Thursday’s blog entry reported on Mike Piper’s decision to delete a comment of mine from his blog. Mike’s blog entry reviewed a book by Taylor Larimore and Mel Lindauer, The Bogleheads’ Guide to Investing. The deleted comment pointed out the role that Taylor and Mel have played in imposing a ban on honest posting on safe withdrawal rates and other important topics at the Vanguard Diehards board and at the Bogleheads.org forum.
Set forth below is the text of the e-mail that I received from Mike explaining his decision to delete the comment. I will post the text of my response to Mike in Thursday’s blog entry.
I’m sorry, but I’m not comfortable publishing that comment. The reason has nothing to do with the “respectful” part of the comment rules, as you were clearly made an effort to be respectful.
The issue is that I really don’t see it as “on topic.” It brings up things that happened at another forum, which, frankly, most of my readers don’t seem to care about.
Also, for reference, the book really is about far more than just investing. “Safe withdrawal rates” has precisely two entries in the index.
The first is for a discussion of how to apply a “safe withdrawal rate.” For example, should a person select a percentage, and withdraw that percent every year? Or should they start with a percentage, and adjust that dollar amount upward every year to account for inflation? It explains that the first method is far less likely to result in the investor running out of money, but it’s not entirely practical for investors who can’t adjust their expenses on an ongoing basis.
The second is a very brief mention in the chapter on early retirement. Basically, it says that an investor who retires at age 40 will have a lower SWR than an investor who retires at age 65 (assuming they both intend to spend the majority of their money over the course of retirement, rather than leave a significant amount to heirs).
Surely both of those points are ones we can all agree on, no?