RTP NC Local Chapter meetings in 2015

This 2015 retrospective account of the Research Triangle Park NC Local Chapter meetings is provided by Bogleheads® forum member Steve Thorpe.

NC Chapter Meeting Noon Friday January 16, 2015


Duke Sociology/Psychology building

Meeting 22 of the Research Triangle Park Bogleheads® occurred Friday January 16, 2015 at Duke University in collaboration with our local chapter member, Economics Professor Ed Tower.

The main event of this meeting was a guest appearance by our group’s namesake,  John C. (Jack) Bogle, who  kindly agreed to join us via Video Conference.

John C. Bogle, 85, is Founder of The Vanguard Group, Inc., and President of the Bogle Financial Markets Research Center. He created Vanguard in 1974 and served as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer until 1996 and Senior Chairman until 2000. He had been associated with a predecessor company since 1951, immediately following his graduation from Princeton University, magna cum laude in Economics. He is a graduate of Blair Academy, Class of 1947.

Mr. Bogle is a best-selling author of many books, including:

  • Bogle on Mutual Funds: New Perspectives for the Intelligent Investor (1993)
  • Common Sense on Mutual Funds: New Imperatives for the Intelligent Investor (1999)
  • John Bogle on Investing: The First 50 Years (2000)
  • Character Counts: The Creation and Building of The Vanguard Group (2002)
  • Battle for the Soul of Capitalism (2005)
  • The Little Book of Common Sense Investing (2007)
  • Enough: True Measures of Money, Business, and Life (2008)
  • Common Sense on Mutual Funds, Fully Updated 10th Anniversary Edition (2009)
  • Don’t Count On It! Reflections on Investment Illusions, Capitalism, “Mutual” Funds, Indexing, Entrepreneurship, Idealism, and Heroes (2010)
  • Clash of the Cultures: Investment vs. Speculation (2012)

I’m happy to report the recording from the January 16, 2015 WebEx meeting with Jack Bogle has been converted and posted on Youtube. This is best viewed in full-screen mode, since unfortunately the video part is in the upper-right of the recording.

Mr. Bogle discussed his “Path to Industry Leadership”:

  1. Strategy follows structure!
  2. Always focus on the clients
  3. Don’t forget the Vanguard Crew
  4. Offer funds with high “relative predictability” to their peers
  5. Market share is a measure, not an objective

Next he opened it up to Q&A from the audience.

Special thanks to Jack Bogle, Mike Nolan, Kimberly Brown and Professor Ed Tower for making this event possible!

RTP, NC Chapter Meeting 11:11 AM Sat April 25, 2015


Bull City Burger & Brewery

Meeting 23 of the Research Triangle Park Bogleheads® was held Saturday April 25, 2015 at the Bull City Burger & Brewery where we  had a fun gathering with fine conversation, burgers, fries and beers…. what’s not to like about that?

I learned about the excellent site portfoliovisualizer.com that can be used to run backtest simulations (similar to the Simba spreadsheet), do factor analysis, run Monte Carlo simulations etc. A very nifty tool!

The Utah 529 plan was compared to the NC 529 plan. Turns out the Utah plan has a few DFA funds and rock-bottom costs. Now that NC has removed its deduction for the first 2K of 529 contributions, the Utah plan may be worth a look. The Nevada plan may be another one to check out.

We discussed proper etiquette for posting to the national forums after one of our local chapter members was moderated — that is, his posting was edited due to inappropriate content.

Taxes were another topic. Are there benefits to procrastination? Sometimes yes…. it sure can help in the case when a late-arriving 1099 form shows up.

Other topics included:

  • Market neutral funds
  • Almonds are drinking lots of CA’s precious water
  • Buying vs. leasing cars
  • Factor analysis

Thank you to everyone who attended!

RTP, NC Chapter Meeting 11:12 AM Sat August 29, 2015


Pompieri Pizza

Meeting 24 of the Research Triangle Park Bogleheads®  took place at Pompieri Pizza where 15 attendees at our August 29 meeting enjoyed great conversation, pizza and local craft beer – plus we got to meet four special guests from China that Professor Tower invited. What could be better?

Topics of discussion included:

  • Psychologically adjusting to the withdrawal phase in retirement
  • New investors (since March 2009) are accustomed to outsized returns so they might be surprised in coming years
  • Among urban Chinese, perhaps 50% of families invest
  • Various ideas for future Bogleheads guests
  • Chinese real estate
  • Chinese mutual funds and expense ratios
  • Ed’s latest CAPE research

Thanks to everyone who came to the meeting.

RTP, NC Chapter Meeting 9:30 AM Sat November 14, 2015


Bull City Coworking

Around 20+ attended yesterday’s Meeting 25 of the Research Triangle Park Bogleheads® at the fabulous Bull City Coworking venue, including at least a half-dozen new members. Fueled by Ed’s bagels, Tiffany’s donuts and most importantly by fine Boglehead conversation we all had a great time. Here are a few highlights:

Ron (CFA, CFP, CPA, MBA) described his goal to become NC’s Treasurer then save the North Carolina pension plan up to $1 billion per year through adopting an open, transparent, low-cost passively managed strategy rather than the closed, obfuscated, high-cost and actively managed setup now being used. As you can imagine Ron’s views were well-received by the RTP Bogleheads who are all naturally predisposed to such ideas.

Ed Tower shared a few highlights from his review of the materials from October’s national meeting, such as:

  • Jack Bogle’s view that holding an explicit allocation to International isn’t necessary. One reason being that domestic stocks get so much of their business from international sources anyway.
  •  Discussions about adjusting Social Security, e.g. raising retirement age, limiting withdrawal amounts for those with large incomes, etc.
  •  Ed described the equities/fixed income allocations of a few high-profile Bogleheads (they ranged from 80/20 to 40/60)

Tony attended the October meeting and he shared a few more highlights, including:

  • Check this out – Jack Bogle mentioned our local Bogleheads chapter at the national meeting! See toward the bottom of slide 20 of  Jack’s slide deck. How cool is that!
  •  Gus Sauter gave a fascinating presentation on “expected” vs. “required” returns. See Gus’ slide deck  here.
  •  Both Jack and Gus expected more modest market returns in coming years, hence investors probably need to save more in order to meet their goals.

Those interested can learn more about the recent national meeting on the wiki, which has links to videos, slide decks, articles etc: see Bogleheads® 14 – Philadelphia .

Other topics of conversation included:

Henry further discussed Jack Bogle on why he thinks investors need to adjust their expectations going forward as to what stock/bond returns are likely to be over the coming years. In essence, Jack appears to believe that historical rates of returns are not likely to be achieved for an extended period of time. Henry referred us to a marketwatch article isn’t unduly long or technical, and is available at:John Bogle says you won’t make much money from stocks

We talked about the recent changes to the Social Security rules. I described how Social Security rules make my head want to explode, so I like using tools such as Maximize My Social Security (it is supposed to be upgraded soon to reflect the latest rules).

Well that’s a short-but-sweet sampling of the conversation, however nothing beats being there in person.


Barry Barnitz, administrator of both the Bogleheads® wiki and of Financial Page, a Bogleheads® blog. In addition I serve as an administrator of finiki, the Canadian financial wiki, as an administrator of la Wiki Bogleheads® España, and as an administrator of the John C. Bogle Center for Financial Literacy site.

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