Vanguard has preserved a reputation as the lowest-cost provider of investment options since John Bogle founded the company in 1974, operating on an at-cost basis in a world motivated by profit.

Forty years later, Vanguard is dominates the mutual fund industry, while the 84-year-old serves as president of Bogle Financial Markets Research Center, housed on Vanguard's campus and often described as his personal think tank. He sat down with Financial Planning over PB&Js, his lunch of choice, to discuss the proliferation of indexes, the growth of ETFs and the role of independent advisors. Below is an edited version of the conversation.

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