51 Best John Bogle Quotes on Investing

John Bogle was an American business magnate, philanthropist and investor.

He was the founder and CEO of The Vanguard Group.

John Bogle quotes

Here is a list of the best quotes by John Bogle.

Top John Bogle Quotes on Investing

1. “The miracle of compounding returns is overwhelmed by the tyranny of compounding costs.” ~ (John C. Bogle).


2. “The stock market is a giant distraction to the business of investing.” ~ (John C. Bogle).

3. “Learn every day, but especially from the experiences of others. It’s cheaper!” ~ (John C. Bogle).

4. “Don’t look for the needle in the haystack. Just buy the haystack!” ~ (John C. Bogle).


5. “Time is your friend; impulse is your enemy.” ~ (John C. Bogle).

6. “Your success in investing will depend in part on your character and guts, and in part on your ability to realize at the height of ebullience and the depth of despair alike that this too shall pass.” ~ (John C. Bogle).

7. “Investing is not nearly as difficult as it looks. Successful investing involves doing a few things right and avoiding serious mistakes.” ~ (John C. Bogle).

8. “Reversion to the mean is the iron rule of the financial markets.” ~ (John C. Bogle).

9. “If you have trouble imagining a 20% loss in the stock market, you shouldn’t be in stocks.” ~ (John C. Bogle).

10. “Speculation leads you the wrong way. It allows you to put your emotions first, whereas investment gets emotions out of the picture.” ~ (John C. Bogle).

11. “You know the rule of 72, divide the number into 72, any number you want, and that’s how long it will take your money to double.” ~ (John C. Bogle).

12. “The mistakes we make as investors is when the market’s going up, we think it’s going to go up forever. When the market goes down, we think it’s going to go down forever. Neither of those things actually happen. Doesn’t do anything forever. It’s by the moment.” ~ (John C. Bogle).

13. “Surprise! The returns reported by mutual funds aren’t actually earned by mutual fund investors.” ~ (John C. Bogle).

14. “Index funds eliminate the risks of individual stocks, market sectors, and manager selection. Only stock market risk remains.” ~ (John C. Bogle).

15. “If the data do not prove that indexing wins, well, the data are wrong.” ~ (John C. Bogle).

16. “The historical data support one conclusion with unusual force: To invest with success, you must be a long-term investor.” ~ (John C. Bogle).

17. “If your fund doesn’t last for the long term, how can you invest for the long term?” ~ (John C. Bogle).

18. “Rely on the ordinary virtues that intelligent, balanced human beings have relied on for centuries: common sense, thrift, realistic expectations, patience, and perseverance.” ~ (John C. Bogle).

19. “Managed funds are astonishingly tax-inefficient.” ~ (John C. Bogle).

20. “The courage to press on regardless – regardless of whether we face calm seas or rough seas, and especially when the market storms howl around us – is the quintessential attribute of the successful investor.” ~ (John C. Bogle).

21. “It’s amazing how difficult it is for a man to understand something if he’s paid a small fortune not to understand it.” ~ (John C. Bogle).


22. “The mutual fund industry has been built, in a sense, on witchcraft.” ~ (John C. Bogle).

23. “The principal role of the mutual fund is to serve its investors.” ~ (John C. Bogle).

24. “It’s 1450 out of 1500 ETF funds that I just wouldn’t touch because they’re not diversified enough. Or they have some huge speculative twist to them that if you can guess the markets right you will do very well for a day or two but who can do that? Nobody.” ~ (John C. Bogle).

25. “The grim irony of investing, then, is that we investors as a group not only don’t get what we pay for, we get precisely what we don’t pay for. So if we pay for nothing, we get everything.” ~ (John C. Bogle).

26. “Hint: money flows into most funds after good performance, and goes out when bad performance follows.” ~ (John C. Bogle).

Famous John Bogle Quotes

27. “Successful investing is about owning businesses and reaping the huge rewards provided by the dividends and earnings growth of our nation’s – and, for that matter, the world’s – corporations.” ~ (John C. Bogle).

28. “My biggest prediction for the future is that people are going to start looking after individual investors.” ~ (John C. Bogle).

29. “In the long run, investing is not about markets at all. Investing is about enjoying the returns earned by businesses.” ~ (John C. Bogle).

30. “Fund investors are confident that they can easily select superior fund managers. They are wrong.” ~ (John C. Bogle).

Short John Bogle Quotes

31. “On balance, the financial system subtracts value from society.” ~ (John C. Bogle).

32. “The transfer of Wall Street from private ownership to public ownership has been a big step backward.” ~ (John C. Bogle).

33. “We need a mutual fund industry with both vision and values; a vision of fiduciary duty and shareholder service, and values rooted in the proven principles of long-term investing and of trusteeship that demands integrity in serving our clients.” ~ (John C. Bogle).

34. “I think it’s gone much too far. Most of them are not worth the powder to blow them to hell.” ~ (John C. Bogle).

35. “I will create value for society, rather than extract it.” ~ (John C. Bogle).

36. “Income earned by the sweat of your brow should be taxed at the lowest rates, not the highest. Capital gains should be taxed at a higher rate.” ~ (John C. Bogle).

37. “In Las Vegas, we all know that it’s the croupiers who win. At the race track, it’s those who control the handle who win. State lotteries, does anybody think the participants in the lottery win? No. The state wins.” ~ (John C. Bogle).

38. “The multiple failings of our flawed financial sector are jeopardizing, not only the retirement security of our nation’s savers but the economy in which our entire society participates.” ~ (John C. Bogle).

Inspiring John Bogle Quotes

39. “Owning the stock market over the long term is a winner’s game, but attempting to beat the market is a loser’s game.” ~ (John C. Bogle).

40. “The greatest enemy of a good plan is the dream of a perfect plan.” Stick to the good plan. Traditional.” ~ (John C. Bogle).

41. “When there are multiple solutions to a problem, choose the simplest one.” ~ (John C. Bogle).

42. “Gunning for average is your best shot at finishing above average.” ~ (John C. Bogle).

43. “The winning formula for success in investing is owning the entire stock market through an index fund, and then doing nothing. Just stay the course.” ~ (John C. Bogle).

44. “Buying funds based purely on their past performance is one of the stupidest things an investor can do.” ~ (John C. Bogle).

45. “As a result, Keynes warned, the stock market would become “a battle of wits to anticipate the basis of conventional valuation a few months hence, rather than the prospective yield of an investment over a long term of years.” ~ (John C. Bogle).


46. “The two greatest enemies of the equity fund investor are expenses and emotions.” ~ (John C. Bogle).

47. “Over the short run, however, the fundamentals are often overwhelmed by the deafening noise of speculation – the price at which the stock market values each dollar of earnings.” ~ (John C. Bogle).

48. “Pressed to identify useful financial innovations created during the past quarter-century, Paul A. Volcker, former Federal Reserve Chairman and recent chairman of President Obama’s Economic Recovery Board, could single out only one: “The ATM.” ~ (John C. Bogle).

49. “The simple fact is that selecting a mutual fund that will outpace the stock market over the long term is, using Cervantes’ wonderful observation, like “looking for a needle in the haystack.” So I offer you Bogle’s corollary: “Don’t look for the needle in the haystack. Just buy the haystack!” ~ (John C. Bogle).

50. “Investors need to understand not only the magic of compounding long-term returns, but the tyranny of compounding costs; costs that ultimately overwhelm that magic.” ~ (John C. Bogle).

51. “The idea that a bell rings to signal when investors should get into or out of the market is simply not credible. After nearly 50 years in this business, I do not know of anybody who has done it successfully and consistently. I don’t even know anybody who knows anybody who has done it successfully and consistently.” ~ (John C. Bogle).

Short Biography of John Bogle

John Bogle the mind behind Vanguard Group brought index investing to the masses making it simpler and cheaper for everyday folks to invest in mutual funds mirroring the broader market.

He introduced the Vanguard 500 the first index fund for retail investors emphasizing low-cost no-load funds.

Full Name John C. Bogle
Born May 8, 1929, Montclair, New Jersey, United States
Died January 16, 2019 (age 89 years), Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, United States
Education Blair Academy, Princeton University, University of Pennsylvania, Manasquan High School
Spouse Eve Bogle
Children Sandra Bogle Marucci, John Bogle Jr., Jean Bogle
Occupations Investor, business magnate, philanthropist
Known for Founding and leading The Vanguard Group
Political party Republican

Bogle’s book “Common Sense on Mutual Funds” is a must-read for investors.

He passed away in 2019 at 89 leaving a legacy of accessible investing.

Quick Facts about John Bogle

  • John Bogle founded Vanguard Group, a major player in investment management.
  • He launched the first index fund for individual investors in 1976, changing the investment game.
  • Bogle was all about championing low-cost, long-term investing for the average Joe.
  • His book, “The Little Book of Common Sense Investing,” is a must-read for practical investment strategies.
  • He wasn’t a fan of high mutual fund fees and voiced this often.
  • Bogle stuck to long-term investing, advising against market timing.
  • Time magazine listed him among the “World’s 100 Most Powerful and Influential People” in 2004.
  • His work earned him a ton of industry accolades, like the Lifetime Achievement Award in 2004.
  • Bogle’s principles live on, making low-cost index funds a go-to for many investors.
  • He was pretty generous, giving half his salary to charity during his peak earning years.
  • Fortune magazine called him one of the “Giants of the 20th Century” in the investment world.
  • Princeton awarded him the Woodrow Wilson Award for significant national service.
  • Born in 1929 in Montclair, New Jersey, Bogle was a true investment industry titan until he passed in 2019.
  • A proud Princeton grad, he was also part of Phi Beta Kappa.
  • Before Vanguard, he was the big boss at Wellington Management Company.
  • His books, especially on common-sense investing, are gold mines for investors.
  • Bogle pushed for ethical business and transparency in finance.
  • His motto? “Stay the course” through market ups and downs.
  • Despite his influence, Bogle kept things simple and lived modestly.
  • His philanthropy reached education, healthcare, and the arts.
  • Bogle was a huge supporter of the arts, even serving on boards.
  • He founded a research center at Princeton to promote financial literacy.
  • Health challenges didn’t stop him; he kept active in the industry despite heart issues.
  • Married to Eve Sherrerd, he was a family man with six kids and 12 grandkids.
  • Bogle’s impact on investing is undeniable and continues to guide the industry.

Top Questions about John Bogle

What was John Bogle’s investment philosophy?

John Bogle believed that trying to beat the stock market is a losing battle for most investors.

He saw investing in the overall market for the long term as the smarter choice, as the costs associated with attempting to outperform the market typically lead to underperformance.

What investments did John Bogle focus on?

John Bogle, the founder of Vanguard Group, was a strong advocate for index investing.

He introduced the concept of purchasing mutual funds that track the performance of the entire market, offering a straightforward and efficient way for investors to participate in the stock market’s growth.

How did John Bogle suggest investors approach the market?

Bogle was critical of active management strategies that aim for higher returns through selective investment choices.

He recommended a straightforward, low-cost, and diversified strategy that aims to reflect the overall market’s performance over time, emphasizing the importance of keeping investment costs low.

What is the Boglehead investment strategy?

The Boglehead strategy involves choosing investment funds that offer broad diversification across different market sectors, such as US stocks, international stocks, and US bonds, rather than attempting to predict which segments will outperform.

This approach is based on the idea of capturing the market’s overall returns rather than seeking outperformance through speculation.

Top Books of John C. Bogle

  • The Bogle Effect
  • Stay the Course: The Story of Vanguard and the Index Revolution
  • The Little Book of Common Sense Investing: The Only Way to Guarantee Your Fair Share of Stock Market Returns 10th Anniversary Edition, Updated and Revised
  • The Man in the Arena, Vanguard Founder John C. Bogle and His Lifelong Battle to Serve Investors First
  • The Clash of the Cultures: Investment vs. Speculation
  • The House That Jack Built: how John Bogle and Vanguard reinvented the mutual fund industry
  • Don’t Count on it!: Reflections on Investment Illusions, Capitalism, “Mutual” Funds, Indexing, Entrepreneurship, Idealism, and Heroes
  • Common Sense on Mutual Funds: Fully Updated 10th Anniversary Edition
  • Enough: True Measures of Money, Business, and Life
  • The Little Book of Common Sense Investing: The Only Way to Guarantee Your Fair Share of Stock Market Returns
  • The Battle for the Soul of Capitalism
  • Character Counts: The Creation and Building of The Vanguard Group
  • John Bogle on Investing: The First 50 Years
  • Common Sense on Mutual Funds: New Imperatives for the Intelligent Investor
  • The Vanguard Experiment: John Bogle’s Quest to Transform the Mutual Fund Industry
  • Bogle on Mutual Funds: New Perspectives for the Intelligent Investor.

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Chandan Negi
Chandan Negi

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