Tom MacWright

I read The Bogle Effect by Eric Balchunas on


I am a big fan of Jack Bogle, Vanguard, and the Bogleheads community. It’s how I invest and what I recommend to anyone who asks.

This book is the story of Jack Bogle, who founded Vanguard and is well known for being opinionated, principled, and a little self-righteous. Compared to modern-day business celebrities, Jack Bogle was a pretty good guy. He was even a good father, according to his son, who was interviewed for this book.

The book, and especially the audiobook edition, wasn’t exceptionally good though. It’s a finance-industry book, so there are plenty of financial tables of ticker symbols and valuations, and for some reason the narrator reads every table. These are long tables, too - so the audiobook has five minute segments of simply listing company names. It’s painful.

It’s also light on new information. The “mutual structure” of Vanguard is fascinating, but Balchunas doesn’t pry into it or explain it any deeper than Vanguard’s own, surface-level summary. There’s a little bit of interesting information about Bogle’s successors and the changes made after he passed away, but it doesn’t seem like the author pried into any of the sources.

Despite all of this, if you don’t know about John Bogle this could be a fun read. I’ve been convinced of his strategy for years, and if this book introduces more people to it, that’s all good.


  • The Bogle Effect by
  • ISBN: 1637740719
  • ISBN13: 9781637740712
  • Look up with:
    • Published:
    • Publisher: Penguin Random House