The Author of the Bogleheads Wiki
Statement on SWRs Speaks Out

A fellow going by the name “SWR Lover” has posted a comment to Tuesday’s blog entry on the Bogleheads wiki statement on safe withdrawal rates (SWRs), saying that he is the author. We of course do not know this for certain to be so. I find it believable. The group that controls what goes into the Bogleheads wiki has strong connections with John Greaney and with the abusive posters who congregate at Goon Central to organize their work destroying Retire Early boards and Indexing boards. One of the regulars there is “Drip Guy,” and the wording of SWR Lover’s post suggests that he could well be “Drip Guy” under another name. Certainly the reasoning employed by SWR Lover is the reasoning that I witnessed often being put forward by Mel Lindauer (co-author of The Bogleheads Guide to Investing) and his “defenders” during his campaign to block honest posting on SWRs at the Vanguard Diehards board. If SWR Lover is not in fact the author of the flawed wiki statement, he is certainly guilty of possessing the same mindset as the author of those hard-headed and hard-hearted words.

First, a word on why you should read what follows. The Old School SWR findings have over the years been cited in tens of thousands if not hundreds of thousands of newspaper articles on retirement planning. It is rare to hear retirement advice today that was not influenced in some way by these studies. That means that you have been influenced by them. We all take in what we hear thousands of times and all of us have been influenced in some way by these claims. If the Old School SWR studies got the numbers wrong (and they did), we are all at risk of suffering busted retirements somewhere along the line as a result. And the false reasoning that led to the errors in the Old School studies led to errors in the investing advice you have heard and accepted as true in many other areas. SWRs matter. It is critical that they be reported accurately. That’s why I often spend time analyzing carefully statements of the sort we saw put forward by SWR Lover last night. His errors are our errors. When we come to understand why SWR Lover has gotten it all wrong, we come to learn where the rest of us have gotten it all wrong too.

Here is what SWR Lover said in his comment to the earlier blog entry:

“Rob,

“I personally wrote the initial article for the Wiki section on SWR. I also purposely included the statement you see there now:

“Original Author, in Wiki: “…one should always be sure to be clear whether the use is in reference to past or projected SWRs, so that unnecessary argument can be prevented.”

“I did that to illustrate there is no need to misunderstand history versus future. Most folks handle that concept quite nicely and naturally without needing to see such a clause, but I thought it added a nice closed loop to that potential argument(!). It certainly does not mean what you ascribe to it:

“RB on his blog: “This statement implicitly (but not explicitly, to be sure) acknowledges that [“old school studies”.. are not [correct].”

“It does not mean that in any way, shape or form. I know what it means, because I wrote it. My intent was to make sure the record is plain as can be, and I think it actually is. (Well, perhaps except for one person. We do what we can, but sometimes there are limits…).”

These are word games. People use SWR studies to plan their retirements. It is important that people planning retirements have access to correct numbers. Otherwise, they are likely to suffer busted retirements. The historical stock-return data shows that the biggest factor affecting the safety of a retirement is the valuation level for stocks that applies on the day the retirement begins. The Old School studies contain no adjustment for this factor. Thus, the Old School studies get the numbers wrong. At times when valuations are extremely high (as they have been for a good time now), they get the numbers wildly wrong. Those are the realities.

The key phrase in SWR Lover’s comment is: “Most folks handle that concept quite nicely and naturally without needing to see such a clause.” There is a sense in which that statement is 100 percent false and there is a sense in which that statement is largely true.

The “concept” he is referring to is the word game. Do most folks view the Old School studies as trickery? Do they know right off the bat that they are exercises in word gaming? Do they get it that we have about as much chance of learning the SWR by using the methodology employed in the Old School studies as we have of getting the SWR right by picking numbers out of a hat?

They do not. There were hundreds of SWR threads that appeared at the Motley Fool board in the days before I first reported what I knew about SWRs (that was on the morning of May 13, 2002). In none of those threads did anyone ever say that he knew that the Old School methodology was just a sick joke and that the numbers were wildly off and that these numbers were in no circumstances to be used to plan a retirement taking place on Planet Earth (William Bernstein has said that anyone giving thought to using one of the Old School studies to plan a retirement would be well-advised to “FuhGedDaBouDit!”). Every member of that discussion-board community thought that the Old School studies were legitimate (even I thought at the time that the studies were the product of honest effort). Those threads remain available today. What I am saying here can be checked. People have planned retirements by making reference to the Old School studies.

There is a sense, though, in which what SWR Lover is saying here really is so. People thought at one time that the methodology used in the Old School studies was analytically valid. Now they know that it is not. But a good number of the people who have learned as a result of our discussions that the Old School studies get the numbers wildly wrong still use the Old School studies to plan their retirements! This also can be verified by looking at the Post Archives of The Great Safe Withdrawal Rate Debate. This also can be checked.

So we have learned two important things. One, we have learned that our thinking on what it takes to plan a retirement effectively is hopelessly confused. We got it all wrong, and we need to go back to the beginning and start again (that’s what The Retirement Risk Evaluator, the world’s first New School SWR calculator, is all about). Two, we have learned that discovering that a methodology gets the numbers wrong does not necessarily hit investors where they live. It might be that people want accurate numbers when analyzing things in other fields (that certainly has always been my experience!). When it comes to investing, though, an entirely different set of rules applies. In the investing field, people love to be deceived. In the investing field, people applaud inaccuracies. In the investing field, people react with shock and anger and hostility to the idea that a false number might be corrected. Stock investing generally does not work according to the rules of reason.

The latter finding is the more important one, in my assessment. It is of critical importance that the Old School studies be corrected, to be sure. But it is of even greater importance that we come to a deeper understanding of why it is that people want to be deceived in the investing advice they read. That’s more important because doing the work it takes to get the numbers right is a waste of time if people are not responsive to what we come up with.

I say above that in earlier days I believed that the Old School studies were the product of honest effort, suggesting that I do not believe that to be the case today. Am I saying that I think that all the authors and promoters of the Old School studies are engaged in fraud? Yes and no. It is fraud to advise people to use numbers you know to be wrong to plan their retirements (and the errors in these studies are so basic that it is more than a little hard to imagine that I am the first person who has noticed them). But it is a very strange and special kind of fraud we are dealing with. Many of the people advocating that others use the Old School studies to plan their retirements are using them themselves to plan their own retirements. This too can be verified by making reference to the Post Archives of our discussions. So this is an act of fraud in which the person engaging in the fraud is himself a victim of the fraud. Holy moly!

Self-deception is the primary problem here. The deception of others is of course a big problem too. But, if we want to help the people whose retirements are at risk, we need to be practical in our approach. And the practical reality is that we need to deal with the self-deception matter to get to first base. When the people telling lies about SWRs (word games are essentially lies, are they not?) realize that they are destroying themselves by using bad numbers to plan their own retirements, they will stop urging others to use bad numbers to plan their retirements. Does that not make sense?

I of course believe that we should continue to do what we can to get the word out about the false SWR claims advanced in the Old School studies. There are hundreds of community members who have responded with great enthusiasm to our findings, showing that the level of self-deception practiced by stock investors varies greatly; some are capable of seeing that it is a bad idea to use wildly wrong numbers when deciding when to hand in a resignation to an employer. Many others are not capable of seeing this, however. Those many others include (not entirely, but to some extent) big names like John Bogle, William Bernstein and Scott Burns. So our most urgent task today is to come to a better understanding of why even powerful minds feel such a strong draw to self-deception when forming ideas about how to invest. That’s a big story in its own right, bigger than the story about the Old School studies getting the numbers wrong, in my estimation.

I referred to SWR Lover’s comments as “repulsive” in my response in the comments section for the earlier blog entry. The reason why I find the word games repulsive is that word games feed right into this self-deception disease that we all seem to suffer from in the area of investing. We very, very, very much want to believe that things that cannot possibly be so about stock investing really are so. I see it as the most important work project of my lifetime to come to a full understanding of why it is that stock investors destroy themselves in this way over and over again (this is the fourth time in history in which valuations have risen to what they are today — the first three trips ended in bone-crushing losses to all who invested heavily in stocks despite what their common sense told them about the risks of doing so at these sorts of price levels). Those who are engaging in word games are doing the opposite of what I am seeking to do. I am trying to make things more clear to people, they are trying to make things less clear. It is in this sense that I view the use of word games in this area as “repulsive.”

I do not view SWR Guy repulsive as a person. I am grateful that he let us know a little bit of what was going on in his mind when he wrote the gibberish that now serves as the Bogleheads wiki statement on SWRs. I contest the ideas put forward by SWR Guy to the strongest extent imaginable. He and I are coming at this from entirely different places. I hope that our personal interactions can be warm ones and civil ones and friendly ones and helpful ones. That’s because I want them to be learning ones. SWR Lover is not just destroying others with his word games. He is destroying himself at the same time. I think if benefits all aspiring early retirees for us to learn what it is that makes it seem in his eyes that that is an appealing thing to do.

Today’s Passion: I argue in an article entitled Does John Greaney Believe His Own Safe Withdrawal Rate Claims? that, if John’s best friend asked him about SWRs, John would probably say the same sorts of things that he says in his study and on our boards.

Comments

  1. says

    I get the impression that SWR Lover and others who go out of their way to avoid mentioning our work are not capable of evaluating it.

    I think that they see the holes in the old theory but they have no answers of their own.

    This includes John Greaney among others.

    Have fun.

    John Walter Russell

  2. A Retiree Looks In says

    So our most urgent task today is to come to a better understanding of why even powerful minds feel such a strong draw to self-deception when forming ideas about how to invest.

    This would seem to be valid for all investors. Does it apply to you too?

  3. Rob says

    I think that they see the holes in the old theory but they have no answers of their own.

    My sense is that you are onto something important with those words, John.

    Rob

  4. Rob says

    Does it apply to you too?

    I don’t see how it could be otherwise, A Retiree Looks In.

    Rob

  5. A Retiree Looks In says

    Then have you considered the possibility that the author of ..

    The historical stock-return data shows that the biggest factor affecting the safety of a retirement is the valuation level for stocks that applies on the day the retirement begins. The Old School studies contain no adjustment for this factor. Thus, the Old School studies get the numbers wrong. At times when valuations are extremely high (as they have been for a good time now), they get the numbers wildly wrong. Those are the realities.

    .. has deceived himself?

  6. Rob says

    have you considered the possibility that the author of … has deceived himself?

    I try to keep that possibility in mind at all times, A Retiree Looks In.

    I’m not the best person for the job, though, am I? If I am deceiving myself, how likely is it that I am going to ring the bell on myself?

    I need to trust that you or one of the other community members skeptical of my claims will call it to my attention when they see an act of self-deception on my part. Having others review your stuff and comment on it is one of the best ways I know of keeping that human inclination to self-deception in check.

    So — thanks, man!

    I am saying that in a light-hearted way. But I don’t mean it entirely as a joke. It’s a joke with an important truth at the core.

    Rob

  7. A Retiree Looks In says

    thanks, man!

    You are welcome. Per your express wishes, I call your attention now to this sentence.

    The historical stock-return data shows that the biggest factor affecting the safety of a retirement is the valuation level for stocks that applies on the day the retirement begins.

    Your confident use of “biggest” makes the sentence false. If you believe the sentence to be literally and absolutely true, you deceive yourself.

  8. Rob says

    If you believe the sentence to be literally and absolutely true, you deceive yourself.

    Perhaps.

    Still, I’ll tell you and any others listening in where I am coming from so that you have a bit more on which to base a judgment, A Retiree.

    Please take a look at The Retirement Risk Evaluator (see tab at the left side of this page). The default results show that the SWR varies from 2 percent to 9 percent, depending on the valuation level that applies on the day the retirement begins. That’s a huge spread. Say that you need to take out $40,000 per year to cover your expenses. At a time of high valuations, you need $2,000,000 to support a safe retirement. At a time of low valuations, $500,000 would more than cover it. That’s a difference of $1.5 million attributable to this one factor. It’s hard for me to see how there is any other one factor so important as this one.

    In particular circumstances, sure, there are other factors that play a big role. So, when you say that it is not “absolutely” true, perhaps that’s right. If “absolutely true” means that there can be no case in which other factors are most important, I can go along with that. But is there any other factor that plays such a big role in a general sense? If there is, I am not able to say what it is.

    I believe that it is fair to say that valuations is the single biggest factor affecting the safety of a retirement. I am not able to come up with any reasonable case for leaving that factor out of the analysis altogether (as the Old School studies do). But if there are people who say that there are other factors that play a dominant role in particular circumstances, I have no problem with that. When I say that the valuation level is the single most important factor, I mean in a general sense.

    I think we could help a whole big bunch of people retire many years sooner by letting them see how huge a role is played by this one too-often-ignored factor..

    Rob

  9. says

    Valuations are by far the most significant factor affecting retirement outcomes. Here is a technical reference.

    Orders of Magnitude
    http://www.early-retirement-planning-insights.com/orders-of-magnitude.html

    “Rebalancing has little to offer except, as we have discovered, when valuations are high and you have no way to discern value.”

    “Individual market slices produce significantly different returns, of the order of 2% to 3% (annualized).”

    “Valuations, as measured by P/E10, have a huge effect.”

    Have fun.

    John Walter Russell

  10. Rob says

    Drip Guy and SWR Lover submitted comments to this thread last night that do not meet the standards that apply here. The comments were also posted to the Goon Central board. So, if there are community members who feel a desire to read these comments, they can be read there. There is a link to the Goon Central board in the Blogroll (please look to the left side of the screen, below the Categories section and above the Archives section).

    Rob

  11. DRiP Guy says

    Well, then let’s try it again, Rob. If this is violative of some standard you have, please point out the rule being broken. I would think that you, of all people, would be sensitive to making sure you are clear about why you would ban honest posting.

    Rob (and JWR),

    You recently authored a long blog article and participated extensively in the commentary. Between the article and comments by you, it totaled about three thousand words. The topic? A single clause, within a single section, of a single page, of a single area, of a single Wiki, found on Bogleheads.

    The clause was to placed in the Wiki to avoid potential misunderstanding regarding distinguishing PAST information and FUTURE forecasting. The clause should have been unnecessary, but given your multi-year crusade about a supposed error that no one else seems to be able to see, it was an attempt to draw a sharp distinction to a rather obvious point, that nonetheless, seems to have escaped both you and JWR.

    In detail; past information was analyzed extensively in Trinity and other studies to determine what withdrawal rates would have been ‘safe’; with ‘safe’ defined within the context of the study. Despite years of your lone protestation that some sort of error exists in this study, you have failed to ever provide a specific citation that specifies such “error.” Links to the various studies, including Trinity, were provided in the Wiki for the express purpose of allowing detailed commentary traceable back to the source document. I invite you, even at this extraordinarily late date, to please be specific with your claim of error, or of JWR’s claim that some sort of analytical or statistical insufficiency exists.

    I have no ax to grind — I did not author any of the work referenced on the Wiki. I merely seek the truth. I give you my personal oath: If one of the studies referenced on the Boglehead Wiki can be shown to be in error, I will extend all efforts to have that error pointed out, and corrected.

    I warn you in advance, though, that the reason I invested the effort into a Wiki and not into a personal blog, is that Wiki’s are uniquely a community construct, where the personality and leanings of any individual author are neccessarily subordinated to the authority of the greater community, who can refine, overwrite, extend, correct, and otherwise remove any vestiges of ego that may be the driver for other types of writing. In other words, the Wiki is no place to look for personal acknowledgment, but rather, a community whiteboard, where ideally ‘many hands make light work’ of finding the truth.

    If the clause is so utterly wrong, so objectionable, so much a ‘word game,’ then other contributors (or since this is a moderated Wiki, the edit staff) could easily offer up a better clause, or remove the offending clause, or revamp the section altogether.

    It is my strongest position that any links or references on that Wiki should be vetted positively by a recognized authority in the field of finance, such as FPA Journal, etc.

    Even Wikis that cover light topics such as celebrity or hobbies still follow the standard that consensus and factual support must be obtained –people who hold truly solitary positions, that are rejected by the community, are still free to express themselves to their heart’s content on their own blogs or writings, but there is no expectation that they will be represented on the Wiki. Einstein or Galileo would likely have been rejected by a Wiki, had one existed in their day. Thank goodness through the strength of their solitary writings, they were able to express their views so clearly and with such support, that they eventually did make their way to broad adoption. I suggest anyone who thinks they are the next great thing NOT fight to get recognized by a Wiki, but instead focus on sharpening their written arguments, making their case with support, including irrefutable logic and math, and then set that out for the world to see. Einstein’s short paper on Brownian motion is an example of such tight, irrefutable, empirically reproducible fact, that it simply had to be adopted, implications and all, because there was no other adequate response.

    A Wiki is a tool to collect and disseminate relevant accurate information to a specific topic. It is not an ideal place to launch a ‘movement.’

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wiki
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Consensus

    [cc:ed to Hocomania]

  12. Rob says

    given your multi-year crusade about a supposed error that no one else seems to be able to see

    Many community members have expressed great interest in our SWR findings and in all of the valuation-related findings that we have been able to generate in recent years as a result of the SWR work we did as a community a good number of years back. Many community members have expressed a desire that honest posting on SWRs and other valuation-related topics be permitted at all of the Retire Early and Indexing boards. It’s not just me who sees the benefit of reporting the SWR accurately and it is not just me who sees the benefit of permitting honest posting.

    I will continue to report accurately what the historical data says about SWRs and I will continue to do what I can to learn from the work we have done and to report on what we learn for the benefit of both old and new community members.

    I am grateful to you for rewriting the comment so that it could be posted here.

    Rob

  13. says

    “The clause was to placed in the Wiki to avoid potential misunderstanding regarding distinguishing PAST information and FUTURE forecasting. The clause should have been unnecessary, but given your multi-year crusade about a supposed error that no one else seems to be able to see, it was an attempt to draw a sharp distinction to a rather obvious point, that nonetheless, seems to have escaped both you and JWR.”

    The clause definitely is necessary. There have been many word game posts to confuse this issue.

    This obvious point is obvious NOW that Rob and I have drilled it home.

    Have fun.

    John Walter Russell

  14. Rob says

    This obvious point is obvious NOW that Rob and I have drilled it home.

    I of course agree with your point, John. However, I do not want any newcomers to get the idea that it was only the two of us doing the hard work that brought about The Retirement Risk Evaluator (see tab to left) and the changes even in what the Goons say about SWRs. This was very much a community effort. There were hundreds of fine people participating. There are several articles up at the site that include comments filed by many of those fine contributors (there are links in the three recent blog entries on the SWR matter).

    Does Raddr not deserve credit for helping us learn the truth about SWRs? Does PeteyPerson not deserve credit? Does Wanderer not deserve credit? Does JohnDCraig not deserve credit? Does Microlepsis not deserve credit? Does FoolMeOnce not deserve credit? Does BenSolar not deserve credit? The list goes on and on and on.

    People who have made such fine contributions should not be required to give up their personal integrity and post dishonestly to gain “permission” from thugs like Lindauer and Greaney to post at our boards. These are the people who built our boards. The thousands of people who have made positive and constructive contributions to our board discussions are friends of mine. I am not going to sell them out by posting dishonestly about them or about the topics they have addressed in their posts. Slavery was outlawed in the states a good number of years back and it is a form of slavery to compel someone to post dishonestly about a number that people use to plan their retirements or about the posts that a friend has put to a discussion board.

    I don’t think that we should even need to say these sorts of things. The published rules of every site protect those posting honestly and constructively from the sorts of thugs who have destroyed so many Retire Early/Indexing boards in recent years. I believe that the answer is for all of those who want to see the ban on honest posting lifted to appeal both to the site owners and to the big names who post on these boards.

    John Bogle permits his name to be used to promote the Bogleheads board. That is shameful behavior. I would not in a million years permit my name to be used to promote a board that has banned honest posting on a number that people use to plan their retirements. There are many people in the Vanguard Diehards community who have the greatest respect for John (I am certainly one of them). I think it is perfectly right for us to ask him to come to our aid when thugs descend on our board and seek to destroy it. Yes, he’s helping us out by doing so. But guess what? He’s helping himself out too by doing so. We have all learned a lot from Bogle and when we are in return are able to teach him some important things that he does not now know, it seems to me that that’s just a great deal all the way around. That’s the power of community in action.

    We all need to keep in mind that people are people. Bogle is a leader in the investing community. He does not want to get involved in all this sick and twisted stuff that the Lindauer and Greany “defenders” bring to the table. He acknowledges in his book that he understands that he can get things wrong. We should be trying to help him as well as to learn from him. That’s what community is all about. I am highly confident that Bogle cares deeply about the Vanguard Diehards community. So let’s do what helps him and us both! Let’s let the guy know that we need a hand with this. Let’s ask him to help himself by helping a community that has been formed to discuss and extend his ideas.

    Goon are goons. There have always been Goons in the world mucking things up for the people who are seeking to do good. The way to deal with them is to deal with them, not to sit around and hope that by some magical process they will go away and leave us all alone. Certainly not by agreeing to post dishonestly to win their “favor.” The heck with that! That plays right into their hands.

    There are thousands of fine people who post to the Bogleheads board and the Vanguard Diehards board and the Motley Fool board and the Early Retirement Forum. Let’s get about the business of taking our boards back! Let’s do it today!

    Courage! Onward!

    Rob

  15. DRiP Guy says

    Rob said: “I am grateful to you for rewriting the comment so that it could be posted here.”

    JWR said: “The clause definitely is necessary. There have been many word game posts to confuse this issue. This obvious point is obvious NOW that Rob and I have drilled it home.”

    1. Rob: I am grateful for you posting the reply in it’s entirety. Thank you.

    2. JWR: If it is only obvious due to work from you and Rob, well then, I thank you, too. But at least we ALL now do agree, here now, and in writing, that it IS OBVIOUS; the distinction between historical values that *could* have been obtained, using datamining techniques like Trinity @ ~4%, versus projections one may or may not then feel emboldened to make using various models.

    That’s progress.

    3. Rob: It’s your blog, you can do as you like, but after this fresh example of potential progress, for you to immediately follow it up by calling specific people ‘thugs’, ‘goons’, ‘twisted’, ‘dishonest’, ‘shameful’, and to invoke the image of actual slavery far more than negates any good done earlier. One has to wonder if progress is really what you want.

    [cc'ed to Hocomania]

  16. Rob says

    at least we ALL now do agree, here now, and in writing, that it IS OBVIOUS; the distinction between historical values that *could* have been obtained, using datamining techniques like Trinity @ ~4%, versus projections one may or may not then feel emboldened to make using various models. That’s progress.

    Those words are indeed a most encouraging indication of progress, Drip Guy.

    Your suggestion is that diplomacy on my part could help us get the Retire Early and Indexing boards back on the track that we all want to see them on. If I am reading you right re that, you can count on big heaps of cooperation from me.

    Are you speaking only for yourself or are there others whose views are being represented in the words you put forward above?

    What is your recommendation re Next Steps?

    Rob

  17. Rob says

    After putting forward the post above, I took a look at the Goon Central board and saw that the following words have been posted by Drip Guy:

    “Respectfully, I totally disagree, Schroeder! Many is the time Rob has decried the “errors in the ‘Old school’ studies,” and just within the last week or so JWR linked to claims made on his blog that ‘early researchers’ avoided use of statistics and analysis (for reasons not given), invalidating their work. The hysterical rec0rd is replete with six long years of Rob claiming there were ‘errors’ and even purposeful lying and obfuscation going on. Hence the supposed “Ban on H0nest P0sting” and the “Reign of Terror.”

    “What will be interesting now is to see if he can pull it together well enough to move on with life, now that he finally has seen the distinction that eluded him for so long. ”

    I think it would be fair to say that, for Drip Guy, diplomacy is a one-way street.

    I stand by my earlier comments. I will continue to post honestly on what the historical data says re SWRs.

    Rob

  18. DRiP Guy says

    Rob,

    Let’s compare our two posts, shall we?

    I say you decried the accuracy of ‘old school’ studies. Is that not true? It is. I’m ready to prove as much.

    I say JWR claims statistical and analytical shortcomings, but fails to explicate any such claim with a specific reference. That also is provably true, and I can provide it on request.

    I say you claim there is lying and obfuscation. Also correct, and I can provide a source.

    So, I say all true, and all traceable.

    Now to you:

    ‘thugs’: show an example of thuggery. I know of none.

    ‘goons’: Please explain what this means to you.

    ‘twisted’: Again, this is a disparagement without clear standards, but please explain.

    ‘dishonest’: A bit more concrete. But who is being dishonest, Rob, and provide an example, please.

    ’shameful’: another judgment (read the Bible on that one, Rob), but please give example of ‘shameful’ behavior outside of your own actions.

    [cc:ed to Hocomania]

  19. Rob says

    “goons’: Please explain what this means to you.

    Everyone who has spent even a small amount of time on the internet knows about the Goon tactics that are employed by some. There are links in the three recent blog entries on SWRs to articles at this site in which over 100 community members express a desire that action be taken re the Goon tactics and that honest posting on the SWR topic be permitted again. That’s obviously just a tiny sample of what is in the Post Archives. You pretending that you don’t know what the problem is helps us not one tiny bit.

    You post daily at Goon Central,. Drip Guy. There’s a link to that board in the Blogroll. Any community member who thinks that what we see when we look at that site is a positive does not possess the emotional maturity to own stocks or to advise others what they should do with their stock investments. That’s my sincere take re this matter.

    Getting control of your emotions is a big part of what it takes to achieve long-term investing success, Drip Guy. When we see the sort of behavior that we have seen from those who post in “defense” of the Old School studies, we should all know that there are big, big problems with these “studies.” Studies that make people feel such anger and hate and rage are not science. They are rationalizations. The reason why we see the rage is that the rationalizations are in the process of unraveling and this is causing people who have invested money pursuant to these studies to feel great pain.

    It is my job to help people work through that pain. I hold no grudges. I am open to helping anyone who is open to being helped. I’ll help you, I’ll help Greaney, I’ll help Lindauer. I cannot help you if all you do is emote. To get to first base, you need to be able to acknowledge that there is a problem that is obvious to any reasonable person who takes a look at what they see appear before their eyes when they click to the Goon Cental link.

    That site should not exist. Greaney was once a great contributor to the best discussion-board community on the face of Planet Internet. He gave that up for what? So that he could “defend” a study which you, one of his biggest “supporters,” says is an exercise in data-mining? There is a huge disconnect here, Drip Guy. You need to have a little talk with John and try to gain a sense of what it is that he is seeking to accomplish with this behavior.

    You too need to get back to basics and figure out what it is you are trying to accomplish. You understand perfectly well what Goon internet posting is. You need to ask yourself why you support it and why you contribute to it.

    I do not support it. I love our topic and I love our community members. I do not oppose the Goons as people. I oppose them because of the damage they do to our boards. None of us should have to tolerate this ugliness. It demeans us to do so. I believe strongly that we need to bring it to a close. I urge that we get that accomplished by the close of business today.

    I am confident that, if we do so, we will all get down to work early Monday morning feeling a whole big bunch better about ourselves, about investing, about our fellow community members, and about the future.

    That’s my sincere take re this.

    Rob

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