Vanguard Group founder John Bogle isn’t known for pulling punches, especially when he’s looking out for the best interests of individual investors.
When Vanguard made its entry into the ETF business several years ago, Bogle made no secret of his opposition to the move. Because investors can buy and sell ETFs during the day, Bogle said they could encourage harmful speculation and investors losing focus on the long term.
However, Vanguard has become the third largest exchange traded fund provider. As if to answer Bogle’s criticism of ETFs, Vanguard recently released a study showing investors in its ETFs have not become day traders.
Bogle has argued that ETFs are “just great big gambling, speculative, instruments that have definitely destabilized the market” and compared the investment tool to “giving an arsonist a match.”
In more recent years, though, Bogle has shifted his position, saying that ETFs providing core exposure are fine if used properly for specific purposes; however, he remains wary about niche ETF products that are used “to speculate, rather than invest,” reports Jeff Sommer for the New York Times. [Why Vanguard Founder Bogle Doesn’t Like ETFs]
“There’s no question that ETFs are the greatest trading innovation of the 21st century,” Bogle said earlier this year. “But the question is, ‘Are they the greatest investment innovation?’ and the answer is ‘no.’”