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Episode 688: Brilliant Vs. Boring

John Bogle, founder of The Vanguard Group, died on Wednesday at the age of 89.
Mark Lennihan
/
AP
John Bogle, founder of The Vanguard Group, died on Wednesday at the age of 89.

Note: This episode originally ran in2016.

In 2006, Warren Buffett bet a million dollars that over ten years, his investment in the most brainless, boring fund would do better than the investment of some of the smartest hedge fund managers in the world.

Today on the show, we look at how that bet turned out. Also, we reflect on the life of the creator of that very boring, but influential fund: John Bogle. Bogle died last week, but his creation lives on in the trillions of dollars invested in index funds.

Music: "Kameleon," "Alright, Alright," and "One Touch."

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Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

David Kestenbaum is a correspondent for NPR, covering science, energy issues and, most recently, the global economy for NPR's multimedia project Planet Money. David has been a science correspondent for NPR since 1999. He came to journalism the usual way — by getting a Ph.D. in physics first.
Jacob Goldstein is an NPR correspondent and co-host of the Planet Money podcast. He is the author of the book Money: The True Story of a Made-Up Thing.