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John Bogle on Investing: The First 50 Years by John C. Bogle

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2

THE CLASH OF THE CULTURES IN INVESTING: COMPLEXITY VS. SIMPLICITY

Keynote SpeechThe Money ShowDisney Coronado Springs Resort, FloridaFebruary 3, 1999

I’M DELIGHTED to have the opportunity to present this keynote address to this awesome throng of 9,000 individual investors. Given the opportunity to do so in this landmark centennial year, I want to focus your attention on a landmark theme: The clash of two cultures in investing: complexity and simplicity. As the creator of a mutual fund firm that has, since its inception almost 25 years ago, been the apostle of simplicity, I'm confident that you will be less than astonished at which side I shall take in this debate.

Now, I am well aware that much of The Money Show's appeal is based on complexity. Essentially, the thesis presented here is that there are various kinds of complex financial strategies, systems, and investments that will enable you to overcome the awesome odds against beating the market, and that there are various individuals who have clear insights into what the future—be it a new era or the apocalypse—will hold for financial assets.

I count that you'll have the opportunity to attend roughly 130 different seminars, masterminded by more than 100 speakers. Remarkable! It looks to me as if the great preponderance of them will offer you their secrets for success in the new millennium (which, not to be a purist, but facts are facts, will begin not on January 1, 2000, but on January 1, 2001). Many speakers will offer you ...

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