Set forth below are some words that I posted to the My Personal Finance Journey site in response to Jacob’s observation that “it’s important to think about next steps for Valuation-Informed Indexing”:
We need to get lots more people discussing VII, Jacob. There’s never going to be 100 percent agreement on any particular points and we should never wish that there would be. We learn from talking things over. So we just need to do all that we can to get as many discussions started as we can.
You did a super job with this post. The fellow who writes the “Money & Such” blog wrote several super posts about it. Frank at “Bad Money Advice” wrote a fine post about it a little ways back. Pop Economics had a good post on it. We need more of this sort of thing throughout the Personal Finance Blogosphere — people writing comments both pro and con so that their readers can hear both sides and think things through for themselves.
Getting the Bogleheads Forum opened up to discussions of it would be huge. I don’t know how much of the history you know but there were hundreds of people participating in the discussions that we had there for nearly two years. Those people are smart and know the issues well. So we could achieve big advances there.
I would like to get more feedback from John Bogle. Bogle said in an interview that he thinks Valuation-Informed Indexing can work. But his words fell a bit short of an endorsement, in my assessment. I would like a clearer and more in-depth discussion of what he sees as both the pros and cons. I have written him three e-mails but have not received a response. I suggested at one time that I make a presentation at one of the annual Bogleheads meetings and that we have Bogle respond to the points I make, either endorsing them or challenging them or looking at things from his own perspective or whatever.
That would be the best way to proceed, in my view. Bogle obviously has huge influence on many posters at Bogleheads. If he were to signal that he favors further discussions, that would encourage lots of people who post there and who have good ideas to speak up. The problem we have now is there there is one individual who posts there who is viewed as a “leader” and who intimidates those who post in support of VII. If Bogle made clear that he will support those who post their honest views regardless of any intimidation tactics employed by this other individual, that would do the trick. Many, many people are willing and happy to help out. But there are limits to how much people are willing to put themselves through to do so.
I would like to see the leaders in the Personal Finance Blogosphere speak out as well. Again, both supportive and critical comments are helpful. The message that needs to be sent is — There is nothing wrong with talking about these ideas, there will be no punishments of those who talk about these ideas or harassment of those who post supportive comments. Once people begin to get that message, things will just naturally move over time to a better and better place.
The other thing that people interested in the VII concept can do is to read my three weekly columns, where I expand on the ideas each week. I address the technical issues most frequently in the “Valuation-Informed Indexing” column at the www.ValueWalk.com site. There’s lots of exciting stuff that comes up in those columns (I don’t think that should be taken as bragging as I obviously don’t claim that I developed the VII concept by myself — there were hundreds of fine people, including many passionate supporters of Buy-and-Hold, who helped out in very important ways).
If there is anyone reading these words who can think of anything else I can do, I hope they will contact me. Getting the word out on this has become my Life Project. So I obviously want to do anything and everything I can do. I am of course extremely grateful for all the help you have offered, Jacob. Your efforts have been heroic. I believe that they will be widely seen in days to come as having helped out many, many people in highly significant ways.