Knowing when enough is enough just could be the secret to investing success

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John “Jack” Bogle, who died in January at age 89, founded the mutual fund giant Vanguard in 1974. A year later he made market history by creating the first Standard & Poor’s 500 equity index fund for regular individual investors. The low-cost broad-based index investing movement he pioneered revolutionized investing for ordinary savers.

Barron’s recently published a 2007 essay by Bogle that had been commissioned but unpublished. The column emphasizes four main points: Individuals should focus on keeping costs down, broadly diversify, allocate their assets prudently and stay the course.

Bogle also recommended a simple portfolio strategy consisting of a bond index fund and a stock index fund, adjusted for the investor’s age. Barron’s did the numbers. A 40-year-old investor who followed Bogle’s advice would have earned an annualized return 7.3%. That would turn $100,000 into $236,000 by May 1, 2019.