Our history

Serving investors for nearly five decades

Vanguard employees standing in a V formation

Vanguard crew, 1986

Vanguard founder John C. Bogle discusses what has made Vanguard different from the very beginning

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Image of John C. Bogle Vanguard's founder
John C. Bogle
Vanguard's founder
Image of handwritten notes
John C. Bogle's handwritten notes laying out options for Vanguard’s corporate structure.
image of handwritten notes
A share certificate for First Index Investment Trust, the first index fund available to individual investors.
Three men holding a discussion around a conference table.
The Fixed Income Group team in charge of managing the Money Market Trust, 1981.
A group of seven men in hardhats stand talking on a construction site. Another man uses a video camera to record them.
John C. Bogle and a camera crew visited the Malvern, Pennsylvania, campus as construction began.
The first version of Vanguard Online appears on a 1995 AOL page. It shows a line drawing of a sailing ship at the top left corner with “Vanguard Online” to the right of it. The phrase “Welcome to Vanguard Online” appears across the top of the page. Links to news and information articles appear on the left under the title “Vanguard Online Highlights.” Links to Vanguard message boards, search, quick reference, and email appear at the bottom. The right navigation area includes general links to information about the funds, planning and strategy, news, and communications.
Vanguard Online—the precursor to vanguard.com—as it appeared on AOL , 1995.
Four men and two women meet around a conference table. They are looking at a large screen showing a version of vanguard.com for investors in employer plans. The page features an image of a ship sailing toward a harbor and questions about why one should save, how much to save, how to invest, and how to enroll that link to answers and more information.
Planning the expansion of Vanguard’s online presence, 1996.

John J. Brennan reflects on how Vanguard’s growth is driven by our mission

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John J. Brennan is shown smiling. He has gray hair and is wearing a suit, dress shirt, and tie.
John J. Brennan
Vanguard CEO 1996–2008
A brochure cover shows a wooden walkway curving to the left through a natural wetland area. Tall rushes line both sides. The text says “New from Vanguard: A fund with a difference. Vanguard Calvert Social Index Fund.”
Vanguard launched our first socially responsible fund to address the preferences of socially conscious investors.
The front cover and inside of a trifold brochure. The cover shows a man standing while reading a newspaper with a briefcase at his feet. Another man with a bag on his shoulder walks behind him. Text says, “Now you can trade our index fund shares like stocks.” Inside text says, “New shares on the block” beside an image of a walking man carrying a briefcase.
When we entered the ETF market in 2001, our unique approach lowered costs for investors.

Bill McNabb discusses how taking care of our investors has made Vanguard a stronger company

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F. William McNabb III is shown smiling, wearing a suit, dress shirt, and tie.
F. William McNabb III
Vanguard CEO 2008–2017
A smiling woman is shown on the right side of the Vanguard Personal Investors homepage of vanguard.com. The words “Advice for what matters. Vanguard Personal Advisor Services” are on the left with a link underneath that says, “Find out how a Vanguard advisor can help you.”
A 2016 promotional video campaign for Personal Advisor Services featured client stories.

Tim Buckley shares lessons learned from his predecessors and his vision for Vanguard’s future

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Mortimer J. Buckley is wearing black-framed glasses, a suit, dress shirt, and tie.
Mortimer J. Buckley
Vanguard CEO 2018–present
A simulated page for Vanguard Digital Advisor appears on a laptop screen. It shows the “Progress” tab for a saver’s retirement goal and a graphic illustrating the likelihood that the person’s retirement savings at the current rate and risk level will be sufficient. “Well-funded” and a green light indicator appear at the top of the graphic.
Digital Advisor Services rolled out, 2020.