Set forth below is the text of a comment that I recently posted to the discussion thread for one of my columns at the Value Walk site:
Seriously, Rob. It is like saying you look forward to joining Lebron James in winning an NBA championship. Your life is just an internet fantasy.
You’re entitled to your opinion, Sammy. But I would by lying to you if I told you that I share it.
I have had many big names tell me how important my work has been to them. Wade told me that he learned many things from me that he never learning getting his Ph.D. in Economics at Princeton. Somebody doesn’t just say that for no reason. Rob Arnott told me that my site was top notch. He is a giant in my eyes. Again, there would be no reason for him to say something like that unless he meant it. John Walter Russell though that my ideas were so important that he devoted eight years of his life to doing research to showing that the historical data supports everything I say. How many people have ever given up eight years of their life to research your ideas, Sammy? John was the most respected numbers guy in the history of the Retire Early community and he thought that his stuff was gold (and he came to that conclusion only after doing lots of skeptical research that won him over).
There are lots of others. Carl Richards LOVED my stuff. He banned me from his site because his readers were complaining that my stuff was so different from what they had been told by the Buy-and-Holders and yet so well-argued and so well-researched that it was upsetting them. But he told me that personally he thought that my web site was the #1 investing site on the internet. How often does that happen, that someone gets a fan letter from a site owner who has banned him? There’s something odd going on when something like that happens.
Lots of bloggers have told me similar things. Mike Piper is the biggest Buy-and-Hold fan that there could be. But he thinks that my stuff is of HUGE value. He banned me too. But he hated, hated, hated doing it. He came close to agreeing to let me post one article a month at his site. He wanted his readers to know about my work because he thought it was so important. But he was losing readers by letting me post at his site because my stuff was just too threatening to Buy-and-Holders, which comprise his entire readership.
Bill Schultheis is another one. When he discovered my site, he was raving about it. He too is a big Buy-and-Hold guy. But in a way that makes him a natural for Valuation-Informed Indexing. He learned at the Bogleheads Forum that i am “controversial” and then he got quiet. But on an intellectual level the guy just loved learning new stuff and, until it was made clear to him that there would be a price to be paid for expressing his sincere views, he couldn’t help but say how grateful he was to learn some new realities.
I could go on an on and on, you know? You already know most of what I am saying. You were there too for most of it. And of course you also testify to the importance of my work with every harassment post that you advance. You wouldn’t do that if you didn’t see Valuation-Informed Indexing as a threat to your beliefs about how stock investing works. What makes you see it as such a big threat? It’s the fact that it is the first true research-based strategy, the first strategy that incorporates both the pre-1981 research (as Buy-and-Hold does) AND the post-1981 research (that the Buy-and-Holders have elected to ignore so that they don’t need to acknowledge the possibility that they are humans and thus capable of making a mistake).
This is a big deal, Sammy. There are millions of middle-class people who need to provide for their retirements somehow. They need access to accurate and honest reports of what the peer-reviewed research in this field really says about how stock investing works. I provide it to them. The peer-reviewed research paper that I co-authored with Wade shows that by the simple act of becoming open to changing their stock allocations in response to big valuation shifts, investors can reduce the risk of stock investing by nearly 70 percent. If I had showed investors how to reduce investing risk by 10 percent, I would be on the cover of Time magazine. The problem with showing them how to reduce risk by 70 percent is that it makes the Buy-and-Holders look bad. That’s the only “problem” with what I have done, I showed the way to too big an advance in our understanding of the realities. What a bad, bad boy, you know?
I wish you all good things, Sammy. But come on.