“Shouldn’t We Have a Peer Review Process to Help Us Get Bad Studies Corrected After Errors Are Discovered In Them?”

Set forth below is the text of a comment that I put to the Value Walk site as part of the discussion thread for a post titled Investing Experts Need to Distinguish Opinion from Truth.

That’s basic CFA requirement — analysts must distinguish between facts and opinions in their reports.

Thanks, Paddy. That makes sense.I’ll give you an example of a place in which this entirely sensible rule does not seem to me to apply in the investing context.

When academics publish studies in journals, they are required to submit them for Peer Review. The idea is to insure that the work done is quality work. A good thing.

I am the person who discovered the analytical errors in the Old School safe withdrawal rate studies. This was back in May 2002. At the time, there were lots of people who questioned whether what I said was so. But numerous big-name experts have since looked at it and concluded that I indeed was right: It’s not possible to calculate the safe withdrawal rate that applies for a retirement without taking into consideration the valuation level that applies on the day the retirement begins. So all the old studies (which millions of people have used to plan their retirements) got all the numbers wildly wrong.

I think we should be correcting those studies. The studies are still available on the internet. So new people are pulling them up every day and being taken in by the demonstrably false claims contained in them. I also think we should be trying to assess why the errors were made in the first place. My experience is that the great thing about making mistakes is that you can learn from mistakes. Why did so many smart people get retirement planning so wrong? I think we could all learn a lot by exploring that question.

There are now perhaps a dozen big-name publications (The Economist, Business Week. The Journal of FInancial Planning, etc.) that have reported on the errors. But not one of the studies has yet been corrected!

Huh?

If we are going to have a Peer Review process to protect us from bad studies getting published in the first place, shouldn’t we have a Peer Review process to help us get bad studies corrected after errors are discovered in them?

Apparently, we don’t have such a thing.

It seems to me that you must be right, that there is language stating that people in this field should be distinguishing fact from opinion. My strong sense, though, is that many today are interpreting these rules very loosely. It is my sense that there is a lot of stuff being said in this field that is being put forward as fact but that in reality is nothing more than opinion.

InvestoWorld is in a strange place in the Year 2012, in my assessment. Things are sort-of upside-down.

Rob

Comments

  1. kimber says

    Well, of course, we do have such a process. The first-rate professional journals are all peer-reviewed. Why don’t you, with all of your expertise and experience, write a paper for one of these journals in which you analyze the errors and demonstrate their importance.

    That is, of course, the way that such disciplines advance.

  2. Rob says

    There’s 30 years of academic research showing that these studies get the numbers wildly wrong, Kimber. What the heck good would it do to get even more papers published?

    What we need to do is to get the studies that get the numbers wrong corrected.

    I’ve been arguing in favor of correction of the Old School SWR studies since the morning of May 13, 2002. It’s gotten me banned at 15 different boards and blogs. Perhaps you’ve noticed.

    Rob

  3. kimber says

    Even more papers published? I am not aware of a single paper that directly addresses your claim that the numbers are “wildly wrong”. Can you name one? If not, why don’t you write the paper?

  4. Rob says

    I am not aware of a single paper that directly addresses your claim that the numbers are “wildly wrong”.

    Are you aware of a single study that directly addresses the question of whether it is a good idea to jump off the roof of your house, Kimber?

    You don’t need one. Once we became aware that gravity exists, we became able to use that knowledge to know that it is not a good idea to jump off the roofs of houses.

    It’s the same way with Buy-and-Hold. Once we had a study showing that there is zero chance that Buy-and-Hold can ever work for any investor, we don’t need different studies directly addressing the circumstances of each particular investor. Buy-and-Hold makes zero sense if the market is not efficient. Once we have proven that the market is not efficient, we know all we need to know to know that we need to be warning people of the dangers of listening to the Wall Street Con Men who push Get Rich Quick garbage on us all.

    We don’t need more studies. We need action. We need to open the internet to honest posting on SWRs and many other critically important investment-related topics. We need to have the people who threaten to kill family members of those who post honestly put in prison. That sends a message to the other Internet Sewer Rats and any tempted to become Internet Sewer Rats in future days.

    Rob

  5. Rob says

    I would also like to read these papers Rob is referring to.

    Join me in my effort to get the internet opened up to honest posting and you will be reading them every day, What.

    We have already had thousands of community members express a desire that honest posting be permitted. We will be hearing from a lot more people of intelligence and integrity once the ban is lifted.

    Rob

  6. what says

    What does honest posting have to do with peer reviewed journal papers that supposedly have already been published?

  7. what says

    Where are these intelligent people of integrity? Do you really believe that ‘Greaney’ and ‘Lindaur’ actually scare anybody? These 2 people are of very little significance or influence and can’t deter a horsefly. I mean, look at you – you are still ranting and raving away at your old sad song for a decade. It’s not like they have stopped you from getting your bizarre and misinformed opinion out to the masses through your sad little website.

  8. Rob says

    What does honest posting have to do with peer reviewed journal papers that supposedly have already been published?

    It has everything to do with it, What.

    We have 30 years of research showing that Buy-and-Hold can never work in the long term. We need to publicize it to bring the economic crisis to an end. We cannot do so today because of the ban on honest posting.

    And you say that the answer is to publish more studies. Huh?

    We need to let people know about the 30 years of studies that we already have that the Buy-and-Holders want to make sure we don’t find out about.

    Rob

  9. Rob says

    Do you really believe that ‘Greaney’ and ‘Lindaur’ actually scare anybody?

    I know it for a fact.

    People have told me so.

    Rob

  10. Rob says

    These 2 people are of very little significance or influence and can’t deter a horsefly.

    They caused an economic crisis.

    I put up my post on SWRs on the morning of May 13, 2002. We had hundreds of people saying they wanted honest posting to be permitted. If those people had had their way, the Old School studies would have been corrected. That would have been the end of Buy-and-Hold.

    If Buy-and-Hold were buried, we could tell people about Valuation-Informed Indexing. If we could tell people about VII, there would not have been an economic crisis or, if there had been one, it would have ended quickly.

    Their power is a purely destructive one. But it is a significant one all the same.

    Rob

  11. Rob says

    I mean, look at you – you are still ranting and raving away at your old sad song for a decade.

    You are hinting here at a legitimate point, What.

    If you had asked me in the Summer of 2002 what was the cause of our troubles, I would have said it was Greaney and Greaney alone.

    I now know that is not so.

    Greaney wanted to shut down honest posting at Motley Fool. But he could not have accomplished this alone. He needed the approval of the Motley Fool site administrators. The same is so with Lindauer and Morningstar. The Morningstar site administrators could have banned Lindauer and solved the problem. Lindauer did not have the power to force them to do what they did.

    If your point is that this goes far beyond Greaney and Lindauer, I am with you. I will sign a piece of paper saying that.

    The problem remains.

    We learned in 1981 that there is zero chance that Buy-and-Hold can ever work for any long-term investor. Millions of middle-class investors have lost so much money following this Get RIch Quick approach that they are afraid to spend and the spending cutback has caused an economic crisis. We could solve the problem by using the internet to tell people what the last 30 years of academic research says. But Lindauer and Greaney will not permit this and the “experts” see it as their job to tell us only what we want to hear, not what we need to hear.

    Where do you propose we go from here. What?

    I propose that we start working together to bring the economic crisis to an end and to rebuild our economic and political systems after the damage they have suffered during the Buy-and-Hold years.

    Me agreeing to post dishonestly on SWRs would be the worst thing I could possibly do at this time, in my assessment. I have never even given that possibility two seconds worth of consideration. I pray to God that I never will.

    Rob

  12. what says

    So, you believe it is a massive worldwide conspiracy of influential Internet personalities to keep you from saving the world?

    Have you told your wife and friends about this? They might be able to help you save yours… the world.

  13. what says

    I actually have no interest in bringing all economic crisis to an end. Economic crisis and the stock market fluctuations that they cause are what drive the equity risk premium. Otherwise they would return as much as bonds, which would not be good for investors like myself who have discipline and a long term perspective.

    Besides, the stock market reacts to economic crisis, not the other way around. So, you are trying to solve the problem backwards. Its like you are saying that smoke causes fire.

    I can also assure you that there is no Internet wide conspiracy to keep you from posting. No one cares about you or Lindaur or Greaney that much – despite you making those three people the center of your very tiny Universe.

  14. Rob says

    So, you believe it is a massive worldwide conspiracy of influential Internet personalities to keep you from saving the world?

    Was it a conspiracy that kept people believing that the earth was flat for a long time after people had learned otherwise?

    Was it a conspiracy that kept people believing that the earth was the center of the universe for a long time after people had learned otherwise?

    Was it a conspiracy that caused people to laugh at the idea that there would ever be cars or airplanes or computers or wheels or fire?

    There are forces of hate and forces of love in this world, What. The forces of love build things, they make the world a better place. The forces of hate tear things down because they so doubt their own abilities to build that is the only way they can imagine ever being even with the forces of good.

    VII is rooted in love. Buy-and-Holder hate it with a burning passion.

    It’s a conspiracy of ignorance. Once VII prevails and Buy-and-Hold is reduced to the ash-heap of history, we will look back and laugh at the thought that there was a once a time when any of us opposed this.

    Humans!

    Rob

  15. Rob says

    I actually have no interest in bringing all economic crisis to an end.

    I would like to see the economic crisis come to a quick end.

    Oops! I’m being controversial again, aren’t I?

    Yikes!

    Rob

  16. Rob says

    Economic crisis and the stock market fluctuations that they cause are what drive the equity risk premium.

    That makes a lot of sense, What.

    Rob

  17. Rob says

    Otherwise they would return as much as bonds, which would not be good for investors like myself who have discipline and a long term perspective.

    You’re on top of things.

    Rob

  18. kimber says

    You say the answer is not to publish “more studies”, but you don’t seem to be able to name a SINGLE study.

    I really don’t understand this. It seems clear that, if you truly believe you have a legitimate case that can stand up to peer review, you would write a paper. Why not?

  19. Rob says

    Besides, the stock market reacts to economic crisis, not the other way around.

    Um — great point.

    It’s good to see all the pieces of the puzzle finally begin to snap into place.

    Rob

  20. Rob says

    No one cares about you or Lindaur or Greaney that much

    That explains the 15 board and blog bannings.

    Truly outstanding!

    Rob

  21. Rob says

    if you truly believe you have a legitimate case that can stand up to peer review, you would write a paper. Why not?

    Let’s turn this around, Kimber.

    By this reasoning, the Buy-and-Holders should be willing to prepare a paper supporting Buy-and-Hold.

    No?

    Rob

  22. azanon says

    If we get to a point where one can no longer buy in HIGHLY undervalued markets like Japan despite the U.S. being overvalued using P/E 10, then I think a relook into safe withdrawal rates based on US ONLY valuations will make sense.

    Until then…..

    In my personal opinion, anyone who simply balances S&P 500 with TIPS in a portfolio has much bigger concerns than just valuations. A portfolio like this is highly simplistic, and anyone doing this would be well advised to hire an advisor to manage their money such as Scott Burns or Rick Ferri.

  23. azanon says

    I admit I use P/E 10 to help determine my US Stock weightings. But BY NO MEANS, will S&P 500 P/E 10 has much, if any, effect on either my overall stock allocation, or my expected return. My current stock allocation is 3 to 1 foreign, with half of my foreign in small caps. Rest assured, I have looked at valuations in all of my holdings and, overall, they are below long term averages.

  24. Rob says

    then I think a relook into safe withdrawal rates based on US ONLY valuations will make sense.

    Huh?

    Looking into things ALWAYS makes sense, Azanon.

    Learning is a pure good. To deny yourself a learning experience is to make yourself poorer than you need to be. By intent.

    Yucko!

    Rob

  25. Rob says

    In my personal opinion, anyone who simply balances S&P 500 with TIPS in a portfolio has much bigger concerns than just valuations. A portfolio like this is highly simplistic

    Simple is good, Azanon.

    The biggest mistake investors make (in my personal opinion!) is investing in things they don’t understand 100 percent. It’s always the 10 percent you don’t understand that does you in.

    TIPS and a broad U.S. index fund are as simple as it gets. Yet the investor who understands how those two asset classes work together will see long-term returns better than 90 percent of the smarty pantses out there who think of themselves as of-so-sophisticated but just ruin themselves by trying to outsmart the market.

    Simple works! It’s getting a big head that causes investors pain.

    My personal opinion!

    Rob

  26. Rob says

    My current stock allocation is 3 to 1 foreign, with half of my foreign in small caps.

    This can certainly work well IF you have studied the asset classes in which you are invested, Azanon.

    Most middle-class people don’t have the time needed to study such things in great depth. The good news is that there is no need to do so. Using the academic research, we can do very well with very simple portfolios though the magic of index-fund diversification.

    Rest assured, I have looked at valuations in all of my holdings and, overall, they are below long term averages.

    That’s good. But you still need to study the asset classes. Valuations can signify something very different in foreign markets from what they signify in U.S. markets.

    Rob

  27. azanon says

    Just be aware your personal opinion greatly deviates from Robert Shiller. Consider watching the readily available Robert Shiller lecture on diversification, and you will come to understand that expanding beyond the basic S&P 500 and TIPS is vital. In fact, if you want to have sky high risk, just hold 2 asset classes.

    I agree, most middle class Americans don’t have time, which is why they’d be well advised to hire a low fee advisor such as Rick Ferri’s personal solutions. A balanced portfolio that includes a healthy foreign exposure will whip the portfolio you preach here on a long-term perspective, easily. Your S&P 500/TIPS mix will have higher volatility and lower return than one that includes significant foreign exposure, a dash of REITs, and perhaps a bit of commodities.

    Quite honestly, you can just take valuations completely out of the picture if you throw in all of the major markets of the world, including the emerging markets. It is very rare for all of the world’s markets to be overvalued at the same time.

    Now sure, there are some old school folks who refuse to buy foreign stock, and won’t buy anything “they won’t understand”. These simpletons might benefit from your advice, but will pay a price in terms of several hundred thousand because they preferred ignorance over education.

  28. azanon says

    Don’t get me wrong. P/E 10 is an excellent measure that can be applied to any market, and valuations do matter. But you’re going about applying this knowledge completely wrong, and missing even more important aspects of diversification.

    When can we expect to here you talk about the merits of small caps? I trust that you realize that small cap US outperforms large cap US, yet you use the P/E 10 for large caps.

    Basically, you have a strategy for when to move into and out of a mediocre investment class. (US large cap)

  29. Rob says

    if you want to have sky high risk, just hold 2 asset classes.

    If you truly believe this, you should be able to say why it is so.

    Holding a broad index fund provides a huge amount of diversification.

    Holding additional asset classes that you do not fully understand is going to increase risk, not diminish it.

    I don’t buy what you are saying here, Azanon. I would need to hear some explanation of why this would be so. The very fact that you have not provided one tells me that you lack confidence in what you are saying here.

    Rob

  30. Rob says

    they’d be well advised to hire a low fee advisor such as Rick Ferri’s personal solutions.

    Rick Ferri posts on Bogleheads, Azanon.

    How can you trust him?

    I am not saying he is not a smart guy or a good guy. But I think it is fair to describe that board as a corrupt enterprise. I would not put my money in the hands of someone who posted there and I would not advise anyone else to do so.

    I don’t have a problem with people hiring low-fee advisors. The concept can make sense in the right circumstances. But it would take a lot of research to find an advisor in this field whose ethics one could trust.

    There is now 30 years of academic research showing that all middle-class investors can earn very high returns at very low risk if they are just willing to tune out the Buy-and-Hold garbage. That’s the path I would follow. Hiring advisors can help. But there are a lot of cases where they are going to make things worse.

    I suggest that people learn enough to make their own decisions. Each investor can trust himself to act in his own best interest. The wonderful thing is that in the days of index funds, it is just not necessary to hire advisors. Valuation-Informed Indexing gives you what you need to do better than 90 percent of investors, including those who hire advisors.

    I do think it would be worth paying for a quality, ethical advisor. I think we need to clean this field up a good bit before I would feel comfortable telling people to spend their money that way, however. The exception would be someone who spent a lot of time researching the question. But, if you are going to do lots of research, why not just learn what you need to know to invest without an advisor? You could get the same results for a lot less expense.

    Rob

  31. Rob says

    A balanced portfolio that includes a healthy foreign exposure will whip the portfolio you preach here on a long-term perspective, easily.

    This is where you start to sound like a salesman, Azanon.

    You know this with certainty, do you?

    Will you guaranty it?

    Will you cover my losses if I follow your approach and end up busted?

    THe best way for an investor to protect himself is to possess strong knowledge of what he is invested in. Anyone can understand what a broad index fund does with little effort. Limit yourself to that and a super-safe asset class like TIPS and you are set.

    Those who have more time can branch out and do better. I certainly do not say different.

    But those who do not have the time and branch out anyway are only going to hurt themselves by doing so.

    People need to stick to their plans for them to work. Those who go by what “advisors” say will not possess the conviction needed to stick with their plans. I think you are not giving sufficient attention to the emotional side of the investing project.

    Your advice may be good for sophisticated investors. I do not see it working for the typical middle-class person.

    That is my sincere take. I am grateful for you sharing your thoughts and adding some much needed balance to the discussion by doing so.

    Rob

  32. Rob says

    Just be aware your personal opinion greatly deviates from Robert Shiller. Consider watching the readily available Robert Shiller lecture on diversification, and you will come to understand that expanding beyond the basic S&P 500 and TIPS is vital.

    If Shiller really says that an investor cannot do well by investing in a broad index fund, then I disassociate myself from that particular Shiller belief. (I am not personally persuaded that he has said such a thing. My guess is that you are misreading something he said.)

    I agree with Bogle that a broad index fund is the way to go for the ordinary middle-class investor. I think Bogle is the top dog when it comes to understanding the needs of the typical middle-class investor. It may be that Shiller has just never focused on this aspect of the question, just as Bogle has failed to focus sufficiently on the valuations question re which Shiller is the top dog.

    Rob

  33. Rob says

    Your S&P 500/TIPS mix will have higher volatility and lower return than one that includes significant foreign exposure, a dash of REITs, and perhaps a bit of commodities.

    This kind of talk leaves me cold, Azanon.

    I intend no personal offense. You are offering intelligent and challenging comments. I think people should give them serious consideration.

    But I feel you are turning the investment project into a math assignment.

    The average person doesn’t know about REITs or commodities or foreign exposure. You get him invested in that stuff and you are asking for a disaster. He will freak when these asset classes he does not understand do not perform well.

    Hearing this kind of talk reminds me of why I love Bogle so much. He offers the common-sense approach that doesn’t contain as much impressive jargon but that works because it is grounded in an understanding of how real humans operate in the real world.

    I do think you are making valuable points, however. I am biased in my intense love for Valuation-Informed Indexing. You are presenting an intelligent case for another point of view and I thank you for that.

    I advise anyone reading these words to give serious consideration to what you are saying. I will give it further thought myself in coming days.

    Thanks, man!

    Rob

  34. Rob says

    Quite honestly, you can just take valuations completely out of the picture if you throw in all of the major markets of the world, including the emerging markets. It is very rare for all of the world’s markets to be overvalued at the same time.

    You almost sound like you are getting behind something like Harry Browne’s Permanent Portfolio with these words, Azanon.

    I am impressed by the line of thought you are pursuing here.

    I am not a convert. But I think you are making some strong points.

    I am thinking that I may try to write a column examining some of the points you are making here.

    Good stuff!

    Rob

  35. Rob says

    Now sure, there are some old school folks who refuse to buy foreign stock, and won’t buy anything “they won’t understand”. These simpletons might benefit from your advice, but will pay a price in terms of several hundred thousand because they preferred ignorance over education.

    I don’t see them as simpletons, Azanon. I see them as busy people.

    We made a decision as a society to take away defined-benefit pensions. So millions of people with just about zero interest in investing have been placed in circumstances in which they MUST invest to have any hope of being able to retire someday.

    This is a very, very, very serious matter.

    Bogle has done a lot of good work to help these people. Shiller has done a lot of good work to help these people. I am trying to do good work by combining the insights of Bogle and Shiller into a truly workable package.

    I am grateful for your input. I see value in it.

    But I cannot hold back from saying that I find your “simpletons” comment insulting.

    Say that one of these simpletons is a nurse who helps you when you are sick. Say that one of these simpletons is an engineer who designs a great computer program you use.

    We all have strengths and weaknesses.

    I love these people who you are referring to as “Simpletons.”

    I am grateful to you for sharing with us things you have learned from your research and experience. But I think you are lacking a bit in an understanding of the circumstances in which these people have been placed. They didn’t ASK to become investors. They have been forced to become investors whether they like the idea or not.

    Should we let the Wall Street Con Men devour them?

    Rob

  36. Rob says

    P/E 10 is an excellent measure that can be applied to any market, and valuations do matter. But you’re going about applying this knowledge completely wrong, and missing even more important aspects of diversification.

    I am not persuaded, Azanon.

    But I will promise you that I will spend some time thinking over what you have said. That’s the best I can do re this at this point in time.

    Rob

  37. Rob says

    When can we expect to here you talk about the merits of small caps? I trust that you realize that small cap US outperforms large cap US, yet you use the P/E 10 for large caps.

    You’ll never hear me talk about small caps, Azanon. Neither their merits nor their lack thereof.

    I have a few other matters on my plate at the moment. Perhaps you have noticed. I have been given the job of opening the entire interest to honest posting on safe withdrawal rates and many other critically important investment-related topics. A lot of Super Goons have their rifles aimed at me. And I think it would be fair to say that a good number of the Wall Street Hot Shots don’t look too kindly on my efforts either. So I think it would be fair to say that I have my hands full.

    On top of that, I am not a guy with a big interest in investing to begin with. I’d like to see someone else take on the small cap issue. If I am successful in opening the internet up to honest posting, I am confident that we will be able to find a good number of people able to tackle the small cap issue about 20 times better than Rob Bennett could on his best day. So I think that’s the way to play it.

    I’m not the right guy for that job, Azanon.

    Rob

  38. Rob says

    Basically, you have a strategy for when to move into and out of a mediocre investment class. (US large cap)

    My core point is not a strategy point, Azanon. It is an integrity point.

    The Old School studies should have been corrected within 24 hours of the time we learned of the errors in them. That was the morning of May 13, 2002.

    The fact that those studies have not been corrected to this day tells us something very scary about our our financial system and even about our political system and about our journalism profession and about our economics profession and about the people who own web sites and who enforce the rules by which we conduct business on the internet.

    Buy-and-Hold should have been corrected 30 years ago. You obviously know about Shiller’s research. Did you ever lead an effort to get Buy-and-Hold corrected? If not, why not?

    It’s because people like you don’t act that we are in an economic crisis today. If we permit honest posting, there are thousands of people who will be starting businesses giving accurate and honest and realistic and truly helpful investing advice. We can put the Get RIch Quick Era behind us. That benefits everyone who works in this field, those urging investment in small cap and large cap and TIPS and commodities and everything else. We all should want this industry to regain a reputation as a place where people of intelligence and integrity can make a decent living engaging in decent behavior. I think it would be fair to say that that can not be the case for so long as the types of Internet Sewer Rats who have posted in “defense” of Lindauer and Greaney maintain control of places like the Bogleheads Forum.

    My sense is that you have a lot to offer. My further sense is that you would feel a lot better if you could offer what you have to offer without having to give up your personal integrity by doing what you have to do to win the permission of the Lindaurheads to post your thoughts.

    Are you willing to say why you have not spoken up?

    I’d like to see it. I think you could make a difference.

    Rob

  39. Rob says

    Basically, you have a strategy for when to move into and out of a mediocre investment class. (US large cap)

    You say the word “mediocre” like it’s a bad thing. I don’t see it that way.

    There are a lot of people who have become so scared of stocks in recent years that they are moving out of the asset class altogether. Those people are going to lose a lot of money over the course of their lives as a result of that decision.

    The mediocre asset class you are talking about delivers an average long-term return of 6.5 percent real. If by posting honestly I provide millions of people with an option that moves them from an asset class offering a 2 percent real return to one providing a 6 percent real return, I have helped those millions of people to retire many years sooner than would otherwise have been possible.

    For Buy-and-Holders, that 6 percent return is an illusion. That return doesn’t go to Get RIch Quickers. But that return is something that the vast majority of middle-class people really could obtain with virtually zero effort if we opened the internet up to honest posting on SWRs and many other important topics.

    You mock people who have not had the time or inclination to do the research into all sorts of technical points that you have done. I want to help those people.

    I think that John Bogle wanted to help those people when he was starting out. I consider it a tragedy that Bogle has gotten tangled up with the Lindaurheads and is now dragging his reputation through the mud on a daily basis by lending his once good name and reputation to a board community that banned honest posting on the topic of the board as its first order of business. I have hopes of restoring Bogle’s good name and the good name of this entire industry with it. I think I can pull it off.

    Do you care, Azanon?

    I hear you addressing all sorts of interesting points. But I never hear you say whether you care about the personal integrity point or not.

    I care about it a great deal. I think of my fellow community members as personal friends and it pains me to even think of giving in to the pressures of the Lindaurheads to sell them out for the sake of a few smelly dollars they promise to toss in my direction.

    Do you care about the people being hurt by all the Buy-and-Hold garbage, Azanon?

    Drip Guy told me that he views them all as ones and zeros on the computer screen. They are not people to him. My sense is that a lot of the Lindauerheads rationalize their behavior in that way. They want the bucks and the fame and the links. So they sell out their friends as the easy way to get it.

    That idea makes me want to throw up.

    You?

    Rob

  40. Drip Guy says

    Rob complained: “The Old School studies should have been corrected within 24 hours of the time we learned of the errors in them. That was the morning of May 13, 2002.

    The fact that those studies have not been corrected to this day tells us something very scary about our our financial system and even about our political system and about our journalism profession and about our economics profession and about the people who own web sites and who enforce the rules by which we conduct business on the internet.”

    Rob, why not contact Liz Pulliam Weston and challenge her to do a follow up on you, as an early retiree, including your current health care approach and expenses, your own year by year investment returns, what your withdrawal rate has been, what your other life and economic circumstances are, but then also to incorporate some of your strongly held views about the supposed dangers of Buy and Hold investing, and challenging her to investigate, document, then spill the beans on the whole “Get Rich Quick” conspiracy, that actually brought down world financial markets (According to Rob)?

    I’m sure she would like a Pulitzer in reporting as much as anyone. Sounds like positively blockbuster stuff.

  41. Drip Guy says

    Liz Pulliam Weston, RE Advisors:

    “I find it doubtful that any of the planners can earn a return that would be worth at least $10,000 a year. We’re with Vanguard’s Target Fund 2020, which we currently use for retirement funds we have gathered outside of work.

    Liz Answers: You’re right that a financial planner — or any money manager, for that matter — is unlikely to offer returns substantially above what you would get in passive investments that seek to match the market, rather than beat it. Study after study shows that few investors, professional or amateur, can consistently outperform the stock market averages.”

    (more at)
    http://asklizweston.com/

  42. Drip Guy says

    Rob said: “Do you care about the people being hurt by all the Buy-and-Hold garbage, Azanon?

    Drip Guy told me that he views them all as ones and zeros on the computer screen. ”

    Rob, you are a liar.

  43. Rob says

    I’m sure she would like a Pulitzer in reporting as much as anyone. Sounds like positively blockbuster stuff.

    It is indeed blockbuster stuff, What. This story is the biggest economic and political story of my lifetime. It is bigger than Watergate, in my assessment.

    I have hopes of winning a Pulitzer myself with this story. But my view is that there is more than one Pulitzer in the story. So I have no problem with the idea of sharing the fame and riches that will follow from reporting on it.

    Liz has already written a follow-up on the early retirees she profiled in her write-up. I spoke to her as part of her preparation for that article. I raised the investing question with her, hoping just as you suggest here that she might get interested in the scoop. She said that she does not write about investing.

    I am always on the look-out for reporters interested in writing about this, What. I have contacted a number of them. If you have other ideas re people who might be interested, I would be thrilled to hear about them.

    Getting reporters to look at this helps those of us on both sides. If I am nuts, the reporters obviously will not do the write-up. If I am right, they will do the write-up and then we all will learn important stuff and move forward to a better tomorrow together.

    So I very much want to encourage any thoughts you have for taking things in the direction you suggest here. This is a highly constructive suggestion.

    Rob

  44. Drip Guy says

    Rob commingled his replies: “I am always on the look-out for reporters interested in writing about this, What.”

    I’m not what, Rob.

    And I *know* that Liz did an interim follow-up. I’m suggesting she report on where you are NOW, and how that “Early Retirement” plan of yours worked out after a decade or more. I suspect you are none to interested in publicly sharing those details at this point, are you Rob, merely because without some sort of external means of support, you could not possibly have drawn your apparent 7.5% SWR requirement from a $400K fixed income TIPs nestegg, without being in very dire straits.

  45. Rob says

    Study after study shows that few investors, professional or amateur, can consistently outperform the stock market averages.”

    EVERY study that has looked at the question has showed that long-term timing ALWAYS beats the market., Drip Guy.

    That’s the entire point. That’s why this is so exciting. This is Investor Heaven — greatly increased returns with greatly reduced risk.

    So why the sad face?

    Rob

  46. Rob says

    I suspect you are none to interested in publicly sharing those details

    I have objected numerous times to the tactics employed by the Lindaurheads and the Greaney Goons to post thousands of defamatory posts so that people cannot make sense of things.

    I object once again.

    I can do no more and I can do no less.

    Rob

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