We Need a Tim Russert in InvestoWorld

When Tim Russert died recently, lots of people came forward to tell us what made him so special.

He asked tough questions in a polite way.

That’s pretty much it. But that’s a lot.

When someone asks tough questions in a polite way, we learn stuff. That makes us a better people. Tim Russert made us a better people. You cannot ask much more of a guy than that, can you?

We need a Tim Russert in Investoworld. We need that really, really, really, really badly.

My background is in journalism. I used to write about tax legislation. I had a computer in the House and Senate press galleries that I used to write up my stuff. It was a kick.

I “get” Tim Russert as easy as anything. I’ve never had any difficulty understanding why he asks tough questions. Of course that’s what he does. That’s his job. What is there to get?

I’ve learned in recent years that things don’t work that way in InvestoWorld. I shake my head about it and I shake my head about it but there’s a real feeling out there that it’s rude to ask tough questions, that we all should just go along with what the Experts tell us.

Huh? With our retirement money riding on whether they get it right or not? We should just go along even when what they say makes no sense, even when what they say could cause us to suffer some of the worst life setbacks imaginable in days to come? This makes no sense to me. This I really, really, really do not get.

Having a Tim Russert around would help us all. It helps the people seeking to invest effectively because they get better answers out of the Experts. It helps the Experts too. The Experts don’t want to give bad advice, you know. They want to get it right. If being questioned by Tim Russert shows them where they got something wrong, that helps them get back on track. Most of them will end up appreciating it, if not right away then at least down the road a bit.

It appears to me that I am on the road to becoming the Tim Russert of InvestoWorld. I’m the guy who wants to ask John Bogle some hard questions. I’m the guy who wants to ask Scott Burns some hard questions. I’m the guy who wants to ask Bill Bernstein some hard questions. I’m the guy who wants to see Motley Fool and Morningstar and the Bogleheads and the Early Retirement Forum start playing it straight.

Hoo boy! If no one else is going to do this job, I feel that I have no choice but to step into the breach. Someone must do this job.

I’m a funny choice. If you had told me back on the morning of May 13, 2002, that someday I would be writing a book on investing, I would have thought you had lost it. I rarely posted on investing before that fateful day. I was none too keen on the idea of ringing any changes re that one. Now look at me!

God has a strange sense of humor. That’s my take.

I’ll make what I can of it, you know?

Who wants to be first on the hot seat?

Today’s Passion: There’s another thing I do that is sort of different. When telling a story about money, I focus on the drama buried in all the numbers junk. I talk about this in a blog entry entitled The Latest Sexy Thriller, I Mean — Personal Finance Book!

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