Since the 1950s, the world of finance has transformed from the once secretive lair of a select few into an open marketplace strung together by fiber cables where high speed computers and data scientists apply increasingly sophisticated mathematical algorithms that glean information from data flowing at the speed of light all over the globe.
Along with terms, such as Modern Portfolio Theory, the Black-Scholes Options Pricing Model, and Index Funds, a few prominent economists, such as William Sharpe, Eugene Fama, and Myron Scholes are associated with this transformation. And, of course, there’s John Bogle, the founder of Vanguard who is often credited with the launch of index funds.
A name that is tied to all of these terms, prominent economists, and John Bogle is one you probably have not seen before. For all you know, he could have been a character who came to life in a Frank Capra movie. After spending his summers on his uncle’s farm in Illinois, he became a mechanical engineer before earning a Harvard MBA. While moonlighting from his job of financing airplanes for airlines, he was discovered sleeping on the floor of a computer operations center. This discovery led to his forging enduring bonds among world renowned scientists as they helped him change finance forever, earn more than a handful of Nobel prizes, and create enormous amounts of wealth and understanding for investors all over the world.
Last December 4 (2019), I sat down with John “Mac” McQuown and asked him about his journey far from that farm in Illinois, through Harvard to leading the Data Sciences Group at Wells Fargo that created and launched the first equity index fund. In watching the interview, you’ll learn not only what led up to the launch of the index fund and what’s happened in the almost 50 years since but also what Mac sees coming next. And it’s HUGE!