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Rating:How Vanguard's CEO Spent Valentine's Day Not Rated 1.0 Email Routing List Email & Route  Print Print
Monday, February 14, 2011

How Vanguard's CEO Spent Valentine's Day

Reported by Armie Margaret Lee

Vanguard chairman, president and CEO Bill McNabb spent part of Valentine's Day speaking to an audience of 500 people at NICSA's 29th Annual Conference & Expo in Miami. How does the top executive of the biggest mutual fund firm in the U.S. plan to celebrate the Day of Hearts?

Bill McNabb
Vanguard
Chairman, President and CEO
"My wife and I will have a romantic dinner at Miami International Airport tonight," quipped McNabb on Monday afternoon during his keynote appearance.

Sporting his yellow Livestrong wristband, McNabb took the stage after lunch and told the audience that he is "generally pretty optimistic."

"The probability of a double dip is much lower," he said. "From a macro perspective, we do see some signs of a recovery."

He also noted the increase in the amount of money that people are saving.

His talk was not entirely upbeat, though. He discussed challenges such as housing prices and the European debt crisis, and challenges faced by state and local governments.

McNabb talked about the lack of clarity on the part of the government and the rising national debt.

"If you're going to ask me what can derail my optimistic view, it's the rising national debt," he said.

In honor of Valentine's Day, McNabb devoted a portion of his talk to what he would tell the government, investors and fellow industry players if he were to send out Valentine's Day notes to them.

He told the government to get a plan to get the budget under control and to get tax reform right. His third message is "all about retirement," with the shift away from the defined benefit system toward defined contribution.

For investors, McNabb told them to save more than they think they need to and he also preached the benefits of diversification.

To his fellow industry players, McNabb urged them to keep things simple and not to betray the trust placed in them by investors.

"We have to remember that it ain't our money," he said.  

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