Yesterday’s blog entry set forth the text of an e-mail sent to J.D. Roth, owner of the Get Rich Slowly blog (with a copy to me) by the owner of the Lazy Man and Money blog. Set forth below is the text of an e-mail that I sent to both J.D. and Lazy Man in response to Lazy Man’s e-mail.
J.D. and Lazy Man:
I certainly understand that you do not endorse all my investing ideas, Lazy Man. I presume that J.D. does not either. That is of course fine and what we all should expect to be the case.
I don’t understand why you didn’t expect me to follow through on the suggestion. I thought it was a great practical and constructive idea for how to address the problem.
I of course understand that J.D. would need to check things out carefully before stating anything publicly and that that might take some time. I do believe that there is a lot of good that could come of it both for him and for many others. But of course only he can say whether he can open up some time for this. I will of course help out in any way that I am able to.
It’s fair to say that I believe that I have uncovered an “injustice in the investing community.” But it really goes well beyond that.
The reality is that a large number of us seven years ago discovered errors in the calculation of the numbers that millions of people use to plan their retirements and that these errors have not been corrected to this day. And a popular personal finance columnist (Scott Burns) says that the reason is that we really don’t want to know what works, we only want to hear what makes us feel good whether it is accurate or not. If that is so, that turns the conventional ideas on investing on their heads. The primary conventional idea is that the market is efficient because most of us are engaging in the rational pursuit of our own self interests. If the reality is that we do not even want to know what works, investing is a largely emotional rather than an entirely rational pursuit. If most investors were not even trying to get things right during the Passive Investing Era, that would explain the huge price crash (something that took many Passives by surprise).
My view is that both the Get Rich Slowly blog AND the Money Blog Network are great places to spread the word both about the accurate retirement planning numbers AND about the tactics that have been used to block discussion of them for seven years now. We have all been affected by the economic crisis. I think we all should be doing what we can to come to an understanding of what caused it and what we need to do to avoid additional crashes in the days ahead. There is certainly huge interest in these questions among our readers.
Again, thanks for any help that either of you can provide in helping people to become better informed about the realities. Please let me know of anything that I can do to help out.