John Bogles 12 Pillars of Wisdom for Successful Investing


If I could pick one person that did more for the average investor than anyone else throughout history, that person would have to be John Bogle. John Bogle is the father of index investing. Without him, average investors like you and I would still be paying extortionate fees to mutual fund managers to look after our portfolios. Because of Bogle’s brilliance, people like you and I can buy into low cost index funds which outperform the vast majority of mutual fund managers. This means that we are able to get superior returns and make more money as a result of the John Bogle.

Being a a true investing champion, John Bogle is someone that is really worth listening to. He has shared his knowledge over the years and written brilliant books such as the The Little Book of Commonsense Investing: The Only Way to Guarantee Your Fair Share of Stock Market Returns (Little Books. Big Profits) and Common Sense on Mutual Funds: New Imperatives for the Intelligent Investor” target=”_blank”>common sense on mutual funds. His brilliant work has captured many people imaginations and he know has like a cult like following. Sites like bogleheads.org aim to share John Bogles wisdom as well as bring index fund investors together. The site is definitely worth a read for any new investors. There are a lot of gems to be found on the website.

One of Bogle’s work I came across was his 12 pillars of investing. These are his guidelines when it comes to investing and any person who wants to make money from investing should follow them.

  1.  Investing Is Not Nearly as Difficult as It Looks
  2.  When All Else Fails, Fall Back on Simplicity
  3.  Time Marches On
  4. Nothing Ventured, Nothing Gained
  5. Diversify, Diversify, Diversify
  6.  The Eternal Triangle
  7. The Powerful Magnetism of the Mean
  8. Do Not Overestimate Your Ability to Pick Superior Equity Mutual Funds, nor Underestimate Your Ability to Pick Superior Bond and Money Market Funds
  9. You May Have a Stable Principal Value or a Stable Income Stream, But You May Not Have Both
  10. Beware of “Fighting the Last War”
  11. You Rarely, If Ever, Know Something The Market Does Not
  12. Think Long-Term




John Bogles 12 pillars are simplistic yet effective. This was a great attribute of the men. He was able to succinctly explain things in the simplest of manners. And this is what made him so successful and a champion for investors everywhere. Even professional money managers and investors are in awe of Bogle. Here are some of the most famous quotes about Bogle:

Warren Buffett: “Through your communications–both oral and written–you have saved American investors many billions of dollars.”

Paul Samuelson, Nobel Laureate: “I rank this Bogle invention–the index fund–along with the invention of the wheel, the alphabet, Gutenberg printing, and wine and cheese.”

William Simon, former Secretary of the Treasury: “Superior in intellect, character, and performance, Jack Bogle is the investment genius who defied conventional wisdom and proved his critics wrong.”

“Paul Volker, former Chairman of the Federal Reserve: “Jack Bogle’s basic conviction that the mutual fund investor is entitled, in his words, to a fair shake” should serve as the motto of every mutual fund.”

Arthur Levitt, former Chairman of the SEC: “Jack Bogle has given investors throughout the world more wisdom and good financial judgment than any person in the history of markets.”

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