“It’s Never a One-Sided Fault. Takes Both Sides to Move Forward!”

Thursday’s blog entry set forth the text of a recent comment to the blog put forward by the author of the Financial Samurai blog. Set forth below is the text of a follow-up comment by Sam and then a response to the follow-up response by me.

Rob, you’re welcome to say whatever you want, and choose to be affected or not be affected by words.

There is a chance there is a reason why you have frequent debates. Usually it’s never a one-sided fault. Takes both sides to move forward!

There is a chance there is a reason why you have frequent debates. Usually it’s never a one-sided fault. Takes both sides to move forward!

I don’t believe there is any fault on my side, Sam. I have been reaching out the hand of kindness going back to the first day.

I agree though with the thrust of your comment — it takes two. There is something that I am doing that upsets people. This is undeniable at this point.

I think that what I am doing is questioning something that is very, very important to a lot of people. There was one fellow who said “Rob is so sweet and polite — Yet he irritates me to no end!” I think there are a lot of people who feel that way. People like me as a person. But a good number very strongly dislike my message. My contribution to the friction is that I just won’t shut the heck up.

I don’t think it is even a tiny bit healthy for those who understand the realities of stock investing to always be the ones to shut up. I’ve had numerous people tell me that they agree with my investing views but that they have learned that it is best for people with their views just to shut up for the sake of peace. I think these people are letting their communities down. We have to be able to hear both sides presented or we do not even have the basic information available to us to move forward. Those who today are not speaking up about the Big Fail of Buy-and-Hold need to make an effort to speak up, When they do, people will stop thinking of the idea that Buy-and-Hold caused the economic crisis as odd or strange or out there. Then at least we will be able to talk it all over in warm and polite and kind exchanges.

I hate friction, Sam. But there are times when the world is in such a state that there just has to be some friction. My vote is to do this in the least friction-filled way possible. I am happy to say that I like the Buy-and-Holders and that I respect them and that I have learned from them and all that sort of thing. That stuff is positive. That stuff helps. I draw the line at saying things that I don’t believe. If I say that I believe that Buy-and-Hold can work for the long-term investor or that Buy-and-Hold was not the primary cause of the economic crisis, then I am saying things that I just flat-out do not believe. That cannot possibly be the right thing to do.

We all need to show respect and affection for those coming at these questions from the other side. The Valuation-Informed Indexers need to show respect and affection for the Buy-and-Holders. The Buy-and-Holders also need to show respect and affection for the Valuation-Informed Indexers.

The Buy-and-Holders are today not holding up their end. That’s what it comes down to. Sure, I could bring the friction to an end by agreeing to post dishonestly. But that’s not even a remotely reasonable thing to demand of someone. I should be able to post honestly and all other community members who don’t believe in Buy-and-Hold should be able to post honestly. If Buy-and-Hold has anything good in it, the Buy-and-Holders will ultimately be shamed into acknowledging that they should permit people to post honestly. An investing strategy that cannot be defended in honest discussions is an investing strategy that should not be defended at all.

Rob

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