Recently, I was invited to look at a discussion on I’m sure most of you are at least vaguely familiar with the idea.

Does anybody have an opinion on these guys? The more time I spend on that forum, or reading anything that a “Boglehead” says, the more convinced I am that they are a cult, and don’t seem to think with their own head. The answer to every question seems to be “What would Jack say?” And if anybody challenges any of John Bogle’s ideas, the standard answer is “You’re wrong, because Jack said so.”

Not saying that their ideas are bad, or that their investing philosophy is wrong, but I’m starting to find them to be the second most annoying group of people on the planet. (#1 being Texas A&M graduates).

Edit - had to fix my title. Needed everybody to pay heed to the urgency of this life-threatening topic.

We should get some aggies and jayhawks together and push them out to sea.

^What’s the matter with KU? I know almost nothing about them, but it seems like KU would be less annoying than K-State.

Really? No, K-State is fine. They’re not really good enough at anything to be annoying. KU fans are the most entitled bunch of crybabies around. Literally, they cry when they lose. Exhibit A:


There appears to be a significant contingent there who question whether the Kool-Ade is potable, but there’s no doubt that there are a lot more fanatical devotees.

Let’s not forget #KUB00Bs!

By far the best thing to come out of that place.

John Bogle’s book was really good. But never quote it during an interview on the buyside.

^Which book? he wrote several.

Probably “Enough!”

^Another one of those books that I bought and never read. It’s sitting on my bookshelf waiting to be cracked open. Along with “Jack Bogle on Investing” and “Common Sense on Mutual Funds” and “Battle for the Soul of Capitalism”

I believe it was Common sense on Mutual Funds.

So recently I’ve been spending a little more time in the Bogleheads website. I’m starting to have a love-hate relationship with it.

People do post some pretty good articles regarding investment theory and practice, and you get some good commentary about it. Plus, there are a lot of knowledgeable people who can help explain some of the non-investment personal finance nuances that I’m not overly familiar with (e.g. student loan forgiveness).

On the other hand, I know it’s a DIY website, but the obsession to save relative pennies is absurd. You get discussions like

  • “I want to finance a used Honda Civic. Anybody know how I can cut 0.25% off my interest rate?” Because saving a quarter-point on a self-amortizing, three year, $5,000 loan is going to make you a millionaire.
  • “I’m a contractor and get a 1099. I want to become an S-Corp. Anybody know how I can do my own payroll, W2/W3, 940, 941, state unemployment forms, 1120S, K1, and make tax deposits? I know I can pay a tax accountant about $2,000 a year to do it, but I want to do it myself.” The best response to this was “get a CPA to do it the first year, then every year after that, just copy what he did.”
  • “I just took a $25k pay cut due to corporate restructuring. But it’s a good thing–because now I can roll over my 401k to Vanguard where I can save .5% per year on my investments.” Really? You’re happy because you got a $25,000 pay cut to save $1,500 in investment fees?
  • “I have an account worth $250,000. 10% of my money is in the ABC REIT. 'm switching from the ABC REIT fund to the Vanguard Admiral shares. That way, I’m saving approximately 6 basis points per year.” Really? You’re saving $15 a year?
  • “Thanks to Bogleheads, I really have the knowledge and courage to do it myself. But I have a question. Roth distributions are tax free, right? And Traditional IRA distributions are taxed, right? So if I withdraw $50k from each, do I pay tax on $100k or $50k?” This person clearly has no clue what they’re doing. They are probably going to cost themselves ten times as much as they would pay any advisor.
  • One person said, “I’m going to buy The Next Millionaire Next Door as soon as it comes out.” They were met with scoffs of “Ha! I can just go borrow it from the library for free!”

It’s basically the “FIRE” section of Reddit but for 50 year olds. Those things you posted are fairly representative of that website, from my experience.

  1. I’ve always liked Texas A&M’s team and now they’ve got Jimbo. Texas is just sad they gave them the finger and bailed on the Big 12 after Texas spent years crapping all over the place with the Longhorn Network.

  2. Bogle’s largely right. I got to see him at a Philadelphia annual CFA dinner more than 10 years ago and he just stood up there with his balls on full display in a room full of analysts and PM’s with an intern behind him doing the clicker and went through like 40 minutes of slides on why the industry was essentially built on fraud. Even had a slide with a plumber on it, haha. It was awkward and great.

  3. How many catches did Witten get for the Cowgirls last night?

bogle’s vanguard revolutionized the industry. low cost mutual funds destroyed the majority of shit firms/funds and contineus to do so. there are literally no cost mutual funds/etfs that are out there right now. nowadays, front end, back, 12b-1 fees have become non existent and all these type class shares are becoming useless (cant beleives i still had to learn this shit for reged, also annuities, i hate learning shit about expensive not relevant crap). everyone knows that etf is the superior comapred to mutual funds, and everyone is switching over to low cost etfs. They literally have $4trillion in etfs right now! blackrock’s ishares is pretty much dominating the field in that respect with over 40% of the pie.

i remmeber seeing a net worth survey and it was ridiculously high relative to the population. also the whole obsession with penny pinching kinda tells me why their net worth is high. would not be surprised if a bunch of them save over 40% of their gross income.

It might be worth pointing out that these low costs ETFs are not completely subtractive to active management. A lot of active funds own SPY, IVV, or other funds like that, which means that $1 million inflow into SPY does not mean $1 million outflow from active managers. Of course, tools like these do provide liquidity to end users and limit their reliance on active managers to some extent.

You don’t get rich by saving money, you get rich by making money.

Lot of investment pros I know, keep their personal accounts at Vanguard. He’s done a great service, but in recent years he is become a bit of a shill and that’s annoying. I don’t think investors have found Jesus on fees, they are still just chasing performance, and index funds have put up the best performance.

Nuff said. I don’t know anyone who saved their way to becoming wealthy. The income side of the equation is not enough to get most ppl there no matter how high their savings rate. On the other hand I know plenty who have high incomes and spend it all. Bogleheads and FIRE want to live a life one notch above poverty to get to retirement as fast as possible, to continue living a near homeless lifestyle. Not my cup of tea, but to each their own i guess.