The Power of Index Funds

John Bogle used to joke that investing in managed mutual funds was like a second marriage: "It's the triumph of hope over experience." Bogle, an investment industry legend who died in January at 89, could have said the same about his own life. He survived at least six heart attacks and lived long enough to see the low-cost index fund--which he championed for 43 years at Vanguard, the firm he founded--go from an obscurity to a sensation. Moody's predicts that index funds will claim more than half of the assets in the investment-management business in the next two to four years. All by itself, Vanguard 500 Index (symbol ), which is linked to Standard & Poor's 500-stock index, has a portfolio valued at $335 billion. (For more on Bogle, see .)

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