Bogleheads® Conference history

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Bogleheads® Conference
Founded March 10-11, 2000
Number of locations


Miami, Philadelphia, Chicago, Denver, Las Vegas, Alexandria, San Diego, Ft.Worth
Website Conference website

Bogleheads® Conference history describes the background of the Bogleheads® Conferences.


Overview

Conference committee. [note 1]

The Bogleheads conferences provide an opportunity for forum members and respected experts to meet in-person and discuss investing. This interaction is encouraged from the start of a conference. Early conferences started with check-in and registration and banquet dinners. Since 2007, conferences open with a social "wine and cheese" reception.

The conferences have provided substantive speeches and presentations from noted investment professionals such as John (“call me Jack") Bogle, Gus Sauter, and a number of officials from the Vanguard Group.

The introduction, presentation and discussion of academic papers was featured at three of the conferences.[note 2] Question and answer sessions with both Jack Bogle and with a panel of investment experts have become conference staples, as has a non-scripted dialog session between Mr. Bogle and noted author William Bernstein, known as “The Fireside Chat”.

Over time, the conferences have grown more and more popular, with steady, measured increases in attendance. Conference organizers believe the current level of 200 attendees strikes a balance between participation levels and the desire to keep attendance low enough to assure friendly social interaction with Jack Bogle and the other authors and celebrities in attendance.

Conference attendance [1]
Conference Attendance Conference Attendance
Diehards I 22 Bogleheads 7 130
Diehards II 50 Bogleheads 8 150
Diehards III 51 Bogleheads 9 160
Diehards IV 71 Bogleheads 10 160
Diehards V 83 Bogleheads 11 180
Diehards VI 117 Bogleheads 12 - 17 200

The early “reunions”

The first two national meetings were unique in that they were held at the private residences of individuals who participated in the old Vanguard Diehards forum, an investment discussion forum hosted by Morningstar Inc. The social interaction in both of these early meetings firmly established the friendly atmosphere that is a frequently noted special feature of ensuing conferences.

The first meeting, now known as Diehards I, had its start in a Thanksgiving forum posting by prominent poster and author Taylor Larimore. John Bogle so liked this forum topic that he contacted Larimore and suggested a possible meeting. The meeting, organized by Taylor and fellow author Mel Lindauer, took place during the Miami Herald’s Making Money Seminar in March of 2000, where Mr. Bogle was slotted to give a keynote speech.[2]

The meeting took the form of an evening dinner at the Larimore's Miami condo, where 21 forum members met with John Bogle. This dinner meeting was warmly appreciated by all present. [note 3] The following day, attendees had reserved seating for Bogle’s keynote speech.

Organized dinners would become a standard feature of the first seven conferences.

The impetus for a second meeting came a year later when forum member Dave Kirtland contacted Lindauer with an offer to host a meeting at his family farm in southeast Pennsylvania, near Vanguard. Sadly, Mr. Kirtland died before plans could be made for a meeting. The surviving family, however, insisted on hosting the event in Mr. Kirtland's honor.

This second meeting, Diehards II, was the first multi-day event. Additional novel features of the meeting included the presence of a featured speaker, noted financial columnist Jason Zweig [note 4] at the Friday night banquet and a Saturday visit to the Vanguard campus, where John Bogle directed attendees through Vanguard’s board room and trading room. Bogle answered questions after the Vanguard tour; and, later, signed books during an afternoon barbeque lunch at the Kirtland farm.

The successful conclusion of two meetings convinced all involved to make national meetings an annual event.

Conferences linked with public events

The next three Diehards conferences were held in Chicago, Denver, and Las Vegas and were scheduled to coincide with a John Bogle public appearance.

Diehards III was held in Chicago on June 25 - 27, 2002. John Bogle was scheduled to be the keynote speaker at the 2002 Morningstar Conference. At the time, the Morningstar Diehards Forum was the largest and most active discussion forum on the Morningstar website. Carl Sibiliski, the moderator of the forum, approached the conference organizers with an invitation from Morningstar to host the Diehards third reunion. The invitation was accepted. Morningstar handled the conference logistics and arrangements.

Diehards III introduced two elements that were to become standard for subsequent conferences. For the first time the conference held a panel discussion along with a question and answer session. The panel included John Bogle, authors William Bernstein and Larry Swedroe, and Don Phillips, managing director of Morningstar. After the session ended, John Bogle stated that it was the smartest panel he had ever been a part of.[3] The second new feature was a separate book signing session.

The fourth Diehards conference, set in Denver at the AIMR Group conference (May 8 -10, 2004) and the fifth conference, held in Las Vegas as part of the Las Vegas Money Show (May 15 - 16, 2006) utilized local citizens to help set up and organize the event.[note 5]

At the fifth conference, question and answer sessions were split, with John Bogle having his own Q&A session. A second Q&A session was set aside for the expert panel.

Conferences around the country

John Bogle Q&A (Diehards VI [note 6])
"Fireside chat" 2010 [note 7]

After the Diehards V conference, John Bogle let conference organizers know that he would come to future conferences whenever scheduled, although he wished to avoid weekend dates since he reserved weekends for family activities.

The next three conferences were therefore not linked to public venues. Continuing a practice begun with Diehards IV, the conferences were coordinated with the aid of individuals and committees drawn from local chapters. The hosting of Diehards VI in Alexandria, Virginia drew on aid from the DC Bogleheads® local chapter.[4] Bogleheads® 7 was supported by members of the San Diego Bogleheads® local chapter;[5] Bogleheads® 8 was hosted with the help of members of the Dallas/Fort Worth Bogleheads® local chapter.[6]

As earlier conferences make clear, John Bogle often makes keynote speeches at public events. With Diehards VI (June 10-12, 2007), he made a keynote presentation expressly for the conference. Bogle would continue to make keynote presentations for each subsequent conference.

Diehards VI also introduced two elements that were to become features of all future conferences. First day activities were filled with a wine and cheese session. On day two, after Mr. Bogle made his presentation, he was joined by author William Bernstein for a dialog session in the first "fireside chat".

The Bogleheads® 7 conference was attended by Morningstar columnist Christine Benz and a video team. The first Bogleheads® Conference Morningstar video interviews date from this conference (September 22 -24, 2008). Morningstar video interviews were to resume with the Bogleheads® 9 conference, and become a regular feature of future conferences.

Illness and hospitalization forced John Bogle to miss the 2009 Fort Worth conference (September 30 - October 2, 2009). Out of respect for Bogle’s advancing age and general health, subsequent conferences were held in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

The Philadelphia conferences

Panel of experts 2013 [note 8]
Book signing 2013 [note 9]

The Philadelphia conferences begin with Bogleheads® 9 (October 13 - October 15, 2010) and continue to the present. Notable changes in conference agenda, attendance, and finances have marked this period.

The most important agenda change for the conferences is a visit to the Vanguard campus, where Vanguard officials provide conference attendees with workshops, panel discussions and a question and answer segment.

In 2012, Gus Sauter, former Chief Investment Officer of Vanguard, made his first appearance at a Bogleheads conference. Sauter, like Mr. Bogle, brings formal presentations to the meetings.

Beginning in 2013, breakout sessions have been implemented during the second day book signing sessions.

With Bogleheads® 12 (October 16 - October 18, 2013) conference attendance reached its current limit of 200 attendees. Beginning in 2014, with Bogleheads® 13, the conferences have been underwritten with grants from the John C. Bogle Center for Financial Literacy.[7]

Conference reports

See also: Archive

Comprehensive written reports about the conferences began in 2007 with the Diehards VI conference and continued through Bogleheads® 11. Video recordings of conference presentations, fireside chats, and question and answer sessions begin in 2009 and continue to the present. The table below provides links to reports and videos.

Conference reports
Conference Date Report Video
Diehards VI June 10-12, 2007 Report
Bogleheads® 7 September 22-24, 2008 Report
Bogleheads® 8 September 30 - October 2, 2009 Report
Bogleheads® 9 October 13 - October 15, 2010 Report Vimeo videos BH 9 - BH16
Bogleheads® 10 October 12 - October 14, 2011 Report
Bogleheads® 11 October 17 - October 19, 2012 Report

Notes

  1. The current Conference organizing team consists of Mel Lindauer and wife Marlene, Gail Cox, from Dallas/Ft. Worth, Paul and Linda Globerson from San Diego, Ed and Patti Rager from the DC local chapter, and Mel and Kathy Turner from San Diego. Photo courtesy of Kathleen L. Ryan.
  2. Academic papers presented at conferences:
  3. See:
  4. Jason Zweig wrote about his experience at the Diehards II meeting in his Money Magazine article, Here Come the Bogleheads
  5. Sherri Hender served as local reunion coordinator of the Denver conference. The local coordinator for the Las Vegas conference was Dale Bottoms.
  6. John Bogle Q&A photo courtesy of Eugene Lechmanick.
  7. "Fireside chat" 2010 photo courtesy of Paul Douglas Boyer.
  8. Panel of Experts 2013 photo courtesy of Rick Ferri, CFA
  9. Book signing 2013 photo courtesy of Eugene Lechmanick.

References

  1. Google sheet: Bogleheads Conference attendance
  2. A Thanksgiving to Remember
  3. Larimore, Taylor; Lindauer, Mel; Ferri, Richard A. et al., eds. (2009). The Bogleheads Guide to Retirement Planning. John Wiley & Sons. p. 324. ISBN 978-0470919019.
  4. DC Bogleheads®, Financial Page, a Bogleheads® blog
  5. San Diego Bogleheads®, Financial Page, a Bogleheads® blog
  6. Dallas/Fort Worth Bogleheads®, Financial Page, a Bogleheads® blog
  7. See Questions and answers and Form 990 filings, The John C. Bogle Center for Financial Literacy