If Vanguard is the mutual fund industry's Google (or Amazon), practically giving away most of what it does to gain ever-increasing market share, then Dimensional Fund Advisors
] is the industry's Apple, more concerned about offering premium products than about gaining massive market share.
Charles Stein of Bloomberg penned
a long profile of the quiet, Austin-based, quasi-indexing giant. Bloomberg
of course talked to DFA chairman and co-CEO David Booth
. David Butler
, head of global financial advisor services, also offers a quote or two. Linda York
of Cogent and Alex Bryan
of Morningstar both weigh in, as do a handful of DFA's Kool-Aid-drinking advisors. And the article also mentions the importance to DFA of the work of Eugene Fama (a Nobel prize-winning economist) and Kenneth French (Fama's research partner).
calls DFA "small". I guess $381 billion is small compared to Vanguard's $3 trillion.
On the flip side, there are several notable omissions from the article. Bloomberg
notes that Robert Merton
(another Nobel Prize-winning economist) "is involved in designing products for the company," without mentioning what those are. As reported
by our sister publication, 401kWire
, DFA's Michael Lane
is using Merton's theories for a retirement product which DFA is partnering with TIAA-CREF
Also unmentioned in the Bloomberg
piece: Eduardo Repetto
, DFA's other co-CEO, who used to be a rocket scientist. Booth does tell the pub that he's refused buyout and IPO offers, insisting that "the next generation of leadership is in place."
Neil Anderson, Managing Editor
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