Oct 04, 2016

NGPF Podcast: Tim Talks to Jim Rowley of Vanguard About Investing in Index Funds


Thanks to Jim Rowley for taking the time to discuss investing on the NGPF podcast. As a senior investment analyst at Vanguard, Jim and his team provide thought leadership on index investing and ETFs. His wealth of experience at Vanguard and in the broader investment management business provides him with a unique perspective to share his insights on:

  • What an index fund is and why they are increasing in popularity
  • The differences between active and passive investing
  • Why investment fees should matter to investors
  • How Vanguard’s ownership structure is different from other investment management firms
  • What advice he gives to novice investors

For educators looking to increase their content knowledge about investing, this podcast will be time extremely well spent (and as an added bonus, I bet it will help your own portfolio too)! Enjoy!


  • 0:00~1:31 – Introduction
  • 1:31~3:52 – Jim’s background
  • 3:52~5:52 – Vanguard’s philosophy
  • 5:52~8:08 – Typical conflicts of interest with investment management firms that affect investors
  • 8:08~11:09 – Types of investing fees
  • 11:09~13:56 – What do investment fees pay for?
  • 13:56~18:18 – The Vanguard 500 Fund
  • 18:18~20:50 – Explanations of active investing and passive investing
  • 20:50~21:46 – How expenses affect investor returns
  • 21:46~24:50 – Research on active and passive investing
  • 24:50~28:20 – What an ‘ETF’ is
  • 28:20~28:40 – A word from our sponsor, Next Gen Personal Finance
  • 28:40~34:02 – Comparing index funds
  • 34:02~39:59 – Advice to a young investor
  • 39:59~41:57 – Rule of thumb regarding age and percentage of money invested in stocks
  • 41:57~44:27 – Why bonds seem to less popular with investors today
  • 44:27~46:37 – Should young adults be investing in individual stocks?
  • 46:37~49:12 – Making index investing more exciting for students
  • 49:12~50:09 – Educational tools available from Vanguard
  • 50:09~52:14 – Technology and the rise of the robo-advisor
  • 52:14~56:14 – Three points he would emphasize with high school students
  • 56:14~57:31 – Conclusion
  • “Investing does not happen on paper. You can make stock picks on paper but in the real world, investing has a cost”

About the Author

Tim Ranzetta

Tim's saving habits started at seven when a neighbor with a broken hip gave him a dog walking job. Her recovery, which took almost a year, resulted in Tim getting to know the bank tellers quite well (and accumulating a savings account balance of over $300!). His recent entrepreneurial adventures have included driving a shredding truck, analyzing executive compensation packages for Fortune 500 companies and helping families make better college financing decisions. After volunteering in 2010 to create and teach a personal finance program at Eastside College Prep in East Palo Alto, Tim saw firsthand the impact of an engaging and activity-based curriculum, which inspired him to start a new non-profit, Next Gen Personal Finance.

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