|Set forth below are some words that I recently posted to the Goon Central board.Sounds like someone’s having a crisis of self-worth and confidence, doesn’t it?
All of the facts that you put forward in this post are accurate, GW. I post LOTS of columns. I see very few comments. Those are objective facts. And, yes, seeing that sort of reaction is discouraging. Highly discouraging. And it’s been going on for 10 years now!Am I experiencing “a crisis of self-worth and confidence”?
Yes and no.
All humans look to other humans for validation. Boys expect to hear their teammates cheer them when they hit a home run. If they hear no cheers, there is going to be a part of their brain that wonders whether they really did a good thing or not. If we somehow turned all the rules of the world upside down and cheered strikeouts and booed home runs, we would be seeing a lot of good baseball players experiencing “a crisis of self-worth and confidence.”
That’s what we have done in the investing realm, GW.
We made a mistake. It’s not true that the market is efficient. It WANTS to be efficient and it SHOULD be efficient, but it needs our help to get there. We are in the early days of our explorations of the subject of how stock investing works and so it happens that as a society we made a mistake. And, because it affected people’s financial circumstances and there was the chance of lawsuits and embarrassment if we acknowledged the mistake, we elected as a society not to do so. So the mistake grew larger and larger and larger. Today, it is Godzilla. We MUST fix the mistake. But we are scared to death even to talk about it.
There’s nothing wrong with my work of the past 10 years. The work is A++. Ten years ago, there were people saying I was wrong about safe withdrawal rates. There is no one saying that today (I am not counting Goons like you, GW!). Today there are people who doubt whether we really can reduce the risk of stock investing by 80 percent, but ten years from now there will be no one doubting that one either. That’s obviously huge. So there’s zero problem with the work.
But, yes, it does hurt that I don’t hear the cheers I am entitled to hear.
What you are leaving out is that the problem is not with the fellow who is hitting home run after home run and not hearing cheers, the problem is with the darn people not getting with the program and delivering those cheers! That’s what needs to change here!
Why don’t they cheer?
Those people are experiencing “a crisis of self-worth and confidence.”
We like to think that our society is a good one. That it helps people live in peace and happiness. That we are a smart and fair and forward-looking people. All these sorts of things.
The work I have done throws doubt on that. What kind of people is it that tolerates Wall Street spending hundreds of millions of dollars promoting the purest and most dangerous Get Rich Quick scheme ever concocted by the human mind, causing the biggest economic crisis in its history? For 30 years! What kind of people are we?
We need to acknowledge that to become empowered to move forward.
Once we do, we will also become able to acknowledge the good stuff. It is our society that produced Valuation-Informed Indexing (I obviously did not do it by myself). So there is nothing to be scared about here. We have indeed done bad stuff. But the good stuff counters the bad by a factor of 50 to 1. No other society has ever produced an investing strategy of one-tenth of the power of the one we have now produced. We need to let that in and to start feeling good about ourselves again.
I am a human, GW. So, yes, of course I feel bad when I do not hear the cheers that I have earned with my good work. But I know that the problem here is not with me. The problem is with you. You should care as much as I do about seeing that all your fellow community members have access to accurate retirement planning information. And you should care as much as I do about bringing this economic crisis to an end. And you should care as much as I do about investing effectively for the long-term.
There are no two sides, GW. When you (and others) act like there are, you create this messed-up situation. You make us all experience “a crisis of self-worth and confidence” (the economic term is “Great Depression”). I am the one saying to bring an end to that insanity. I am saying that we all should be applauding these amazing home runs that I’ve been hitting for 10 years now. And guess what? When we become honest enough to applaud those amazing home runs, it becomes possible to applaud contributions that others make too. We can applaud John Bogle. We can applaud Bill Bernsteinzz. Heaven help us all, but we can probably even applaud John Greaney and Mel Lindauer and GW.
We can’t applaud anyone for so long as we keep doing things that keep us all in the Great Depression, suffering “a crisis of self-worth and confidence.” God did not put us here to live this way, my long-time abusive-posting friend. Please go back to the Archives of the Motley Fool board for the years immediately prior to May 13, 2002. That’s what we were put here to create. Now multiply by 50. You can be part of that. And Greaney can be part of that. And Lindauer can be part of that. And Bogle can be part of that.
But not until you stop dumping garbage on us all, man. That stuff smells! No one is having a good time for so long as you keep dumping fresh garbage on us. No wonder no one is in the mood to cheer home runs. Everyone feels like he is about to throw up.The garbage tossing stuff must go!
That’s the story. You are proud of your abilities to mess up my deal. What you miss is that you mess up the deals of millions of others when you do that, and by messing up millions of deals, you ultimately mess up your own deal. You don’t get to live in a separate economy. Put the economy we both share in a Second Great Depression because you cannot stand the thought of that darn Rob Bennett fellow enjoying levels of fame and fortune you assume you will never see and you put your own economy in a Second Great Depression by doing it. That’s stupid, man. F_ing things up helps no one. The thing to do is to do whatever you can to move things forward and try to set things up so that you win some of the goodies for yourself while doing it.
You F’d up GW.
Deal with it. Then move on.
You only get so many years. Don’t give up more of them than you already have. I cannot get back for you the ones you have already thrown away. I can help only on a going forward basis and I have offered on numerous occasions to do so. Not a time-senstive offer, I always say. I repeat it so many times in the hopes that even the hard of hearing will get the message.
Anyway, that’s where things stand. I’m human. So, yes, I am one of the ones suffering the “crisis of self-worth and confidence” you have brought on with your massive garbage dumping endeavors. But at least I am on the record speaking out in opposition to further garbage dumping. At least I am trying to do something about the damn problem.
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