The Australian Investors Podcast

Robin Bowerman - Vanguard

In this episode I chat with Robin Bowerman, the Head of Corporate Affairs at Vanguard Australia.

Robin is a former journalist, an author and has been with Vanguard Australia since 2003.

Vanguard is the world leader in low-cost index funds and exchange traded funds. It has changed the world of finance for almost every Australian, whether we choose to admit it or not.

Therefore, some of the talking points in this episode should be heard and understood by investors of all stripes. Robin and I talk about his journey, common failures by smart investors, culture at Vanguard, why almost all active funds underperform over many years and the prospects for index investing going forward.

We start with Robin’s journey long before he started at Vanguard.

Sponsored by Kaplan Professional

This podcast is sponsored by Kaplan Professional, the leading provider of online education for Australia’s finance industry. Whether you're studying a Master of Applied Finance or Master of Financial Planning, Kaplan Professional can provide the flexibility and support to deepen your specialist knowledge while balancing professional commitments.

If you’re planning to sit the CFA exam, Kaplan Professional is also renowned for the most respected preparation materials in the industry. Visit to learn more.

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Show Notes

Show notes:

  • 0:45: intro to Robin
  • Robin’s book
  • Why join Vanguard?
  • Vanguard’s journey from a minnow in the 70’s to a $US5 trillion juggernaut
  • The culture at Vanguard
  • Controlling what you can control
  • What is an index fund?
  • How does Vanguard deal with corporate events like voting at AGMs and index additions/removals?
  • The role for active and why most active funds underperform
  • Why it has gotten a lot harder to outperform other investors
  • From $10k to $450k by 30, why doesn’t everyone just index?
  • US markets are 40% passive, Europe is around 25% — can Australia got from 15-20% passive investments to over 50%?
  • Vanguard’s $1 trillion in active investments
  • Can passive investing, at 10% p.a. continue? Plus, 1 great resource for Aussie investors
  • What would Robin tell a younger Robin?

Further Reading:

Learn more about Robin & Vanguard: 

Author JL Collins Google Talk (Index Funds)

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