Sustainable Personal Finance Blogger: “Rob Should Be Able to Present Contrary Opinions Without Being Banished By the Weak & the Scared”

Set forth below are some words posted yesterday by the owner of the Sustainable Personal Finance blog to a thread at the Canadian Finance Blog:


My take, and I’ve experienced this in the past (example below) is that anyone who is adamantly offering an opposing opinion to what the masses believe/are-led-to-believe is “the enemy”. Proponents of buy-and-hold will use an excuse such as “you are cancerous to our community” instead of opening their minds to the possibility that there is not one, and only one, approach to investing that can actually work.

Rob does not tow the company line nor does he believe that buy-hold is in the best interest of the “average” investor. He (from what I understand) believes the people who re-inforce buy-hold, aside from perhaps Buffet, don’t actually employ such a strategy – they know of VII and use it in some form or the other and are part of the small percentage of people out there who truly succeed in the market – not just match the market.

While I wasn’t “banned” from the forum, some time ago I took a stance against all the boys-with-their-toys in a thread @ RedFlagDeals where I stated (and brought forth viable arguments) that was a waste of money due to the deprecated and obscure content and that Usage Based Billing could come and bite people in the butt big time. I feel that $8 per month is too much for a service greatly in superior to that offered in the US for $1 more. I made an analogy that if I were to offer some of these boys a FULL MONTH worth of the Globe and Mail, but it was content from 2007, would they kindly pay me $8 per month for it? There is entertainment value in old news and older lifestyle stories, so why isn’t this a service that exists? Cuz it SUCKS. Anyhow, to stop rambling – the result of my disagreeing with the masses of tech geek nerd kids who have to have the newest toy always – I was admonished as a “troll” who provided no value to the forum blah blah blah.

Results? Increasingly in that thread people posted they were quitting the service. Why? Content was deprecated and obscure, they didn’t need to waste time watching crap tv/movies and then … you got it … the CRTC approves usage based billing.

So all that being said (I feel my response may be longer than some of Rob’s!) the fact is Rob has a differing point of view that upsets people who have been inandated with the buy-hold strategy and after enough complaints from the masses the “powers that be” ban him from their sites. They can’t handle the heat (or perhaps the truth).

Personally, i’m not entirely sure Rob is correct. However, I do like to read differing opinions to allow me to make my own valuations and judgments that I can live with. I had Rob guest post on our site and have read many more of his articles as well. Still up in the air, but he at least deserves to be able to present contrary opinion / ideas / theories w/o being banished by the weak and the scared.


  1. says

    A first for me – my comment as an “article”. I still feel the same way – people should be able to put forth ideas and not be labelled trolls (which the cowardly anonymous) commentator called you.

  2. Rob says

    I think you said something important, Sustainable.

    We are all on the same side. There is not one person alive who does not want to know how to invest effectively. We all learn the most when we all are willing to let the other guy or gal have his or her say.

    We’ve gone through a difficult time at the Retire Early and Indexing boards and in recent years in the Personal Finance Blogosphere. We need to move from a time when dogmatism held the day to a time when open discussion will hold the day.

    It is people of heart and courage who will help us make that transition. Each time someone steps forward and says the right thing, it makes it easier for the next guy or gal to do the same.

    You’re making a difference, Sustainble. I am grateful. And I am confident that there are a good number of others who feel the same way.

    You are making us a community of bloggers that can be proud of ourselves again! That’s no small thing!


  3. says

    Rob, glad to help.

    To be honest, your (lengthy ;) ! ) replies to my comment – I wasn’t sure if they were defensive or simply just responses. So I let them be.

    I get highly perturbed by censorship when it is not for good reason (e.g. promoting HATE). I won’t always agree with everyone, however, I will never try to mute someone. That being said, as a blogger, I need to make tough choices, for example – guest posts. I am not interested in debt reduction / credit repair – whatever … mainly as these posts are to backlink – but that is a different matter.

    We were happy to take your guest post, and, if you want to post more in the future, please let me know. If the next posts could be closer to our blog theme that would be good. We love investing topics and such, but we have that green/eco/sustainable twist in our PF reality. I think that VII can be discussed as a sustainable PF strategy …

    Thanks again for posting on our site and keeping a level head when the “weak and scared” attack you. They don’t like it when I label them as much – but that is a testament to who they really are.


  4. Rob says

    That all makes sense to me and that all sounds good to me, Sustainable. Thanks especially for the offer to try sending another Guest Blog Entry for your review. I will do that in some future day.

    I get ribbed for the long responses. I hope they are not the product of defensiveness, at least not in the way that that term is usually understood. There’s a sense in which they are defensive. Buy-and-Hold has been the dominant model for a long time and I am recommending something that is the opposite of Buy-and-Hold. So I need to do battle with lots of long-established thinking. So I see a need to frame the points I make in a certain way and to explain what I am not saying (but that some might jump to the conclusion that I am saying) and all that sort of thing.

    Anyway, I do wish I got paid by the word in this gig. That would be a huge help!

    I have very much enjoyed hearing your take. I of course feel a special respect for those who do not necessarily find merit in my views but yet stand up for my right to express them all the same. That’s the right stuff, Sustainable.


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