Set forth below is the text of a post that I put to the Goon Central board concerning Wade Pfau, associate professor of economics at the National Graduate Institute for Economic Studies:
Does Dr. Pfau not post honestly?
He does not post with full honesty, Yip.
Wade wrote to the authors of the Trinity Study asking that they correct the errors in their studies.
The Sewer Rats threatened to get him fired from his job for doing so.
He announced shortly thereafter that he would no longer be doing research on valuation-related topics.
He followed that up by putting up a post to my blog saying that he thought it was “harsh” of me to say that Bill Bengen should correct his SWR study now that he acknowledges that he got the numbers wildly wrong.
Wade’s research is possibly the most important research ever published in this field. I believe that there will come a day when Wade will be awarded a Nobel prize for the work he has done. I believe that a case can be made that Wade’s study showing that long-term timing greatly increases long-term returns while greatly reducing risk rivals Shiller’s 1981 research in importance. There is no bigger fan of Wade Pfau on this planet than Rob Bennett.
But, yes, he disgraces himself when he posts at the Bogleheads Forum. He knows about Lindauer. I know he knows because I saw his response to Mel when Mel accused him of dishonest research practices. The proper response to Mel’s dishonesty is not to stop producing research that offends Mel. It is to tell Mel where to shove it and to take whatever steps are needed to see that the sorts of Internet Sewer Rats who have chosen of their own volition to put up posts in “defense” of Mel are removed from community resources like the Bogleheads Forum.
Wade has a right to post honestly at that forum. I have a right to post honestly at that forum. Larry Swedroe has a right to post honestly at that forum. Mike Piper has a right to post honestly at that forum. Bill Bernsteinzzz has a right to post honestly at that forum. John Walter Russell had a right to post honestly at that forum when he was alive. Microlepsis has a right to post honestly at that forum. Michael Kitces has a right to post honestly at that forum. John Craig has a right to post honestly at that forum. Todd Tressider has a right to post honestly at that forum. John Bogle has a right to post honestly at that forum.
All of us true Bogleheads should be throwing up when Mel tells Jack “Go woof-woof, Jack, all us Goons want to hear you go “woof-woof” and Old Saint Jack goes “woof-woof.” It smells. It smells awful. It must stop. So it will stop. I will see to it that it stops.
Get Rich Quick investing strategies don’t just destroy our retirement hopes, Yip. They eat out out souls. Humans are creatures that have the ability to make use of reason. When we give up use of our reason in the pursuit of Get Rich Quick fantasies, we become something less than human. When Wade or any of the rest of us go along to get along with the Goons, we make the problem worse. When Wade’s name appears at the Bogleheads Forum, he lends credibility to a corrupt enterprise.
I don’t lend my credibility to corrupt enterprises, Yip. Perhaps you’ve noticed.
The internet will be opened to honestzz posting on safe withdrawal rates and to many other critically important investment-related topics. And all of the people listed above will be feeling a whole big bunch better about themselves when it is. And all the people who try to benefit from the powerful insights put forward by these people will be obtaining a great deal more benefit from them when we are all able to engage in warm and friendly and intelligent and informed and, yes, HONEST discussion of stock investing at every investing board and blog on the internet.
There’s a part of you that tells you that you should be posting honestly yourself. Listen to that voice. It’s by listening to that voice that you make the break from Buy-and-Hold and become an effective long-term investor and and effective long-term human being.
This is my sincerezzz take re this important topic.