Posted by: Lauren Young on June 22, 2007
Standard & Poor’s celebrated the 50th anniversary of the S&P 500 at the Metropolitan Club on June 27. (S&P, like BusinessWeek, is owned by McGraw-Hill.)
The evening featured a panel discussion on indexing moderated by Jim Wiandt, publisher of ETFR and several other index-oriented publications. Panelists included Vanguard founder Jack Bogle and Robert Schiller, the Yale economist.
But Bogle stole the spotlight with his stump speech about active investors failing to beat the market. Bogle talked about the hundreds of tech mutual funds launched at the top of the market in the late 1900s and 2000, as well as the fact that so few fund managers are buy and hold investors. (You can find some audio and video from the event here.) I’ve covered Bogle and Vanguard for years, so I’ve heard many of the stats he threw out to make his case for indexing at least a dozen times, but the huge crowd in attendance seemed enthralled.
More enthralling to me was what happened during the reception after the panel ended. Bogle grabbed two pieces of whole wheat bread from the buffet table and came over to the cheese board where I was standing. He said: “Lauren, I want you to watch me carefully.” He cut a few slices of cheese, and put them on the bread.
An accomplice to the crime, I held out a Metropolitan Club napkin, and helped him wrap up the sandwich inside.
Then he stashed the sandwich in his tote bag and said: “Now I have something to eat on the train!”