Being average

Ok I have 5 minutes only to blog today. Let’s jump straight to the point.

I really wanted to share an article by CNBC on Vanguard’s founder, Jack Bogle, who just passed away last Wednesday. I was shocked because just a few weeks ago I was reading another article about him warning us to “invest in 2019 with a little extra caution” which then led me to buy his book “stay the course”. The book got me hooked to have a deeper understanding on index funds and how he revolutionized the whole industry.

Here’s the article I wanted to share: https://www.cnbc.com/2019/01/20/jack-bogles-counter-intuitive-lesson-on-american-excellence.html

It’s a good read.

Some key points that struck my mind:

  1. Mediocrity can be its own form of excellence
  2. There are situations in which being average is actually the best bet
  3. Belief in, and acceptance of, being average can be its own form of success. If that is humbling for a culture long sold on its excellence (like America), it doesn’t change the fact that for many, it is their best chance.

It’s amazing how his creation early on was not taken well by the industry players, in fact it led to the huge debate of how it is so ‘un-American’.

I can totally relate to the ‘un-American’ vs. ‘American’ debate because I’ve been to the US, explored over 30 states with my husband. The Americans are very proud of their own capabilities. So for Jack to say that being average is better than being a superstar (in which case he’s referring to the active fund managers who theoretically should outperform the benchmark because of their superior capability in stock selections), created some anger in the Americans.

But really, is being average sufficient?

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