Warren Buffett paid tribute to Jack Bogle at Berkshire Hathaway's annual meeting in 2017, which Bogle attended just days before his 88th birthday.
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Bogle revolutionized investing for regular people, Buffett said. While Nobel-winning economist Paul Samuelson and value-investing pioneer Benjamin Graham had talked about the idea of an index fund, Bogle is the one who actually put the concept together at the fund company he founded in 1975, Vanguard Group. And he did this despite resistance from others on Wall Street, which had a vested interest in maintaining the status quo.
Index fund investing has dramatically lowered the cost of investing for mom and pop investors and made a once-complex activity easy and quick.
"It wouldn't have happened without him," Buffett said.
Bogle died Wednesday at age 89. But his legacy will live on in Vanguard, which has grown to be one of the world's largest fund companies, with $5.1 trillion of assets under management.
"Index funds, overall, have delivered for shareholders a result that has been better than Wall Street professionals as a whole," Buffett said at the 2017 meeting. The index fund has put "tens and tens of billions into their pockets. And those numbers are going to be hundreds and hundreds of billions over time."
Buffett reiterated these words in comments to CNBC following Bogle's death.