Vanguard founder Jack Bogle and finance professor Jeremy Siegel took their long-standing debate over the best way to index from the editorial pages to the airwaves of CNBC last week, MarketWatch reports.
Siegel, who teaches at the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School and who is aligned with Wisdom Tree, an exchange-traded fund start-up, argued once again that the best way to build and index is by the strength of company stock. He calls the resulting ETFs he has constructed, "fundamentally weighted."
Bogle steadfastly stuck to his position that the best indexes are those weighted by market capitalization.
Wisdom Tree, on the other hand, accounts for dividends as part of company value, therefore building ETFs with an emphasis on companies that pay dividends regularly. Former Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Arthur Levitt is also a senior advisor for the company, like Siegel.
Bogle, the father of the popular index, argued that traditional indexes have served individuals well, noting that the Vanguard 500 Index Fund, which tracks the Standard &Poor's 500, has delivered triple the returns of the average mutual fund since its 1976 inception. Bogle noted that data bogs other indexers down, affecting performance and driving up cost.
Siegel insisted the undulating market affects fundamentally indexed funds the same way, over time.