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Massive passive: 50 years of the index fund

The industry’s growth has been breathtaking, but always accompanied by a fear it will somehow wreck markets

©The Financial Times Limited 2020 Jul 19, 2021 / 12:50 PM IST
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Massive passive: 50 years of the index fund

Robin Wigglesworth Happy birthday to the index fund, which this month turned 50 years old — looking fitter, feistier and more controversial than ever. Five decades ago, John “Mac” McQuown, a headstrong former farmhand from Illinois, led a team of brilliant iconoclasts at a Wells Fargo skunk works that cooked up ways to use newfangled computers in finance. Among the things the Management Sciences unit helped birth were Fico’s famous credit scores and Mastercard. But the greatest was the index fund. At...

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