Jim Yih, Owner of Retire Happy Blog, Jokes (in a Warm and Life-Affirming Way) About the Ban on Honest Posting

Jim Yih, owner of the Retire Happy blog and a regular contributor at the Canadian Finance Blog, joked about the Ban on Honest Posting in a comment he posted to this week’s entry of my Investing: The New Rules column at the Death by 1,000 Papercuts site.

The column is titled How to Get Banned from 15 Internet Sites Without Even Trying and tells the story of the nine-year-long Campaign of Terror by Buy-and-Hold Dogmatics against the Retire Early and Indexing discussion-board communities in a lighthearted way. I mentioned in it my plan to contact the good people at the Guinness Book of World Records and seek the addition of a category for “Most Times Banned From an Internet Discussion Board or Blog Without Ever Having Put Forward an Abusive Post.” Jim commented: “Hey Rob, If you really go after the Guinness thing, let me know and I’ll ban you from my site as well!”

This is a significant development. Big changes in communities are often not achieved through frontal attack but through a shifting in tone. For Jim to work up the courage to joke about the Ban on Honest Posting indicates that responsible members of the Personal Finance Blogosphere are becoming increasingly sickened by the deception and intimidation and defamation and word game tactics that have been employed by those posting in “defense” of Lindauer and Greaney. We are making slow progress on our long journey to a very wonderful place that will someday be seen as having been well worth it all even by the Internet Sewer Rats today leading the attacks against us.

My guess is that Jim learned about the column by his participation on the Twitter social networking service. I tweeted a link to the column that was retweeted by the owner of the Balance Junkie blog. Balance Junkie is a well-regarded member of the Personal Finance Blogosphere. My guess is that Jim follows her tweets and retweets. So, as has been true of so many of the advances we have enjoyed over the first nine years of our discussions of the realities of stock investing, this was very much a community effort.

Jim does not share all my views on the dangers of Buy-and-Hold. However, he respects my right to hold those views and the rights of the thousands of our fellow community members who have expressed a desire that honest posting be permitted at every investing board and blog on the internet. Set forth below are some Juicy Excerpts from a conversation that Jim and I held last week at the Canadian Finance Blog in the comments section for an article titled Five Big Flaws of Buy-and-Hold.

There’s a reason why we have as a society made Free Speech one of our most widely celebrated cultural norms. Listening to what the other guy has to say is what has always worked in the long term. I have a funny hunch that we are not going to be willing to give that one up too easily!

Juicy Excerpt #1: I’ve spent the last nine years of my life exploring the flaws of Buy-and-Hold. My view is that this is the purest and most dangerous Get Rich Quick scheme ever concocted by the mind of man (I don’t say that it was designed to be this — only that this is in an objective sense what it is). I could write a book listing 500 big flaws of Buy-and-Hold (and am in the process of doing so!).

Juicy Excerpt #2: Hey Rob, Thanks for voicing your passion. You make some great points. In changing your stock allocation, are you referring to a form of “TACTICAL ASSET ALLOCATION”?

The benefit of conventional rebalancing is it takes the guesswork out of when markets are over valued or undervalued. What if you are wrong in your guess? How much risk is there in being wrong?

Juicy Excerpt #3: Thanks for your openness to new ideas, Jim. Tactical Asset Allocation is what lots of people call it. My view is that changing your allocation in response to valuations is not tactical but STRATEGIC — your choice as to when to change your allocation is of fundamental importance to the long-term success of your plan, in my assessment. I think that getting your allocation right is the single most important thing in investing and I don’t think there can ever be one allocation that is right at all price levels (because valuations affect long-term returns and thus cause risk levels to vary).

Juicy Excerpt #4: Rob, you don’t just comment. you’ve got enough here for an entire post!

Thanks for sharing. I am interested in seeing your research.

I still believe there is a place for simple conventional re-balancing as a strategy to enhance returns over straight buy and hold. Sometimes, simple is better but I am always open to new thoughts and ideas.

Juicy Excerpt #5: There are millions of smart and good people who strongly agree, Jim. All reading these words need to know that Rob Bennett has been wrong before and it is entirely possible that he is wrong again this time. That goes no matter how many words he puts forward in support of his case.

Thanks for the good back and forth. It makes me happy to see it because that’s what I think helps people the most. When people hear both sides, it forces them to think and that way we all gradually move forward over time.

Juicy Excerpt #6: Thanks for that last comment. I’ve often said it’s not about right or wrong but rather what’s right or wrong FOR ME.

Money and investing is personal. That’s why there is no ONE way to do things. People need to educate themselves, think for themselves and then make good decisions for themselves.

So to re-iterate the words of a smart man . . .

Thanks for the good back and forth. It makes me happy to see it because that’s what I think helps people the most. When people hear both sides, it forces them to think and that way we all gradually move forward over time.



  1. what says

    I did not see any rejoicing or joyful posts of all those in the Blogosphere nor did I see any of the sickened ones…where are all these people who always write about Rob?

  2. Rob says

    Rich Warm Tones…

    Now this thing is even catching on in the Furniture First Community!

    We are unstoppable!


  3. Rob says

    where are all these people who always write about Rob?

    A man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest, What.

    Or at least so the historical data shows.

    For as far back as we have records.



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