Season 3 Episode 22:
Book club: Trillions with Robin Wigglesworth

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This week it’s book club time as we speak to FT journalist and author of the book “Trillions”, Robin Wigglesworth. Trillions tells the story of how a band of renegades invented the index fund and changed Wall Street forever.

We discuss Robin’s research process of writing the book, consisting of many interviews including with Jack Bogle and weaving together a raft of different stories from the 1970s to the present day. We cover the role of different personalities in bringing innovations to life and the need for outsiders/renegades.

Links mentioned:

We discuss:

  • Robin's motivations for writing the book – why this topic and why now?
  • The writing process – the most challenging moments, timeframes, the impact of Covid-19, and whittling down what could have been a cast of thousands into a readable story
  • How the book feels almost like a collection of short stories, but they all weave together through the book
  • Robin's favourite anecdote
  • How Vanguard got its name and why
  • The importance of personalities in how things unfolded and why they make for a good read
  • Which of James Cromwell, Liam Neeson, Ian Mckellan and Leonardo Di Caprio (yes, we know that covers quite a range!) should play Jack Bogle in the feature film…
  • The role of passive investing now and in the future – does active have a role?
  • What’s next for Robin

What's one thing to take away from the book?

 How investing has involved over a century through an unlikely hero, the index fund. 

The most underappreciated thing about investing?

How difficult investing can really be! 


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