Mike Piper, author of the Oblivious Investor blog, wrote me an e-mail in response to Tuesday’s blog entry (“Mike Piper of Oblivious Investor Bans Discussion of Lindauer’s Campaign of Terror Against Diehards“). Reading the e-mail was a painful experience for me (you will understand why when you read the words of the e-mail, set forth below [Mike had given me permission to post his words here]). However, I am highly confident that Mike’s words are honest and well-intentioned and brave words. I sent him a response e-mail expressing my gratitude. I hope that we can all read his words, consider their significance and act constructively in response to them.
I believe that:
a) You’re a genuinely good guy, and
b) You believe deeply in the validity and importance of your message, and are doing what you can to spread it.
I can appreciate that.
It’s my respect for you that’s spurring me to write this email to honestly inform you about something I’m not sure you’re aware of.
I’ve had multiple people ask me in the last week why I continue to allow you to comment on the blog.
(Note: These are not the “goons” to whom you refer. These are real-life friends and family members of mine. I can assure you with 100% confidence that they read no other investing-related blogs or forums. So their thoughts have nothing to do with what has occurred elsewhere on the web. Also, these people do not work in the investment industry, and they themselves follow a myriad of investment strategies, so they have no vested interest in one investment strategy as opposed to another. As far as I can tell, these people are about as impartial as anyone could be.)
These people–good people–have described your comments as “spammy”, “obnoxious”, and “like the guy in a town hall meeting who won’t shut up about something everybody else doesn’t care about.”
Note: none of these people have voiced any issues or arguments with your message. They take issue with the way you’re attempting to spread it.
I think what’s happening here is that:
- To you, your comments are on-topic and essential whenever concepts such as asset allocation or expected return come up on the blog. That’s why you bring the topic up so frequently and with such fervor.
- To others–to whom the connection is not so clear–your comments come across quite differently.
I encourage you–for the sake of your own success–to take a look at your methods. I suspect that in some cases, perhaps your being banned from various sites has more to do with the manner in which you go about spreading your message than it has with the actual content of your message. I genuinely believe that you would reach more people if you scaled it down a level.
As to my own website, my goal is to both help investors succeed and make the site a place that people enjoy visiting. I’m requesting that you limit your comments to 2 per thread and to ask yourself whether other readers would see a comment as “on topic” before you post it. If you call that “putting marketing considerations above his desire to inform his readers what works in stock investing” then so be it.