Bogle Boggles and Balks re: ETFs

In the category of  “He who speaks with forked tongue…” Index Icon and Vanguard Group founder John Bogle once again threw a curve ball while speaking at today’s Bloomberg Portfolio Manager Mash-Up.

John Bogle, Vanguard Group founder

Stating “ETFs are the greatest trading innovation of the 21st century,” what the Midas of Mutual Funds added with a big (*) was : “But the question is,  ‘Are they the greatest investment innovation?’ and the answer is ‘no.”

According to coverage of the event, fully credited to InvestmentNews, Bogle pulled no punches by calling out BlackRock for “just making a muddy pool muddier” in reference to BlackRock’s aggressive product launches. Bogle, who is also known as the “Midas of  Mutual Funds”, reminded the Bloomberg conference attendees “There’s something like 2000 ETFs now. That’s almost as many stocks as there are.”

One attendee then asked Mr. Bogle, “How many mutual funds are there?” In lieu of replying, he headed to the loo, where the self-proclaimed Buffet-like Market Bull took a bio break.