April 2018 | Posted By Henry Bragg

Who invented the index fund? Most investors would guess it was Vanguard founder John Bogle. Bogle did launch the first publicly available index fund in 1976. After being derided as “Bogle’s folly,” it went on to become today’s Vanguard 500 Index Fund, a name nearly synonymous with indexing.

So it may come as a surprise to learn that Bogle did not actually invent the index fund. That credit goes to three gentlemen who created the first institutional index funds in the early 1970s: Dimensional Fund Advisor board member John “Mac” McQuown, co-founder and Executive Chairman David Booth, and co-founder Rex Sinquefield.

 

 

In this brief video, Booth reflects on the evolution of indexing and evidence-based investing, which led to Dimensional’s own value-added approach. “The basic idea of indexing has been an overwhelming success,” says Booth, but “Dimensional built the firm on the idea that we could do better.”