Quantitative fund managers can be prickly sorts. Because so many of their strategies are hidden from view, it's easy to dismiss them when performance falters or crashes, like it did in 2007 to 2009. Managers can be sensitive to suggestions that their models are fallible.

But John Bogle Jr., manager of the Bogle Small Cap Growth Fund, is not like them. In many cases, he believes the criticisms levied at quants are valid. He is skeptical of back-testing, the much-touted practice for showing that a particular methodology worked well historically.

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