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Rekenthaler Report

Bogle Had a Point on International Stocks

Vanguard's founder didn't see the need for them, and the markets haven't shown reason to suggest he was wrong.

Testing the Numbers
Infamously, Vanguard Founder Jack Bogle saw no reason to own foreign stocks. That stance made him an outlier at best and a crank at worst. What’s more, Vanguard offered several international-equity funds, which put Bogle in the awkward position of contending that because he didn’t believe in such funds didn’t mean that Vanguard shouldn’t offer them, as its customers might hold different views. So much for investment managers “eating their own cooking.”

Any idiot can argue from history by looking backwards for numbers to support a thesis. The impressive part is that Bogle made that argument decades ago, and the financial markets haven’t offered even a whiff of a suggestion that he might have been wrong. In chess terminology, the opponent has had no counterplay.