51 Best John Bogle Quotes on Investing, Mutual Funds & Index Investing

John Bogle Quotes

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

He was the founder and CEO of The Vanguard Group, as well as the creator of the first index fund.

He promoted investing over the speculation, long-term patience over short-term activity, and minimizing broker costs as much as possible as an ardent investor and money manager.

Bogle’s ideal investment vehicle was a low-cost index fund that he could hold for the rest of his life, with dividends reinvested and purchases made using dollar-cost averaging.

Common Sense on Mutual Funds: New Imperatives for the Intelligent Investor“, which he published in 1999, became a best-seller and is now regarded a classic in the investment world.

Here are some of the best quotes by John C. Bogle for you.

Top John Bogle Quotes on Investing, Mutual Funds & Index 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).

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Chandan Negi

I’m Chandan Negi, the Founder of Internet Pillar. I love sharing quotes and sayings to inspire and motivate people.