When someone becomes famous, particularly if they are famous because they have some type of views that are relevant in the public policy sphere, their ideas can often become oversimplified and indistinguishable from the person himself.
I have noticed this already occurring in the remembrances of John Bogle, who recently died, and by all accounts, was one of those rare individuals whose adult life successes managed to exceed the ambitions he set out for himself in youth.
As you all know, Bogle pioneered the concept of the S&P 500 index fund in 1976. In that year, the average cost for an investment in a mutual fund was 1.89%. There was a common practice to charge 2-5% sales loads at the time you made an investment.
If you pay attention to John Templeton’s “Sixteen Rules For Investing Success”, you have likely encountered the wisdom of Rule Number 9, which tells investors that they should “aggressively monitor their investments”. Here is the Templetonian rationale:
“Expect and react to change. No bull market is permanent. No bear market is permanent. And there are no stocks that you can buy and forget. The pace of change is too great. Being relaxed, as Hooper advised, doesn’t mean being complacent.
Consider, for example, just the 30 issues that comprise the Dow Jones Industrials. From 1978 through 1990, one of every three issues changed—because the company was in decline, or was acquired, or went private, or went bankrupt. Look at the 100 largest industrials on Fortune magazine’s list. In just seven years, 1983 through 1990, 30 dropped off the list. They merged with another giant company, or became too small for