Category Archives: The Real World

The Index Fund featured as one of “50 Things That Made the Modern Economy”

In this week’s installment of “Fifty Things That Made the Modern Economy”, Tim Harford features the index fund. This 9 minute long podcast lays out the history of the development of the index fund in particular and the evolution of so-called of passive portfolio strategies in general. Much of the content of this podcast is sourced from Vanguard founder Jack Bogle’s September 2011 WSJ article entitled “How the Index Fund Was Born” (available at https://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424053111904583204576544681577401622). Here’s the description of this podcast:

“Warren Buffett is the world’s most successful investor. In a letter he wrote to his wife, advising her how to invest after he dies, he offers some clear advice: put almost everything into “a very low-cost S&P 500 index fund”. Index funds passively track the market as a whole by buying a little of everything, rather than trying to beat the market with clever stock picks – the kind of clever stock picks that Warren Buffett himself has been making for more than half a century. Index funds now seem completely natural. But as recently as 1976 they didn’t exist. And, as Tim Harford explains, they have become very important indeed – and not only to Mrs Buffett.”

Warren Buffett is one of the world’s great investors. His advice? Invest in an index fund
bbc.co.uk

How to obtain a Fall 2017 Wall Street Journal subscription

A subscription to the Wall Street Journal is required for Finance 4335. In order to subscribe to the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) for the Fall 2017 semester, go to http://wsj.com/studentoffer. You can subscribe for 15 weeks for $1 per week, or for an entire year for slightly less than $1 per week (i.e., for $49). You also have a choice between getting the digital version of WSJ or the digital and paper versions for these same prices. Whatever options you select, please also reference my name (James R. Garven) as your referring professor.

Throughout the semester, I will often reference specific WSJ articles in class and on the course blog. Finance 4335 topics (as well as topics in most of the rest of your classes) come to life in the world outside the Baylor bubble when you read make a habit of reading the WSJ on a regular basis. Furthermore, if you expect to interview for jobs or internships anytime soon, reading the WSJ will give you a leg up on your competition in the job market, since you will be better informed and have more compelling ideas and insights to share with recruiters.

In closing, the following (2 minute) video provides a helpful introduction to the WSJ, providing time-saving tips to help you get the most from WSJ and succeed not only in Finance 4335, but also your other classes and career: