‘It wouldn’t have happened without him’

Jack Bogle has probably done more for the American investor than any man in the country. (Applause)

And Jack, would you stand up? There he is. (Applause)

Jack Bogle, many years ago, he wasn’t the only one that was talking about an index fund, but he — it wouldn’t have happened without him.

I mean, Paul Samuelson talked about it. Ben Graham even talked about it.

But the truth is, it was not in the interest of invest — of the investment industry of Wall Street. It was not in their interest, actually, to have the development of an index fund — the index fund — because it brought down fees dramatically.

And, as we’ve talked about some in the reports, and other people have commented, index funds, overall, have delivered for shareholders a result that has been better than Wall Street professionals as a whole.

And part of the reason for that is that they’ve brought down the costs very significantly.

So when Jack started, very few people — certainly Wall Street did not applaud him, and he was the subject of some derision and a lot of attacks.

And now we’re talking trillions when we get into index funds, and we’re talking a few basis points when we talk about investment fees, in the case of index funds, but still hundreds of basis points when we talk about fees elsewhere.

And I estimate that Jack, at a minimum, has saved — left in the pockets of investors, without hurting them overall in terms of performance at all — gross performance — he’s put tens and tens and tens of billions into their pockets. And those numbers are going to be hundreds and hundreds of billions over time.

So, it’s Jack’s 88th birthday on Monday, so I just say happy birthday, Jack, and thank you on behalf of American investors. (Applause)

And Jack, I’ve got great news for you.

You’re going to be 88 on Monday, and in only two years you’ll be eligible for an executive position at Berkshire. (Laughter)

Hang in there, buddy. (Laughter)

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