The Bogleheads®

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Bogleheads at Vanguard 2016.jpg
 Bogleheads 15 Conference (2016)

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 members discuss financial news and theory, while also helping less experienced investors develop their portfolios. There are more than 50,000 registered members and the site receives an average of nearly 1,200 posts each day. Some members also participate in national or local chapter get-togethers.

The Bogleheads Community encompasses the forum, the wiki, two investment books (The Bogleheads’ Guide to Investing and The Bogleheads’ Guide to Retirement Planning), a presence on Facebook and Twitter, The John C. Bogle Center for Financial Literacy, and a Blog.

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 both 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 . . .

In July 2001 Alex Frakt and Larry Auton debuted 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 history. The idea for what would become was planted in this thread started on 6/13/01:Has anyone noticed....

It's funny, Larry (Mingstar) and I posted completely independently. We didn't get together on 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... launched on 7/27/01.

Figure 1: The homepage as it looked in September, 2001.

Figure 1 shows how the 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. The primary driver behind creation of the 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 Alex and Larry accomplished the changeover quickly, and the homepage adopted a split-screen format, listing posts from both forums.

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

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

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 to the more natural The new homepage no longer indexes posts from the Vanguard Diehards Forum. Alex provides an explanation in Why?

Bogleheads wiki

In April 2008, a small group of forum members began experimenting with an off-site wiki. After a few weeks of joint effort, the group presented the forum administrators with a proposal to create a hosted wiki. The forum administrators agreed with the proposal, and Alex and Larry kindly consented to host the new venture. The wiki was officially introduced on May 13, 2008.

Bogleheads® on Facebook

The Bogleheads® Facebook page was founded on October 23, 2010 by a small group of forum volunteers. The page seeks to continually fulfill the following purposes:

  • To maintain a presence on social networking website
  • Serve to guide visitors to the Bogleheads® Forum
  • Spread the word about Bogleheads® Community and Forum on Facebook
  • Have an appearance consistent with the Bogleheads brand and respect to our mentor John Bogle
  • Maintain content and presence that is lasting; a page that does not require daily moderation or policing.

Since inception the site has seen steady growth, having passed 2,000 followers in 2013.

Bogleheads® blog

The Bogleheads blog was launched on March 4, 2014.[1] The blogging team provides up-to-date information across the entire spectrum of site activity; including the forum, wiki, and facebook pages. Specialized topics of interest are also covered.

On September 8, 2014, the blog was moved to Financial Page and is now maintained by Barry Barnitz.[2]

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 its 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. [3]

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 its 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. [4]

See also


External links

News articles