Quotes about Dividends by Jack Bogle

Jack or John Bogle, who is the inspiration for the term “Bogleheads”, pioneered the use of index funds. A lot of people who follow his sayings, though, tend to be unaware, or ignore, or have forgotten his opinions on dividends. His opinion was that dividends are not irrelevant.

Here are the quotes I was able to find:

Dividends Are the Investor’s (Best?) Friend

Bogle, J. C. (2007). The Little Book of Common Sense Investing (Chapter 6)

Finally, what’s most important when we retire is the stream of income we need to support our needs—the dividend checks we receive from our mutual fund investments and the monthly checks we receive from our Social Security payments.

Yes, the market value of our capital is important. But frequent peeking at the value of our investments is not only unproductive, but counterproductive. What we really seek is retirement income that is steady and, if possible, grows with inflation.


Bonds have an underlying rate of return–the yield, or the coupon if you will, when you buy it. Stocks have an underlying rate of return–it’s the dividend yield plus the subsequent earning growth. So they have support there, and they’re in most circumstances largely investment and only to a lesser extent speculation. Investment being those underlying characteristics.

Bogle, J. C. (2010). Interview with Forbes.

What people should be doing, honestly Tom, is stop looking at the silly stock market every day and look at the cash flow they get.

Bogle, J. C. (2014). Interview with Motley Fool – Timestamp 1029 seconds

For stocks, you probably want to look at more of a dividend bias. You could buy a high-yield dividend index instead of the total stock market index if capital flows. That dividend if you look at the stream of dividends — it makes the stock market look violently volatile. The dividend stream goes up, up, up. The fact of the matter is, there have only been two significant dividend cuts since 1925.

(ibid) – Timestamp 1060 seconds

What you’re trying to do when you retire which I am gonna do someday, when you do that you want to ensure a monthly flow of income so don’t watch the market just make sure your portfolio is producing income and will continue to produce income so you get your Social Security check every month you set up your mutual fund to counter your index fund account for a monthly payment you can do that and just you want those payments to be stable and with respect to Social Security and the and the fund

Bogle, J. C. (2019). Interview with Motley Fool – Timestamp 655 seconds

I gave you the formula for the investment  return or fundamental return on stocks, which is dividend yield plus  corporate earnings growth.

Bogle, J. C. (2019). Interview with WealthTrack – Timestamp 2303 seconds

(On gold) Unlike with dividend yields on stocks, you’re just betting that you can sell it for more than you can buy it. That is what we call speculation.

Bogle, J.C (2015). Talk at the Aspen Institute – Timestamp 465 seconds

I think we should spend more time thinking about dividends rather than market values because market values are all over the place and dividends are pretty reliable to go up a little bit each year like

Bogleheads® Conference 2018 – John Bogle Q & A – Timestamp 1281 seconds

You should be worried not about the value of of your estate but about the income producing capacity of your estate or your retirement plan because that’s where you go out you know once a month you go out to the mailbox and get your mutual fund dividends and your social security check and then you come home and have a nice dinner live in a nice house whatever else you want to do. So it’s we should focus I really believe this so strongly we should focus more on the inherent value of our investment program than on the market value because markets are crazy things

(ibid) – Timestamp 1336

I’m on this pretty much one-man, I think, crusade to have people, particularly retired people, look not at the value of their portfolio, but at the income stream they get. They’re going to go out to the mailbox and they’re going to open, let’s say, the middle of every month when the fund or group of funds pays their dividends. They’re going to get a certain dividend. Dividends are what matter to these people. The stream of income is what matters, and dividends [tend to increase] in history.

Interview with Morningstar (2013)

Look at the dividend and try to ignore the market. As I’ve often said – nothing like quoting oneself, Christine – the stock market is a giant distraction to the business of indexing, and in particular for the business of retirement investor. It’s the income flow from Social Security, pensions, whatever it might be, and dividend income, and that’s what’s important. It’s amazing how this dividend line [tends to increase over time] and the market [goes up and down over time], but they track each other in the long run.

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