I’ve posted Entry #39 to my weekly Beyond Buy-and-Hold column at the Out of Your Rut site. It’s called A Clash of Investing Faiths.
Juicy Excerpt: Bill Sholar is a friend of mine (I met him at a Motley Fool discussion board a good number of years back) who created the FIRECalc retirement calculator. I view FIRECalc as analytically invalid because it does not contain an adjustment for the stock valuation level that applies on the day the retirement begins.
There were often fireworks when I posted at a discussion board that Bill founded (the board is called the Early Retirement Forum; Bill no longer owns it) because most community members there were using Bill’s calculator to plan their retirements and I would argue that the calculator is going to cause many failed retirements among those who use it. Bill once said something about this controversy that I think was wise.
He said: “Folks, we have a good bit of disruption in the ranks. Some of the disruption is in the form of a Baptist running occasionally into Methodist services, and claiming that some of their beliefs are heresy. This seems to generate (a) almost zero real dialog about the merits and demerits of the beliefs, and (b) a strange combination of ad hominem attacks and defensiveness.”
He is saying that the differences that we have seen evidence themselves over how stock investing works are differences of faith.