Skip to main content

Video: Vanguard’s Jack Bogle on how to invest (and earn) in ‘interesting’ times

25 years later, Jack Bogle's investment advice still makes a lot of sense

With the looming threat of a full-on recession, some are already facing the consequences of an economic downturn. Many more are wondering how they can protect themselves financially for an uncertain future. Oftentimes, the best way to plan for tomorrow is by turning to past wisdom. Check out Vanguard founder and financial guru Jack Bogle’s investment advice for “interesting times” like these.

Stock exchange board
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Jack Bogle and smart investing

For the uninformed, the late Jack Bogle was an American business magnate, investor, and philanthropist. His most notable achievements include founding and serving as the chief executive of The Vanguard Group and creating the first index fund. Throughout his life, he was a smart investor and advisor, recommending long-term thinking and investing or short-term gains and speculative choices.

Bogle’s expertise is on full display in this clip of his 1997 speech at a World Affairs Council of Philadelphia event. The speech, which originally aired on C-SPAN2, begins with him discussing the state of the US and foreign markets. At the nine-minute 28-second mark, he gets into his five essential principles for maintaining an investment portfolio during uncertain times—and his advice is as relevant today as it was 25 years ago.

5 principles for investing during 'interesting times' - Jack Bogle (1997)

5 simple investment principles to live by

So how should you maintain your investment portfolio in these turbulent times and into the future? Let’s take a closer look at Bogle’s five most important things to remember when you’re investing in “interesting times.”

  1. Bogle’s first piece of advice is also the simplest: “Invest you must.” Even though it may not seem like a good time to invest, it’s an even bigger risk to not invest at all. He preaches thinking focusing on the long-term benefits of making your money work for you, not the short-term risk of price volatility. In his own words, “never think you know more than the market does. You’re apt to be wrong if you do.”
  2. His next recommendation is to give yourself as much time as you can. Start investing as early as possible to set yourself up for the future. “Compound interest is a miracle, and time is your friend.”
  3. His third principle focuses on viewing the stock market with a healthy dose of realism. “Have rational expectations about future returns to be mentally prepared for market declines.” Neither good times nor bad times will last forever, so try to keep your emotions out of your decision-making process. “Impulse is your foe,” he said.
  4. For his fourth principle, Bogle advised relying on simplicity above everything else. He said, “Basic investing is simple: a sensible asset allocation to stocks, bonds, and reserves, a middle-of-the-road selection of diversified funds, a careful balancing of risks and returns. Cost can kill long-term returns — don’t disregard low-cost index funds.”
  5. And for his last piece of advice: “Stay the course.” No matter what’s happening in the market or in the world around you, don’t give up on your investments. Patience is essential if you want your investments to grow and your finances to thrive.

Recessions are always stressful, and planning for an unclear future can be a challenge. But with the advice of experts like Jack Bogle, you can gain a little bit of peace of mind. And hopefully, when the next recession hits, you’ll have the wisdom and investment portfolio needed to come out the other side stronger than before.

Editors' Recommendations

Shannon Cooper
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Shannon Cooper has written about everything from pet care and travel to finance and plumbing in her seven years as a writer…
Take a lot of handwritten notes? This gadget will change your life
A man uses the reMarkable 2.

There is an overwhelming desire to return to paper from people of all walks of life lately. Screens have invaded us. But what we're often not seeing is an actual return to paper. It's not necessarily as convenient as we remember it to be, and a lot of the return to paper is about desire, not action.

Should you also have the desire to return to the physical but also have an addiction to screens, let me introduce you to the reMarkable 2. It's a sort of notebook, drawing tablet, document reader hybrid that is considered one of the best tablets for handwritten notes. Here are the top ways its been helping us.
It helps me remember things
Let's start this one out with a list:

Read more
This Aston Martin DB5 model kit is a James Bond collector’s dream
The Aston Martin DB5 car kit and completed model.

The Aston Martin DB5 has long been a car enthusiast's James Bond memory of choice. As a result, there have been models of it for us to play with for quite some time. Just check out this Lego Aston Martin DB5 from years ago. But there's a new model on the block, and this time you don't have to deal with Lego's blockiness or . Get the Revell Aston Martin DB5, inspired by Goldfinger for just $40. All you need to do is tap the button below, and you can even save $5 extra off your purchase by subscribing to Revell's newsletter via the box at the bottom of their shop page. That makes this highly-collective model effectively just $35.

Why you should buy the Aston Martin DB5 model kit
If you need to escape danger, do so in style. One scene showing the smoke screen, bullet shield, and other capabilities of the Aston Martin DB5 is hard to forget for the many fans of the series and the car. Now, with a shiny, gorgeous model from Revell, fans of Goldfinger can have their own Bond-styled Aston Martin DB5 at their fingertips, ready to reenact the beloved car's favored features.

Read more
Will there be a season 2 of Shōgun?
Want to know if Shōgun will last more than one season?
Hiroyuki Sanada in Shogun

There aren't many shows that debut with a perfect score on Rotten Tomatoes, but FX's adaptation of James Clavell's Shōgun is something special. This is the second time that Shōgun has been adapted for television, and it was also a breakout hit in 1980 when it was hailed as one of the greatest miniseries ever created for TV. It took another 44 years before FX's modern take followed, but this version of Shōgun is already among the contenders for the best TV series of 2024.

Cosmo Jarvis stars in Shōgun as John Blackthrone, an English sailor who is trapped in Japan at the beginning of the 17th century. This was during a time when Japan wasn't particularly welcoming of outsiders. And once Blackthrone proved that he had value, he wasn't allowed to leave. Thus, the show chronicles Blackthrone's transformation as he acclimates to Japan and its people in a time of deadly turmoil.

Read more