Set forth below is the text of a comment I put to a thread on Valuation-Informed Indexing at the My Personal Finance Journey site:
Bogleheads.org is just one of many personal finance discussion boards and blogs which have “uninvited” Mr. Bennett.
I am the person who discovered the analytical errors in the Old School safe withdrawal rate studies.
So the first post that I put to the Vanguard Diehards board was met with a hostile response. And then there were abusive posters who followed me to every thread in which I posted. Why? Is it a bad thing to let people know about errors that were made in retirement studies? It seems to me that it is a very, very good thing.
There’s no one today who says that the Old School studies are valid. Bernstein has said those studies get the numbers wrong. Scott Burns has said this. Wade Pfau has said this. The Economist Magazine has said this. Michael Kitces has said this.
Shouldn’t the fact that I am the person who discovered the errors in these studies be cause for the Bogleheads to send me a special invitation to their discussions? Why this strange reaction?
It’s because a finding that the Old School SWR studies got the numbers wrong raises doubts about the entire Buy-and-Hold project. The way that the site administrator there put it is that I am a “threat” to the board community there. The reality is that I am not a threat to the entire community. I am a threat only to the Buy-and-Holders. There were hundreds of community members there who loved my stuff and who told me so on numerous occasions.
If you were confident in your investment strategies, you would not feel threatened by posters who post views consistent with Shiller’s research, Carlyle. You make an effort to sound confident. But it’s bravado you evidence, not true confidence.
I say these things not to hurt your feelings or the feelings of any other Buy-and-Holder. I say them because we need to come to terms with these realities before we drive our entire economic system over a cliff.
It reflects poorly on the Bogleheads that they have banned honest posting at their site. It goes against our society’s deeply held social norms. We are going to need to work together to change this. We cannot even begin learning the realities of stock investing until we reach a point at which we all agree that all sides should have a chance to speak.