FA Center: This legendary Vanguard fund manager had the right stuff to beat the market

Enough time has elapsed since investment legend John Neff passed away to step back and take a sober look at the performance of the mutual fund he ran for more than three decades.

That’s not because Neff’s record was anything short of impressive. But a dispassionate analysis of how much money an investor could have made from his considerable investing skills would have looked unseemly in the immediate aftermath of his passing.

Neff died June 4 at the age of 87. From 1964 through 1995 he ran Vanguard Group’s respected Windsor Fund VWNDX, -0.33% . Over his 31 years at the helm, the fund beat the S&P 500’s SPX, +0.02% total return by an extraordinary average of 3.1 annualized percentage points.

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