to suppress the first Desire, than to satisfy all that follow it.

Great Estates may venture more,
But little Boats should keep near Shore.

when you run in Debt; You give to another Power over your Liberty.

The Borrower is a Slave to the Lender, and the Debtor to the Creditor

Be industrious and free; be frugal and free.

He that's content, hath enough; He that complains, has too much.

Spare and have is better than spend and crave.
Short term moves in the market are like "a tale Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, Signifying nothing." | - John C. Bogle quoting Shakespeare
User avatar
Kathleen Ryan
Posts: 648
Joined: Mon Feb 19, 2007 9:40 pm
Location: Carmel, CA

Essay About John C. Bogle

Post by Kathleen Ryan »

John (Jack) C. Bogle-His Gift of Friendship

When my father Jack was dying from pancreatic cancer I felt my world starting to cave in on me. One of his requests of me was that I learn about investing so he could have peace of mind about my financial future before he died. Where does one begin with this daunting task?

I went to a bookstore and happened upon Suze Orman’s book, “The Nine Steps to Financial Freedom.” While reading her book I became acutely aware of how important it is to “take care of business,” regarding estate planning, trusts, and “pour-over” wills. After I finished the book, I saw Ms. Orman on PBS. She wa s talking about Roth vs. Traditional IRAs. Then she mentioned a website called “Morningstar,” and recommended it as a place to visit and read about different investing subjects. There I found the, “Vanguard Diehards.”

I was fortunate to have found such a wonderful site in cyberspace back in October 1998. Being I had read Ms. Orman’s book, I now knew enough to start asking questions about investing and building a well diversified investment portfolio. When I posed my first question Taylor Larimore, and Mel Lindauer, the founders of the Vanguard Diehards area of the Morningstar Website answered me. With my good luck I started straight at the top!

Being I knew nothing about investing, every day was an opportunity to learn from the very knowledgeable people who posted at the Diehards site.

Then I found out about John (Jack) C. Bogle, the Founder, and former CEO, of The Vanguard Group, Inc. I soon discovered what a great man he is. First-hand.

Soon he had a following of people who became known as, “The Bogleheads.” Upon reflection, it is interesting to note, that there is no other group of people who have the affection for any other investment company founder. There obviously has to be a good reason for this.

Jack Bogle asked Taylor and Mel if they thought there would be an interest for the people that posted at the Vanguard Diehards site to have an opportunity to meet him-(Mr. Bogle.) Taylor and Mel thought it was an excellent idea, and planned a get-together around the time Jack would be speaking in Miami, Florida, in March 2000. They posted an open invitation at the Vanguard Diehards site at Morningstar. Anyone and everyone was welcome. Of course the obvious question that came to mind was, Isn’t that dangerous?

Taylor and Mel didn’t think so, and Taylor even offered to hold the “Reunion” in his home. His wife Pat was all for it too, and they opened their home to 22 people they “knew” only through their posts over the internet. It was a huge success.

During dinner, Taylor Larimore was so kind when he read to Mr. Bogle what I had posted at the Vanguard Diehard site-Conversation#4953 - on: 03/08/2000

I wrote:
Going to this seminar is something that I really wanted to do so very much. It represents a “once in a lifetime” opportunity to meet Mr. Bogle.

Unfortunately, I would be in total awe, and not well versed enough to converse with someone so great. Anything I would have to say would probably sound foolish to someone so intelligent and knowledgeable.

What a great man he is to have helped so many people reach their financial goals. I wish I could meet him. Maybe he will be at a book signing someday close to where I live. Then I would feel comfortable meeting him, however briefly.

From, Kathleen R.

Soon after Mr. Bogle returned to PA, he e-mailed me personally in response to my letter Taylor had read to him. I was floored, to say the least. That a man whose schedule would break most other people, would take the time to write to someone with a portfolio as paltry as mine was unheard of.

My father died on May 17, 2000. A month later I wrote to Mr. Bogle, to let him know. He sent me a hand-written letter of condolence. I was grateful for the kind things he had written to me in this special letter.

I know how lucky I am that I started off correctly from day one with my investments. I am thankful I avoided many of the terrible investment nightmares common to many other investors including; trying to time the market, following hot sectors, getting hot tips, loads, wraps, and other pitfalls that eat away at amassing one’s nest egg.

Instead, I learned to stay the course, invest in funds with no loads and low expense ratios, and diversify with index funds with no overlap. I learned that Jack Bogle’s mission is to give the small investor a "fair shake," by using an investment strategy that includes low cost, index funds to achieve what the market has to offer investors, without trying to beat the stock market.

In September 2001 the second Bogleheads Reunion was scheduled. You can be sure I attended this one! It was held in Philadelphia, PA.

When I entered the meeting room at the hotel the Bogleheads were staying at, I received my name badge, and before I knew it, I saw Taylor Larimore for the first time. I went over to him and said, “Hi I’m Kathleen Ryan, it is so nice to meet you.” And Taylor hugged me! Talk about a warm welcome, and being made to feel comfortable. I hugged him back. And then I got a hug from Mel Lindauer when I first met him. What a wonderful family feeling this was. It was as if I knew everyone in the room already, before I met them, through their posts at the Vanguard Diehards site.

The next day all the attendees arrived at the Vanguard Campus at Valley Forge, PA. When I entered the lobby, I spotted a beautiful ship model of the H.M.S. Vanguard behind a glass case. When I was done admiring it, I turned to go over to where I saw Jack Bogle. He was surrounded by many people. I started walking towards him, with my hand outstretched to meet him and in his booming, authoritative voice he said, “You must be Kathleen!”

Flabbergasted that he would know, I stammered, “Yes, I am.” Well instead of shaking my hand, he gave me a big, bear hug. I hugged him back and told him, “It is wonderful to meet you Mr. Bogle.” At that precise moment a photographer snapped our photo! It was placed with the story, “Here Come the Bogleheads,“ written by Jason Zweig, the Senior Editor of Money Magazine in the September 2001 issue.

And then Mr. Bogle personally gave the Bogleheads a tour of Vanguard Campus. We saw the boardroom, his office, a portrait of his mentor, Walter Morgan, and a bronze statue of Mr. Bogle in the courtyard. Wow! It was great getting a tour of the company by the man who founded it.

After this wonderful reunion, and after I read Jason's Zweig's article, I was inspired to write to Money Magazine’s, Letters to Editor about my father Jack, and Jack Bogle. I was surprised when they actually published it. This is my letter that appeared in the November 2001 issue of Money:

Seventeen years ago my dad taught me to sail our 19-foot Lightning sailboat. I was enjoying my turn at the tiller, when suddenly he yelled, “Man Overboard Drill!” and jumped into the water. I continued on for a few seconds collecting my wits. Then I came about and picked him up all by myself! My dad saw my potential before I did. He gave me the knowledge I would need to carry on without him. Mr. Bogle does this every day for many people, through his books, speeches and writings. He gives people the knowledge to help them help themselves, which is very empowering.

Kathleen L. Ryan,
Carmel-by-the-Sea, CA

Since the first reunion with 22 people in attendance, every reunion since has grown in size. The Bogleheads just had their 8th Reunion from Wednesday, September 30, - October 2, 2009, with 137 people attending.

Local Bogleheads Chapters have started forming across America, and Europe. I head the Central CA Chapter. This brings me to my next story:

When I heard Mr. Bogle was going to be in San Francisco, CA, giving one of his many keynote speeches, I e-mailed his wonderful assistant Kevin Laughlin and asked if he thought it might be possible to have our local chapters meet briefly with Mr. Bogle over breakfast? Kevin got right back to me letting me know, “Yes!” I was so delighted, and posted at the Vanguard Diehards site at Morningstar, at The newer site, Bogleheads Forum, and at the Yahoo S.F./Bay Area Diehards website to let everyone know when and where we would be visiting with Mr. Bogle. I even called people to let them know.

Long story short, no one could attend but me. I was mortified. I e-mailed Kevin and let him know to please tell Mr. Bogle, “Since no one but I could attend, I would have to cancel.” “ Oh no, he’ll be expecting you,“ Kevin assured me. “But I don’t want him to have to feel obligated to show up for just one person.”
Kevin let me know Mr. Bogle, “Had to eat breakfast anyway.”

Oh my gosh, I thought to myself driving to San Francisco, how in the world can I hold a conversation with a man who in 2004, was named by TIME magazine as one of the world’s "100 most powerful and influential people," and in 1999, was designated as one of the investment industry’s four “Giants of the 20th Century,” by Fortune?

Well, I had no need to worry. Here is that story:

My Breakfast with Jack Bogle-(As posted at the Bogleheads Forum-Sun Apr 08, 2007 3:34 pm) - Post subject: California Chapters 5&9 second meeting.

I don't know how our resident Bogleheads Forum librarian Barry Barnitz does it, but he seems to find out about events before anyone else!

I believe it was about a week before Mr. Bogle was scheduled to speak in S.F. that Barry e-mailed me about Mr. B's speech. I posted about this at the Diehards site and sent e-mails to everyone I had addresses for in CA Chapters 5&9 and the southern CA Chapter, if they would like to meet and we could all go together to attend Mr. Bogle's speech. The people who got back to me said there was not enough notice, they couldn't get time off from work, etc.

So then Sunny from the southern CA Chapter suggested maybe Mr. Bogle could meet with the Bogleheads before or after the speech. I said, "I must be slipping to not have thought of this!" I sent an e-mail to Kevin to ask if this could possibly fit into Mr. Bogle's schedule and Yes, was the reply. =-)

So once again I e-mailed everyone again, and no one but I could attend. I e-mailed Kevin back telling him to let Mr. Bogle know he didn't have to make time to meet with just me. Or maybe I could just show up at the airport to say Hi and goodbye for his return flight back to PA. Kevin let me know Mr. Bogle was fine with meeting with just me.

Needless to say, I was floored! So I arrived at 7:15 a.m. on October 2006 at the hotel Mr. Bogle was staying at and we had breakfast together. I had to pinch myself throughout breakfast to make sure I wasn't dreaming!

I want to share this again with everyone in case you missed it when I originally posted it at Conversations # 54368 at the Vanguard Diehards site at Morningstar.

My Breakfast with Mr.Bogle-Friday, October 27, 2006

I walked into the hotel Mr. Bogle was staying at and went to the front desk to ask if they could call him in his room for me. They did and handed me the phone.

Mr.B: "Hello."
I said, "Good Morning, Mr. Bogle."
"Kathleen?" he replied.
"Yes," I said.
Mr. B: "I'll be right down."

We greeted each other and then proceeded to the restaurant.

Mr. B: "I apologize for not having much time for this meeting."
Me: "Oh please, I appreciate you taking the time to meet with just me." I wish more people could have attended. A few let me know they couldn't attend. Katie really wanted to be here to see you again, but they were having exams for the end of the first trimester, or I would have brought her.
Mr. B: Well, the priorities are right.
Me: I was naughty though when I took her out of school to see you in Las Vegas.
Mr. B: It was an unlikely place to hold the reunion.
Me: Yes, but the company was good.
Mr. B: Did she like that?
Me: Yes, she loves meeting new people of all ages and talking with them. Mr. Bogle: How old is Katie?
Me: She will be 13 in November.
Mr. B: Wow.

Mr. B: Have you heard any more about the next DH reunion? I think it's supposed to be about 5 days.
Me: No, I haven't heard anything more about it, just that it is supposed to be in Washington, DC.
Mr. B: Yes, that's right.

Me: Katie and I both wanted to know what games you played as a child because you are so smart?
Mr. B: Well, being smart is over-rated you know. Monopoly of course, Bridge, and Hearts. How is your game selling?
Me: After Humberto Cruz's article came out we have been receiving anywhere from one to ten orders per day.
Mr. B: That just might catch on.
How many games are in your inventory?
Me: 2,500.
Mr. B: That's a lot.
Me: Usually the orders are 5,000 games, but I said "Please, I'm on a shoestring budget."
He laughed.

Me: From the limited time I've been investing it has been my experience that in general most people do not seem have an interest in investing. Whenever I mention it, their eyes seem to glaze over. Then I started talking about the lack of financial education in place.

Me: I mean about as close as people get to the stock market is watching the movie, "Trading Places." People are so far removed from the stock market that they just can't relate to it in any other way. They are intimidated and think it is harder than it has to be. The movie,
Trading Places" was a riot. Did you see it?
Mr. B: Yes, I thought the scene where Eddie Murphy was surrounded by the cops and saying, " I can see! it's a miracle was hilarious." And he laughed as he remembered it.

Me: When our next-door neighbors moved in they wasted no time letting us know they were investment advisors with a large investment firm. I mean they are the worst. Right away they tried to sell us something. I told them I met Mr. Bogle and follow his investment philosophy of index investing. They never tried to sell me anything again.
Mr. B: That reminds me of a story. When you get on a plane and the person next to you wants to talk and you don't, you can tell them, "I'm a life insurance salesman."
Me: I started laughing. Oh my yes. We had one come to the house once and it was painfully boring. My dad used to say, its like betting against yourself.
Mr. B: How old was your father when he died?
Me: 66
Mr. B: Making a sad face. That's young. What did he die from?
Me: Pancreatic cancer.
Mr. B: Well life is a series of comings and goings.
Me: He used to invest in the stock market.
Mr. B: How did he do?
Me: He did well with some and lost with others. Some went out of business. He liked Caterpillar.

Me: Have you ever rung the opening or closing bell at the NYSE?
Mr. B: No. I don't think I'd care to. It is like being involved with all the fanfare and noise of stirring up investors.
Me: Oh.

Mr.B: Do you know the cost to attend the speech I'm giving today?
Me: $495.00, and $445.00 for a group of six or more.
Mr. B. He made a face (as if to say-"way overpriced!")

Me: Mr. Bogle, please just give me the boot when you need to get going.
He laughed.
Mr. B: No, I won't give you the boot.
Me: I'm happy to spend whatever time I can with you.

When he finished his coffee, we got up to leave. We looked at the stairs, and I said there's the down escalator there, and we rode it down together. We walked the few steps to the elevator.

Me: Thank you for taking the time to meet with me. Then I hugged him and he said, "God bless you and your family."
Me: "Thank you. Good luck with your speech today, and God bless your family too. Goodbye."

Here is a link to Mr. Bogle's Speech of October 27, 2006; "A Tale of Two Markets Keynote Speech by John C. Bogle Founder and Former Chairman, The Vanguard Group Upon receiving The Berkeley Award for Distinguished Contributions to Financial Reporting from The Haas School of Business, University of California at The 17th Annual Conference on Financial Reporting San Francisco, CA October 27, 2006"

Best wishes,

And this is why I hold Jack Bogle in such high esteem. He is so giving of his time, fights for the rights of small investors, and is an overall wonderful human being, a truly great man of character and integrity.

Jack Bogle has been like a father to me for the past ten years. He has been there for me when my dad could no longer be. Through the terrible pain of having to watch my dad dying from cancer, came something beautiful in the form of Jack Bogle’s gift of friendship to me. And this came about because my dad asked me to learn about the stock market. And in my humble estimation, there is no better teacher than John (Jack) C. Bogle.
Best wishes, | Kathleen
Posts: 6
Joined: Tue Aug 16, 2011 4:37 pm

Post by cvito »

This is interesting! Thanks!
User avatar
Posts: 845
Joined: Wed May 28, 2008 6:57 pm
Location: Texas

Post by gotherelate »

Very enjoyable read, Kathleen. Thanks for posting it.
-Grandpa | I'd rather see where I'm going than see where I've been.
User avatar
Posts: 783
Joined: Sun Aug 29, 2010 10:40 am
Location: Grand Lake OK

Re: Essays and stories

Post by BTDT »

Thank you Kathleen for such an insight on Jack Bogle. Nicely done
User avatar
Kathleen Ryan
Posts: 648
Joined: Mon Feb 19, 2007 9:40 pm
Location: Carmel, CA

Re: Essays and stories

Post by Kathleen Ryan »

Dear cvito, gotherelate, and jvclark02,

Thank you for your kind words. I would have written back sooner, but I just went back to, "Essays and Stories," here at our website.

With best wishes to you all,