We recently had the opportunity to interview Kathleen Ryan, Mahendra Prasad, and Nadeem Faiz, co-administrators of the Bogleheads.org Facebook Page. The site was announced on January 17, 2011 in the the Boglehead forum topic The New Bogleheads Facebook Page. Readers may be interested in the site’s origins and mission.
Financial Page: The Bogleheads.org Facebook page was introduced eight years ago. Can you recount for us how the site was created and developed?
Kathleen Ryan: Thank you for asking. Mahendra Prasad, Nadeem Faiz, and I thought it would be a great idea to offer a Bogleheads site on Facebook, to reach out to people who might not have found the Bogleheads.org site any other way. We also thought this might be a way to reach young people who were heavily involved on Facebook.
Mahendra started a Bogleheads Facebook group back in 2008 and it grew and became large. Nadeem contacted him and asked if this could become the official Bogleheads Facebook presence– by migrating the Facebook group’s population to a Facebook Bogleheads page, and Mahendra agreed to this arrangement. The Facebook Bogleheads page is much larger than the Facebook group was, and Mahendra is glad he was able to seed the initial page population.
Nadeem recalls that after the 2010 Bogleheads conference, Dartthrower (a forum member) hosted a Bogleheads Recap at UPenn, which is where he met Mel Lindauer and Rick Ferri. They discussed reaching more young people and educating them about the Boglehead principles. At the time Facebook was gaining in popularity. Nadeem reached out to Mahendra and me, and as they say, “The rest is history.”
Nadeem and Mahendra oversee the technical side of how to keep things running smoothly at the Facebook Bogleheads site. I post most of the content, with Nadeem and Mahendra finding articles I miss. This includes photos, links to videos, speeches, and interviews, about and by Mr. Bogle, and occasionally other Bogleheads experts. We do NOT answer questions about investing but instead refer people to the Bogleheads.org site.
FP: What is the site’s mission?
KR: Our mission: We wanted to reach out to as many people as we possibly could and get the word out about Mr. John C. Bogle’s investing philosophy. With the founding of Vanguard, he has done so much for the small investors, to level the playing field, and give them “a fair shake.” Low cost, high quality index investing is the way to obtain what the market has to offer, without trying to “beat” it. And of course, “stay the course,” after you’ve constructed the portfolio you are comfortable with, using Mr. Bogle’s investment philosophy. We highly recommend Mr. Bogle’s books and “The Bogleheads Guides” to investing, so you can gain knowledge and insight on how to create the portfolio which is correct for you.
FP: Facebook measures site popularity by two measures: likes and followers. As we speak, the site has gleaned over 9,000 likes and over 9,600 followers. Has the public participation with the site met expectations?
KR: I don’t know that we had any expectations, other than reaching out to people, so we are very thrilled to have reached so many.
FP: What have been your most interesting experiences with the site?
KR: We enjoy very much reading what people have to say in response to the content we post and seeing what posts get the most likes. We find watching the number of our members grow daily very rewarding.
FP: What does the future hold for Bogleheads.org Facebook?
KR: Well, we never know what the future holds, but we hope we can in some way help many people with their investing experience and afford them a path to reach the goals they set for themselves.
We’ll conclude this interview with our past’s historical perspective, starting when the Facebook page was announced. Facebook Bogleheads initially was given a mixed review, with many people not seeing the need for a Facebook Bogleheads Page; some people were downright against a Facebook presence; but others gave their full support, of which we are thankful. We’re happy to report that through the years we’ve reached many people, who in turn, have found the Bogleheads.org site.
And again, thank you for the interest in the Facebook Bogleheads site. With best wishes to all.
FP: Thank you.