Some Fatherly Words of Wisdom from Jack Bogle, Founder of Vanguard Investments, to My Sons

Art Carey, a reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer, shared some words of advice he received from Jack Bogle a few years ago.

Carey asked Bogle the following question:

“Pretend I am your son. What advice would you give me about how to live a long, happy, honorable life?”

Here’s a summary of what Bogle had to say:

  • follow your own instincts, try to be yourself, and live your own life.
  • don’t forget your family, because in the end, that’s all you really have.
  • be a decent human being, and don’t think you’re better than anybody else, no matter what your condition of wealth or importance.
  • never let things — the material possessions you may come to accumulate — become the measure of your life.
  • never forget the important role of luck in your life. Never, never, never, never say, ‘I did it all myself.’ Nobody does it all themselves. And when somebody has the temerity to tell me they did, I say to them: ‘That’s wonderful. I’m not sure I’ve ever met anybody who did it all themselves, but could I ask you one question: How did you arrange to be born in the United States of America?’ (it’s the ovarian lottery).
  • above all, never give up your idealism.

All great words of advice, and I’m putting them here to share with my own three sons. And I’ll add my own:

  • be sure to have fun along the way!