Set forth below is the text of an e-mail that I sent to Mel Bryant at the Conservatives4Palin.com web site on July 22, 2009.
My name is Rob Bennett. I am the owner of the PassionSaving.com web site and the “A Rich Life” blog. I am a big Sarah Palin fan; I recently recorded a podcast about her, which will be posted at my site in a few weeks. I am also a big fan of the “Conservatives4Palin” site. It is giving lots of people hope during a troubling time.
I don’t write about politics. I write about personal finance. I am writing to ask if you have interest in me writing a blog post about the root cause of today’s economic troubles. This is a story that has not been told properly anywhere else, in my assessment. I believe that this topic strongly relates to the Palin phenomenon.
You have seen how much hate Palin inspires in those who see her emergence as a threat to their status as “experts.” There is a very similar phenomenon going on in the personal finance field. The academic research has shown for 28 years that the Efficient Market Theory, the theoretical support for today’s conventional investing advice, is entirely wrong-headed. I can quote many big-name experts who are aware of this; for example, Rob Arnott, former editor of the Financial Analysts Journal, has said that we are on the verge of a “revolution” in our understanding of how investing works and that the current advice is rooted in “myth and urban legend.” I have studied the problems in great depth and have worked with hundreds of people on the internet to develop more realistic and effective advice.
I have run into a big problem. The same sorts of smear and intimidation tactics that have been employed to stop people from hearing Palin’s message have been used to stop people all across the internet from learning about the realities of stock investing. Many, many people have expressed great enthusiasm for learning about the new ideas, but a good number have also insisted that fruitful discussion be banned at all personal finance sites and blogs (and have been largely successful doing so). I have come to the conclusion that it is going to be impossible to get the word out dealing only with sites and blogs that have an institutional interest in preserving the status quo. I need to reach out to political blogs run by people who may come to this with more of an open mind. The bad advice that we have been given on investing for many years now is the primary cause of the economic crisis and the economic crisis clearly has a political dimension to it.
I don’t view myself as being either a Republican or a Democrat (although I have been leaning more to the conservative side in recent years). I would prefer not to be associated with intensely partisan blogs. Part of the interest in Palin is that she appears to be someone interested in working around the partisan logjams to get sensible things done for ordinary people. Ordinary people have a crying need today to learn how investing works and it has become impossible for them to learn that from conventional sources of personal finance information. I hope to be able to interest you in a blog post that would tell a little bit of the story of what is going on in the economy and the stock market today.
I do not have anything to sell (I offer a book on saving, and am working on one on investing, but I do not currently have anything for sale in the investing area). I am not aiming to talk about some complicated strategy. My aim is to explain the BASIC investing realities, the ABCs. The primary reason why the basics are rarely addressed is that The Stock-Selling Industry sees it as being to its benefit for the average investor not to know that there are some times when it is a horrible idea to buy stocks and many media outlets need the advertising support they get from The Stock-Selling Industry too much to question the conventional advice too strongly.
If you have any interest, my thought is that I would write a blog entry hitting only the highlights and you would review it for suitability. The title might be something like “The True Cause of the Economic Crisis — The Biased Investing Advice We Hear from The Stock-Selling Industry.” The root problem is that we all have been told to invest in wildly risky ways and this has caused such a huge loss of wealth that most of us are now properly cutting back on spending (which causes businesses to fail).
We could turn this around and restore faith in the economic and political system if we could get realistic advice out to ordinary people as to how to manage their personal wealth. This shouldn’t be so hard! If there were interest among your readers in me getting into more detail at a later date, I would of course be happy to write any follow-up pieces in which there were an interest.
I want to provide a few links to give you some idea of the background of the story:
1) The link below is to the home page of my blog. If you look down the left side of the page, you will see a section marked “People Are Talking.” That contains links to a sample of the many kind comments that have been offered re the work I have done over the past nine years both in the saving and investing area.
2) The link below is to a calculator called “The Stock-Return Predictor.” This is the tool that every middle-class investor should be using to determine whether to put his or her retirement money into stocks. The thing that The Stock-Selling Industry fails to tell us is that stocks offer a very poor long-term value proposition when purchased at the sorts of price levels that applied from 1996 through 2008.
3) The link below is to the text of an e-mail that I sent to my congressman (Rep. Frank Wolf) regarding the long-running smear and intimidation campaigns that have been used to block me from educating the thousands of middle-class investors who have expressed an interest in learning about the realities of stock investing:
4) The link below is to an article containing snippets of posts by 101 community member who expressed a desire that discussions of the investing realities be permitted on the internet. I think that if you read a few of these snippets you will see why I see similarities between the Palin phenomenon and the efforts to block ordinary people from learning about the investing realities:
I am grateful for any effort you can devote to considering this idea. I am of course happy to respond to any questions. Thanks for all your good work at the “Conservatives4Palin” site.