I also enjoyed a very special opportunity in the afternoon to be a co-presenter of the Consumer Advocate Award to John Bogle. He is the first recipient of this new award created by the Retirement Income Industry Association. It is very hard to briefly summarize the vast contributions Mr. Bogle has made to the investing public which merit his receipt of this award. But I tried to do this, and below is the text of my part of the introduction of the award for John Bogle:
As mutual funds are a dominant element of American retirement plans, the work of John Bogle to develop broadly diversified, low-cost indexed mutual funds at Vanguard has provided the tools used by millions of Americans to meet their retirement goals. At Vanguard, John Bogle created a corporate structure which relentlessly aims to reduce costs. His crusade is to get ordinary investors their fair shake of the rewards provided by their investments. Compounding costs and short-term speculation can both devastate one’s retirement nestegg. John Bogle has played an instrumental role in educating the public about this, including writing one of the fundamental investor education books, his best-selling Common Sense on Mutual Funds: New Imperatives for the Intelligent Investor. John Bogle has dedicated his life and career to serving as a tireless advocate for greater ethical standards, trusteeship, and service from the financial industry. By placing the interests of clients first, John Bogle has demonstrated how to build trust and confidence in financial services. One only need look to the Bogleheads Forum, named in his honor, where a diverse group of nearly 24,000 household investors and financial professionals gather to discuss Mr. Bogle’s core beliefs, such as keeping costs low, encouraging a focus on long-term investing rather than short-term speculation, and a commitment to staying the course with balanced and diversified index funds. John Bogle reminds us that we are part of an industry designed to help people develop appropriate retirement income strategies by developing our specialized knowledge and skills, formulating best practices, and thinking outside the box. As a fellow Princeton graduate, I am especially proud to award John Bogle with the first Consumer Advocate Award. It is a compass, reminding us all to ‘Stay the Course’ in the direction which Mr. Bogle has grandly set.