Think back to 1959. The United States was expanding from 48 to 50 states with the inclusion of Alaska and Hawaii. Gas cost a quarter per gallon. A brand new Ford car would set you back $2,000. The Boeing 707 was first mass produced. American commercialism was falling in love with Mattel’s new Barbie doll creation, becoming the most sought after Christmas gift for young American girls. And in Cuba, Fidel Castro—boo, heckle heckle—was rising to power.
Also of interest, but rarely discussed, was the birth of one of America’s stodgiest Vanguard mutual funds that receives almost no attention but has nevertheless delivered exceptional risk-adjusted returns and made any long-term fundholders rich. I am referring to the rarely analyzed Vanguard U.S. Growth Fund (VWUSX). It’s funny—Vanguard has correctly earned a reputation as the powerhouse of the passive investing industry, but it has quite a few actively managed funds that serve as testaments to the advantage of developing the discipline to pick and choose a collection of individually assets with above-average growth characteristics.