Charley Ellis biography at Rebalance IRA

Investment Committee Member

Dr. Charles D. Ellis is the founder and former managing partner of Greenwich Associates, an international consultancy where he advised large institutional investors, foundations, and government organizations in more than 130 financial markets across the globe. He taught investment management courses at the Yale School of Management and at Harvard Business School. He sat on the Board of Directors of America’s largest fund company, The Vanguard Group, which manages over $1.7 trillion dollars in assets. In addition, Charley was a successor trustee of Yale University, where he chaired the university’s famed investment committee with David Swensen. He was awarded the Graham & Dodd Award of Excellence from the Financial Analysts Journal and is one of only twelve people recognized by the CFA Institute for lifetime contributions to the investment profession. He has served on the governing boards of both Harvard and Yale business schools, as well as New York University’s Stern School of Business and Phillips Exeter Academy.

In short, Charley is one of the most highly regarded and sought-after experts in the investment field.

Despite this, one of his most fervent beliefs regarding long-term investing is decidedly unexpected: Don’t waste your time or money trying to actively beat the market by picking and choosing stocks. Those who still do are playing a “loser’s game,” because almost no one can consistently produce higher returns over time than the market itself. He clearly expresses this in his book Winning the Loser’s Game, which has sold over 500,000 copies. In this landmark work, Ellis explains how lower costs lead to higher returns, and he champions the use of low-cost, diversified index funds over the more expensive, actively managed funds that are a staple of the major mutual fund firms.

Charley found that he was not alone in his views on investing, nor in his desire to help everyday Americans make the most of their money. He found an equally passionate voice in fellow Rebalance Investment Committee member Burt Malkiel. The two went on to co-author The Elements of Investing, a straight-talking book about investing and saving that guides individuals and families toward financial security through commonsense advice and long-term, low-cost, passive investing.

His desire to help all individuals is evident through his work with The Partners of ’63 — a pro bono organization of Harvard Business School classmates and friends that supports change-oriented educational ventures for children born into difficult circumstances. It is this desire to help, this commitment to providing everyone with the tools and knowledge necessary to achieve prosperity, which ultimately brought him to Rebalance.

Charley in the Press:

  • How much does your money manager cost you? (CNN Money)
  • The End of Active Investing
  • Scott Puritz Baltimore Sun
  • NYT Cover Jan 2013
  • Index Revolution