Bogleheads Review: Vanguard disciples

The genesis of many great financial bloggers have their roots in the ultimate forum: bogleheads.org.

The website has its roots from a Morningstar forum that sung the praises of Vanguard Founder Jack Bogle. Bogle started the first index fund and it followed the S&P 500. The company was made in such a way that shareholders also owned the company. Therefore they chose to keep their own fees minimal. While managed funds often charged 1% of your holdings annually and an advisor often charges 1% to place you in these managed funds that usually failed to beat the index (aka average), Vanguard charges 0.04% without any advisor needed. So before Vanguard, you paid 50x more in hopes that you won the lottery and chose the ones that consistently beat the market average. For those who hold low cost index funds for the long term statistically win out.

The website is a treasure trove of good financial information. Start with the wikis. Then if you have a specific question use its internal Google search to find those who have already asked. Lastly if you are brave ask a question yourself. The forum is tightly moderated. This is good for keeping on message but not the best for friendliness or ease of use. Your question must be personal and actionable and be in no way political. If you breach a rule you will be censored.

I felt I could follow rules. So I asked a question about S Corp state laws which can be very confusing. The moderator changed my title and question to limit it to my current state since it must be personal. I protested that my question was personal because my job lends itself easily to crossing state lines. I was reprimanded for arguing with the moderator and threatened with being removed. And since my question had been altered it was never answered.

And though I was smart enough not to ask any political questions, I really wanted to. I realize the reason for banning this hot headed realm but it makes the forum very reactionary and not proactive. A good analysis of the recent proposed tax reform would have been helpful because once a bill was passed the forum members were clueless of what just got implemented. Some even missed out on savings that could be made by giving charitable givings early to take advantage of the changes. I suspect others were confused and rushed into unnecessary S Corps because they didn’t understand the new “Pass Thru Deduction”.

Though I am noting some critiques, I applaud the forums stalwart defense of low cost DIY reasonably safe investing.

Do you consider yourself a Boglehead? Have you ever run afoul with their moderators?

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