In Memory of Bill Fouse, Index Fund Pioneer

It is a common misconception that Jack Bogle and Vanguard Group created the first index mutual fund. While Bogle and Vanguard helped to bring index investing to the masses with the first public index mutual fund, it was actually William Fouse at Wells Fargo in the early 1970s that launched the first index fund marketed to institutional investors. Bill Fouse passed away on October 17th at the age of 91, so we thought an article highlighting the legacy of one of the first proponents of indexing and asset allocation was appropriate. Originally a black sheep of the investment industry accused of trying to “turn the job of managing money into a science,” Fouse went on to have a successful career managing money, eschewing the traditional business of picking individual stocks and focusing instead on research and asset allocation.