ITNR #100 — The Ethics of Card Shuffling and Retirement Planning

I’ve posted Entry #100 to my weekly Investing: The New Rules column at the Death by 1,000 Papercuts site. It’s called The Ethics of Card Shuffling and Retirement Planning.

Juicy Excerpt: I said that the Old School retirement studies got the numbers wildly wrong. They did. No one disputes that today. I should be a hero to everyone in the field. But all that a lot of people hear is: “You made a mistake in your study and caused millions of failed retirements.”

I don’t say that the mistakes were deliberate. I don’t believe they were. But the people who made the mistakes have responded defensively. They think they should be above making mistakes. Or perhaps the mistakes to some extent really were deliberate, perhaps they knew that there were problems with the methodology they used and elected not to worry about them until I highlighted the issue. In their minds, they have been called out on an ethics lapse. And they intend to fight that one to the death.

Comments

  1. Drip Guy says

    Rob: “I said that the Old School retirement studies got the numbers wildly wrong. They did. No one disputes that today.”

    You keep saying that.

    However, just saying it again and again doesn’t make it any less wrong than it was the first thousand times you said it, and were corrected.

  2. what says

    How do you know the people who wrote the studies reacted defensively? I don’t think you ever even talked with them. And the fact that you have been conducting this extensive study into mental masturbation for 10+ years and not even talked to these people…signifies a deep issue in your mental state.

  3. Rob says

    I don’t think you ever even talked with them.

    Does asking site administrators to ban them from the discussion boards they disrupt count as “talking to them,” Drip Guy?

    Rob

  4. kimber says

    Great logic from Herr Bennett:

    1. Every person agrees with me.
    2. If you don’t agree with me, you’re not a person.

    Can’t argue with logic like that!
    LOL

  5. what says

    I am not Drip Guy but I will answer your question – No, it doesn’t count.

    So you actually believe that the Trinity authors are behind the conspiracy to have you banned from discussion boards?

    Do you have any evidence of that?

  6. Rob says

    If you don’t agree with me, you’re not a person.

    THere’s a person inside you and there’s a Goon inside you, Kimber.

    The person part doesn’t agree with the gibberish put forward by the Goon. If he did, you wouldn’t have such a chip on your shoulder.

    It’s your words that reveal you as a Goon, Kimber. I am just a mild-mannered reporter who describes the realities of stock investing to those interested in learning about them. The Goon Phenomenon — through which a good number of us trick ourselves as to what is possible — is obviously one of the most important of those realities.

    It’s not personal, Kimber. I encourage you to join the ranks of the humans!

    Rob

  7. Rob says

    So you actually believe that the Trinity authors are behind the conspiracy to have you banned from discussion boards?

    The word “conspiracy” is yours, What.

    The Trinity authors have behaved shamefully.

    They got the numbers wildly wrong in their retirement study. The error they made is in the process of causing millions of middle-class people to suffer one of the worst life setbacks imaginable.

    They have not corrected their study to this day (I put up the post pointing out the error in their study on May 13, 2002). They haven’t apologized to the millions of people who have suffered great financial harm as a result of their error. They have made no effort to explain why they made the error and to learn from the experience.

    There are responsibilities that follow when we put out retirement studies, What. One of them is the responsibility to correct any errors discovered in those studies in subsequent days.

    There is no other field of human endeavor in which such behavior would be tolerated. We need to bring the investing advice field up to the ethical standards that already apply in all other fields of human endeavor.

    Rob

  8. Evidence Based Investing says

    The Trinity authors have behaved shamefully.

    They got the numbers wildly wrong in their retirement study. The error they made is in the process of causing millions of middle-class people to suffer one of the worst life setbacks imaginable.

    They have not corrected their study to this day (I put up the post pointing out the error in their study on May 13, 2002).

    It is now almost 10 years later and you still have not contacted the authors of the Trinity study and explained to them the flaws in their study.

  9. Rob says

    Wade Pfau contacted them, Evidence. Wade is the leading researcher in this field today.

    Wade did not receive a response to his e-mail.

    What does that tell you?

    Rob

  10. Evidence Based Investing says

    Wade Pfau contacted them, Evidence. Wade is the leading researcher in this field today.

    Wade did not receive a response to his e-mail.

    Do you have any evidence to support this claim?

  11. Rob says

    No. I made it up, Evidence.

    Just like I made up the claims in my May 13, 2002, post reporting on the errors in the study.

    This sort of thing has become a habit with me.

    Rob

  12. Rob says

    Did they correct the study, Evidence?

    My strong impression is that the answer to that one is “no.”

    Rob

  13. Evidence Based Investing says

    Did you explain to them what correction was required, Rob?

    My strong impression is that the answer to that one is “no.”

  14. Marc says

    Hi Rob,

    You’re right, of course, and I try to educate folks in the same truth.

    However, I’m finding that investing is like a religion, and no amount of logic or fact will change some people’s minds. And like religious zealots of the past, some will try to burn you at the stake (figuratively speaking, of course) for not believing as they do.

    There are a lot of reasons for this, but this isn’t a psychology website, and they wouldn’t recognize themselves anyway.

    I’m a very logical person, and, like Keynes, when the facts change, I change my mind. I imagine you’re the same way.

    It can be shocking to realize that most people aren’t moved by logic. But, I guess that shouldn’t be too surprising if we look at who this country has elected to positions of power.

    But I digress …

    Keep up the good fight, and you will help those who can be helped.

    The truth can be a cruel mistress.

    Marc

  15. Rob says

    Did you explain to them what correction was required, Rob?

    They need to be told that, when they get the numbers wildly wrong in a study that people use to plan their retirements, that they need to correct the errors in the study?

    Please tell us you are joking, Evidence.

    Rob

  16. Evidence Based Investing says

    They need to be told that, when they get the numbers wildly wrong in a study that people use to plan their retirements, that they need to correct the errors in the study?

    If you have the correct numbers you should provide them to the authors of the Trinity study. You should do so by close of business today. It would be a win/win/win/win/win for everyone concerned.

  17. Rob says

    There are a lot of reasons for this, but this isn’t a psychology website

    Thank you for jumping in with those kind and helpful and intelligent comments, Marc.

    I nearly jumped out of my chair when I got to the words quoted above, shouting “But it is! It is!”

    This is the future of investing analysis, Marc.

    All that you say is so except for the suggestion you make that reporting honestly on the investing realities is a hopeless endeavor. If it IS a hopeless endeavor, our free market economy is finished. I have looked at the numbers. If we don’t turn this around within the next few years, we are headed into the Second Great Depression. That will cause millions to lose confidence in our political system. If we are not able as a society to turn this around, it’s not going to matter whether I follow Buy-and-Hold strategies or Valuation-Informed Indexing strategies. The entire ship is going down to the bottom and we all will be going down in that same ship.

    I don’t think that is going to happen.

    People have to understand that WE DID NOT KNOW THESE THINGS BEFORE. Bogle made index funds available in 1976. Shiller did his research in 1981. Prior to 1981, Valuation-Informed Indexing was a physical impossibility. We are talking about something very new in relative terms. That’s the primary reason why many people are having a hard time connecting with it.

    Once we get a certain number connecting, it will grow. We will reach a tipping point. Then Valuation-Informed Indexing will become all the rage. We will all be able to obtain far higher returns at greatly reduced risk. Our financial futures will look so bright that we will all regain the confidence we need to return to normal spending levels and then to better than that. The economy will take off like a rocket. We are living today in the early days of the best times ever in the history of Planet Earth to be a stock investor.

    We’re going to make it. Evidence and What and Drip Guy and Kimber and you and me are all going to be best friends. We are going to look back at these days and laugh that we once were so pig-headed about Buy-and-Hold that we caused an economic crisis. The future is bright.

    Why? Because things are getting so bad that we are close to the point at which we are all just going to swallow our pride and acknowledge that THIS IS A PSYCHOLOGY WEB SITE, THAT ALL INVESTING WEB SITES MUST BE PSYCHOLOGY WEB SITES TO BE ABLE TO OFFER EVEN REASONABLY GOOD ADVICE, THAT UNDERSTANDING HUMAN PSYCHOLOGY IS 80 PERCENT OF WHAT IT TAKES TO OFFER GOOD INVESTING ADVICE, THAT 80 PERCENT OF THE RISK OF STOCK INVESTING GOES AWAY WHEN YOU BECOME WILLING TO ACKNOWLEDGE THE INFLUENCE OF INVESTING PSYCHOLOGY ON STOCK RETURNS.

    We’re on the 99-year line, in my assessment.

    Yes, it’s scary. There’s not much time on the clock. If we drop the ball, we do down in history as losers. We very, very, very much do not want to drop the ball.

    But we’re on the gosh-darned 99-yard line. We’re not going to drop the ball. We are all going to emerge heroes. We are so close at this point that we cannot possibly mess up. It cannot happen.

    That’s my story and I’m sticking to it, in any event.

    Rob

  18. Rob says

    If you have the correct numbers you should provide them to the authors of the Trinity study.

    That makes a lot of sense, Evidence.

    Thanks for stopping by.

    Rob

  19. Rob says

    some will try to burn you at the stake (figuratively speaking, of course)

    Oh, there are some I could name who would be happy to burn me at a 100 percent literal stake if they thought they could get away with it, Marc. The Buy-and-Holders are in great emotional pain today, I have zero doubt in my mind re that one at this point in the proceedings.

    What they don’t get is that I am their best friend in the entire world. You don’t bring the pain to an end by doing more of the same stuff that caused the pain in the first place.

    Anyway, good luck to you in the work you do to help people out re these matters. My best wishes to you.

    Rob

  20. Evidence Based Investing says

    That makes a lot of sense, Evidence.
    Thanks for stopping by.

    So you will continue to shirk your responsibilities.

  21. what says

    Haha, I wonder if ‘Marc’ is Drip Guy or another person that gets a kick out of the Rob Bennett show.

  22. what says

    “The word “conspiracy” is yours, What.”

    Well, if you are saying that 3 professors are manipulating the entire Internet against you to protect their precious study, then I think the word “conspiracy” is yours.

  23. Rob says

    Haha, I wonder if ‘Marc’ is Drip Guy or another person that gets a kick out of the Rob Bennett show.

    What would it say about Buy-and-Hold and what it does to people’s minds and souls if that were so, What?

    Rob

  24. Rob says

    Well, if you are saying that 3 professors are manipulating the entire Internet against you to protect their precious study, then I think the word “conspiracy” is yours.

    You would be wrong to do so.

    There was a time when we believed that the sun revolved around the earth rather than the other way around. Were the millions of people who said the sun revolved around the earth engaged in a conspiracy?

    They were not. They were ignorant of the realities. Mankind was born ignorant of ALL realities. We pick things up from time to time. In 1981, we learned through the academic literature that Buy-and-Hold is a steaming pile of hooey. So are those who defend it to this day involved in a conspiracy?

    Again, they are not. The people who believed with their hearts, minds and souls that the earth was the center of the universe didn’t stop believing that on the day convincing evidence was presented showing that it was not so. When people base their entire lives on a wrong belief, it takes time for them to come to accept emotionally that they need to base their lives around a very different belief.

    None of this justifies the death threats or the defamation or the board bannings we have seen from the Buy-and-Holders, What. We have prohibitions on such things because we know how much damage such things do to our efforts to learn and advance over time. So those who have engaged in such behavior need to be held accountable for their behavior. But it does mean that these people are in all cases engaged in a “conspiracy.” They are people who are suffering intense emotional pain that all in this field should be helping them to overcome.

    We are not doing the Buy-and-Holders any favors by encouraging them in their fantasies. They have already lost large amounts of wealth because of their human weakness for Get Rich Quick thinking. They will be losing much more in days to come. We should be extending the hand of kindness to these people. The first step is making a firm resolution to always talk straight to them, to never, ever, ever endorse the mumbo-jumbo baby talk employed by so many of the “experts” in this field to get a dirty, smelly dollar bill out of their pockets and into the experts’ own.

    This is my sincere take re this important matter, What. I see no evidence of a widespread conspiracy (the Goons of course organize their efforts but that wouldn’t help them much if many, many others were not suffering from cognitive dissonance). I do see much evidence of emotional pain and impending financial ruin. I think we all should be concerned about that and we all should be doing what we can to take a sad song and make it better.

    Rob

  25. what says

    “The sad thing is that there really are ethical lapses that have come into play during the 10 years in which the mistakes have been covered up.”

    Uh.

    “I should be a hero to everyone in the field.”

    Uhhhhhhhhhhh.

  26. what says

    ” Had the people who produced these studies acknowledged the problems on the first day, this never would have been a big deal. But their behavior during the 10-year cover-up makes them look very, very, very bad.”

    So, what behavior are you talking about? I haven’t heard much out of the Trinity authors at all.

  27. what says

    Perhaps you are referring to a coordinated shadowy effort operating in the background of the Internet to silence the ‘brilliance’ of a ‘mild mannered’ (yet insane) ‘journalist’ (aka. self aggrandizing buffoon)?

    I would love to see some evidence of that!

  28. Rob says

    “I should be a hero to everyone in the field.”

    Are you saying that it was not a heroic act to stand up to the Greaney Goons and be the first person to post honestly re safe withdrawal rates, What?

    TEN YEARs before Business Week? TEN YEARS before the Economist magazine? TEN YEARS before Smart Money?

    That was my finest moment. We have developed hundreds of powerful investing insights over the past 10 years. It all got started with that May 13, 2002, post.

    If that was not a heroic act, what the heck would be a heroic act?

    Rob

  29. Rob says

    “The sad thing is that there really are ethical lapses that have come into play during the 10 years in which the mistakes have been covered up.”

    That’s so.

    It is unethical for John Bogle to associate with the sorts of Internet Sewer Rats who have put up posts in “defense” of Lindauer and Greaney.

    No?

    Rob

  30. Rob says

    So, what behavior are you talking about? I haven’t heard much out of the Trinity authors at all.

    Evidence up above provided a link to some words advanced by the Trinity authors, What.

    Where’s the correction of the errors in the study?

    Where’s the apology to the millions of middle-class people whose retirement plans were ruined because they placed their confidence in this analytically invalid study?

    Where’s the announcement of plans to publicize the mistakes made so that all the people taken in by the study are able to make the changes they need to make in their retirement plans before more damage is done?

    Where’s the recognition of human fallibility that we need to see from all who advanced such studies before we are going to benefit from the learning process that in ordinary circumstances follows from discovering a mistake of such magnitude?

    Rob

  31. Rob says

    aka. self aggrandizing buffoon

    If I am a self-aggrnadizing buffoon, then I am a self-aggrandizing buffoon who just happened to discover the errors in the Old School safe withdrawal rate studies TEN YEARS before the biggest names in this field, people who are paid millions to share their “expertise” with us all.

    I guess it’s better to be lucky than smart.

    Rob

  32. what says

    Well, probably because only one nut job in the whole world actually believes what you wrote below, any ‘apology’ won’t be forthcoming.

    “Evidence up above provided a link to some words advanced by the Trinity authors, What.

    Where’s the correction of the errors in the study?

    Where’s the apology to the millions of middle-class people whose retirement plans were ruined because they placed their confidence in this analytically invalid study?

    Where’s the announcement of plans to publicize the mistakes made so that all the people taken in by the study are able to make the changes they need to make in their retirement plans before more damage is done?

    Where’s the recognition of human fallibility that we need to see from all who advanced such studies before we are going to benefit from the learning process that in ordinary circumstances follows from discovering a mistake of such magnitude?”

  33. what says

    “Are you saying that it was not a heroic act to stand up to the Greaney Goons and be the first person to post honestly re safe withdrawal rates, What?”

    Yes, I do not see it as heroic. Your entire past decade appears to be an immature childish bizarre escapade that is very far removed from heroic.

  34. what says

    “I see no evidence of a widespread conspiracy (the Goons of course organize their efforts but that wouldn’t help them much if many, many others were not suffering from cognitive dissonance”

    Oh, ok, so its not a widespread conspiracy, it is a small concentrated conspiracy.

    But it is still a conspiracy it seems.

  35. what says

    “I guess it’s better to be lucky than smart.”

    I think you get shelved under ‘none of the above’.

  36. what says

    Since the choice of a withdrawal rate involves
    individual preference for current consumption,
    uncertainty of life expectancy, and variable financial
    needs, there is no single globally optimal withdrawal
    rate. Each investor must determine the appropriate
    balance of the risk of running out of funds versus a
    higher, more enjoyable standard of living early in
    retirement. Most authors tend to favor a more
    conservative approach that virtually guarantees a
    substantial positive terminal value of the retirement
    portfolio. Such an approach exchanges post-retirement
    quality of life for end of life financial security. Some
    retirees may prefer not to make that tradeoff. In the
    final analysis the choice of a portfolio withdrawal rate,
    within a reasonable range, requires very personal
    choices that perhaps are beyond the scope of financial
    analysis

  37. what says

    Do you know where this comes from?

    Since the choice of a withdrawal rate involves
    individual preference for current consumption,
    uncertainty of life expectancy, and variable financial
    needs, there is no single globally optimal withdrawal
    rate. Each investor must determine the appropriate
    balance of the risk of running out of funds versus a
    higher, more enjoyable standard of living early in
    retirement. Most authors tend to favor a more
    conservative approach that virtually guarantees a
    substantial positive terminal value of the retirement
    portfolio. Such an approach exchanges post-retirement
    quality of life for end of life financial security. Some
    retirees may prefer not to make that tradeoff. In the
    final analysis the choice of a portfolio withdrawal rate,
    within a reasonable range, requires very personal
    choices that perhaps are beyond the scope of financial
    analysis

  38. Rob says

    any ‘apology’ won’t be forthcoming.

    I believe that one will be forthcoming, What.

    It may be that we won’t hear one until we suffer another stock crash, one that puts our economy into the Second Great Depression and causes vast amounts of human misery for humans.

    You know what I think the Trinity authors would want us to do if they were thinking clearly? They would want us to insist that they make an apology today so that we can get all this ugliness and darkness behind us and begin working together to rebuild our economy and spread the word re the greatest investment strategy ever concocted by the mind of mortal man (Valuation-Informed Indexing).

    But I’m one of those nutcase humans. It’s important that we all make an effort to keep that in mind at all times.

    Rob

  39. Rob says

    Your entire past decade appears to be an immature childish bizarre escapade that is very far removed from heroic.

    Got it, What.

    Rob

  40. Rob says

    so its not a widespread conspiracy, it is a small concentrated conspiracy.

    The Goons conspire among themselves, sure.

    But the Goons would have no influence if there were not millions of good and smart people who believed strongly in Buy-and-Hold investing.

    That’s the far bigger thing. The Goon thing is a sideshow compared to that.

    Rob

  41. Rob says

    I think you get shelved under ‘none of the above’.

    I think the fairest thing would be if I were shelved under “Messed-Up-in-Important-Ways-But-Still-Capable-of-Some-Good Humans.”

    Rob

  42. Rob says

    Do you know where this comes from?

    In a context in which the person putting forward the words was willing and happy to correct any errors he made, those would be fine words.

    In a context in which the person putting forward the words was intending to use mumbo-jumbo word games to avoid his responsibilities to the millions of people who would be done great harm by any errors he made and refused to correct, those are chilling words.

    There is no possible justification for not correcting errors in a retirement study that have caused millions of people to suffer one of the worst life setbacks imaginable. The fact that you have spent 10 years of your life searching for one tells me that Get Rich Quick investing strategies can cause a powerful emotional addiction in those who fall for them.

    Seeing this behavior doesn’t cause me to soften my opposition to Get Rich Quick strategies. It causes me to want to fight all the harder to get Get Rich Quick buried 30 feet in the ground, where it can do no further harm to humans and other living things.

    We’re working at cross purposes, What. That’s the bottom line here. I wish you the best. But you and I are pursuing entirely different goals.

    Rob

  43. Evidence Based Investing says

    There is no possible justification for not contacting the authors of the Trinity study about correcting errors in a retirement study that have caused millions of people to suffer one of the worst life setbacks imaginable.

  44. Rob says

    We discussed this up above, Evidence.

    Wade Pfau contacted them. They did not respond to the e-mail.

    When the Greaney Goons learned of this, they threatened to get Wade fired from his job by going to his employer with defamatory statements. Wade backed down and now pretends in his public statements that he believes it is “okay” that the Old School studies not be corrected.

    I say that it was Wade’s finest moment when he requested the corrections. We need more people to work up the courage to do things like that. That’s how we turn this economy around.

    Rob

  45. what says

    And we come full circle to the ‘threats against Wade’s job’ that Rob never seems to be able to show anyone.

    The circle of insanity is now complete.

  46. Rob says

    You of course know the entire story, What. It’s your fear that many others will learn of it that brings you here.

    Any others listening in can go to Wade’s blog and ask the man himself. He’s not even a little bit hard to track down in the age of the internet.

    I am in the process of preparing an article that will contain brief descriptions of 101 incidents of this nature, incidents in which intimidation tactics were used to punish people trying to spread the word about the last 30 years of academic research. I’ll include links to the places in the Post Archives where the incidents took place.

    I’ll post reports on Wade’s e-mails to me prior to my posting of that article so that I will be able to link to the reports in the e-mails in the article setting forth the 101 incidents. Having the 101 incidents in one place will make it easier for interested parties to track this stuff down and to come to understand why there are still “experts” pretending to believe in Buy-and-Hold 30 years after the academic research discrediting it was published.

    Even then, though, I think it is a good idea for those trying to determine the full truth of the matter to go to Wade himself and ask him. I am trying to get Valuation-Informed Indexing out before millions of people. I am biased. So no one should take my word re this stuff.

    Ask Wade. See what he says. And ask Bogle about Lindauer and why he doesn’t take action re him. And ask Motley Fool about why they didn’t ban Greaney when he put forward death threats.

    It’s when lots of good and smart and brave people start doing that that the entire Buy-and-Hold house of cards comes tumbling to the ground and we all begin working together to rebuild the economy we destroyed with the relentless promotion of this Get RIch Quick garbage for the past 30 years.

    That’s my sincere take re this important matter, in any event.

    Rob

  47. Evidence Based Investing says

    We discussed this up above, Evidence.

    Wade Pfau contacted them. They did not respond to the e-mail.

    And I showed above that the authors of the Trinity study do respond when contacted.

  48. Rob says

    And I showed above that the authors of the Trinity study do respond when contacted.

    What does it tell you that they responded to the owners of a site that banned honest posting on safe withdrawal rates as its foundational act and then didn’t respond to a fellow academic who has published research showing that they got the numbers wildly wrong in their retirement study and asking that they correct it?

    It tells me that they don’t want to correct the errors in the study.

    Why do you think that is?

    Rob

  49. Rob says

    The circle of insanity is now complete.

    The circle of insanity needs to be broken, What.

    We don’t need more knowledge to break the circle. We have known what works and what doesn’t work in stock investing for 30 years now.

    Breaking the circle requires love and compassion and courage and integrity. That’s what’s lacking in InvestoWorld today.

    Please pray for us all, What. If you don’t believe in God, please direct a wish in the direction of Evolution that it have mercy on the poor humans and help them work up the courage to say the Three Magic Words.

    It’s important, my old friend.

    Rob

  50. Evidence Based Investing says

    I have published evidence for my claims. You have not published evidence for your claims.

    Why do you think that is?

  51. what says

    I am pretty sure Wade didn’t talk about the Trinity study being wrong in his work.

    But oh yes, of course, that must be because of the imaginary job/death/whatever threats.

  52. Rob says

    I have published evidence for my claims. You have not published evidence for your claims.

    Why do you think that is?

    The entire 10 years of discussions supports my claims, Evidence.

    Any halfway reasonable person can pick up the general idea by reading just this one thread.

    I can present evidence. I cannot cause it to melt people’s hearts.

    I will continue to do what I am able to do and to try to accept that there are things that are beyond my powers re which all I can do is offer up a prayer. Please understand that my prayers include you, my long-time abusive posting friend. And please understand that, in the event you don’t believe in God, I mean no personal offense in making reference to Him.

    Rob

  53. what says

    If you can present evidence, then please do so. You haven’t presented much of anything to support your outlandish claims.

  54. Rob says

    I am pretty sure Wade didn’t talk about the Trinity study being wrong in his work.

    I am 100 percent sure that Wade sent an e-mail to the authors of the Trinity study asking that they correct their study.

    I am 100 percent sure that the Greaney Goons threatened to get him fired from his job by sending defamatory comments to his employers.

    I am 100 percent sure that he was sufficiently intimidated to back down and to change the position he takes in public re the need for correction of these long-discredited studies.

    I am 100 percent sure that as a society we need to deal with this problem before we can expect to make serious progress on the most important task facing us all today — bringing the economic crisis to an end.

    I pray that love enters your heart and empowers you to do things in coming days that you cannot bear doing today, What.

    Rob

  55. Rob says

    that must be because of the imaginary job/death/whatever threats.

    And the imaginary May 13, 2002, post pointing out the errors in the Old School studies.

    Rob

  56. Rob says

    If you can present evidence, then please do so.

    Read the thread to which you are posting, What.

    What could be easier?

    Rob

  57. Rob says

    What you see going on in this thread is serious, Leo. Read this thread.

    Then take action.

    That’s the important part.

    Reading and then saying to yourself “oh, someone else will do something” does not get the job done. The someone who needs to act is you.

    How would you go about defending an investing strategy that was discredited by 30 years of academic research if not through death threats? It’s not as if the Goons do these things for no reason. They do these things because they have no other options.

    Have you done anything to open the internet to honest posting and thereby to supply millions of us with other options?

    Please try to turn your attention away from the ugly junk and turn it in the direction of the huge blessings that have been bestowed on us. Once we bury Buy-and-Hold 30 feet in the ground, there will be no more death threats because they will serve no purpose. We will all be learning about and spreading the word about and exploring and benefitting from Valuation-Informed Indexing.

    Death threats are the past of stock investing “analysis,” Leo. Learning from honest reports of what the academic research says is the future.

    Please take care.

    Rob

  58. Evidence Based Investing says

    I am 100 percent sure that Rob won’t be presenting evidence to back up any of his claims.

  59. Rob says

    I am 100 percent sure that Rob won’t be presenting evidence to back up any of his claims.

    My take is that you won’t be able to take the evidence in until your heart melts a bit, Evidence.

    Please take care.

    Rob

  60. Rob says

    Good words, but I’d still like to reed the death threats.

    I hope that there will come a day when you will be able to turn your focus in a more positive direction, Leo.

    My best wishes go out to you.

    Rob

  61. leocarillo says

    Sounds to me like your making terrible accusations you cant back up.

    I was looking for informaiton on saving my money but is this just another internet conspiracey site?

    guess i will look other place.s

  62. Evidence Based Investing says

    My take is that I won’t be able to take the evidence in until I actually see the evidence.

  63. Rob says

    is this just another internet conspiracey site?

    It’s a site where we help middle-class people learn what the academic research says about stock investing and how to tune out all the Buy-and-Hold garbage that the Wall Street Con Men have been relentlessly pushing on us all for 30 years now.

    This site is about the future of stock investing analysis, not the past of stock investing analysis. We take a positive, constructive, life-affirming approach and we encourage all others (very much including our Buy-and-Hold friends!) to do the same.

    Love is the answer, Leo. Hate is a poor long-term investing strategy. I’m sure of it!

    Rob

  64. Rob says

    My take is that I won’t be able to take the evidence in until I actually see the evidence.

    I’ve said that I will pray for you and I will, Evidence. I pray for all Buy-and-Holders.

    I look forward to the day when we all are working together to take a sad song and make it better.

    You hang in there, man!

    Rob

  65. Evidence Based Investing says

    I’ve said that I will pray for you and I will, Evidence. I pray for all Buy-and-Holders.

    The Lord has provided you with hands. It is up to you to use those hands and type in the answers to the questions you have been asked.

  66. Rob says

    And the Lord has provided you with a heart, Evidence. It is up to you to open that heart to the message of the last 30 years of academic research in this field.

    I wish you the best, my long-term abusive posting friend.

    Rob

  67. Evidence Based Investing says

    My heart is open to every message that I have heard or read.

    I can’t do anything about those messages which I am being prevented from reading.

  68. Drip Guy says

    Good thing to know that “Free-n-open posting” regarding SWRs is actually available on the net. See for instance:

    http://wpfau.blogspot.com/2012/04/is-4-safe-withdrawal-rate-obsolete.html

    Which also proves that (thank goodness!) that Wade is none the worse for wear even after his scrape with the internet’s most notorious troll. In fact, his careeer appears to be positively thriving.

    The link also proves that even though Wades independent first efforts were well-constructed, well-intended and analytically sound, Wade himself now states:
    “[I took] a new look at this whole issue from another perspective, which I discussed at “Lower Future Returns and Safe Withdrawal Rates.”

    The news there is still pessimistic in comparison to what comes from looking at the US historical data, but it isn’t anywhere near as bad at that 1.8% number I was coming up with before for 2010 retirees.

    In the end, I think this latter approach may be more suitable for thinking about safe withdrawal rates.”

    So, Rob, there is no evil cabal trying to stop people from posting whatever they like about SWRs, or about passive investing ,or any other thing they might have on their mind. What there is, though, is a threshold on what individual blog owners will put up with in terms of abuse and trolling from a known crank before banning him, and him alone because of his purposely disruptive and highly unstable brand of attention-seeking.

  69. Rob says

    My heart is open to every message that I have heard or read.

    I certainly wish you the best in all your future endeavors regardless of what investing strategies you elect to pursue, my old friend.

    Rob

  70. Drip Guy says

    Rob was “100% wrong, several times in a row, when he said:

    “I am 100 percent sure that Wade sent an e-mail to the authors of the Trinity study asking that they correct their study.”

    He did not. He *was* initially naive enough, however, to be goaded into contacting them, but he of course never said anything about the study being ‘wrong;’ or needing to be corrected’ because only one odd troll from Virginia claims that to be the case! I think his ‘brush with idiocy’ via Rob has now shown Wade that not everyone on the internet is worth getting into a dialog with.

    “I am 100 percent sure that the Greaney Goons threatened to get him fired from his job by sending defamatory comments to his employers.”

    You are 100% wrong. If you have evidence, PRESENT IT. Otherwise, what you are doing is just lying very publicly, and ruining your own already much-tattered reputation.

    “I am 100 percent sure that he was sufficiently intimidated to back down and to change the position he takes in public re the need for correction of these long-discredited studies.”

    Wade’s position seems to me to have evolved quite naturally as he expanded both his own work as well as engaging in other researchers and authors familiar with the subject matter, including Kitces, Bernstein, and at least one of the Trinity authors. As I understand it, all of those dialogs went tremendously well, and with mutual respect and admiration. Unlike his rough treatment (still!) by one loner crank.

    “I am 100 percent sure that as a society we need to deal with this problem before we can expect to make serious progress on the most important task facing us all today — bringing the economic crisis to an end.”

    The economy is slowly but surely recovering Rob. I know that’s your worst nightmare, but you lose.

    Again.

  71. Rob says

    Good thing to know that “Free-n-open posting” regarding SWRs is actually available on the net.

    It’s certainly a good thing that more people are writing about the errors in the Old School studies. I remember a day when some were saying that perhaps the numbers in the Old School studies were not so wildly off the mark!

    The studies need to be corrected, however. It shows how deep the corruption is in this field that the errors in the study have been public knowledge for ten years now and they still have not been corrected.

    Keeping the cover-up going helps precisely no one, Drip Guy. I mean, come on.

    Rob

  72. Drip Guy says

    Rob heard only what he wanted to hear, even though the truth is right in front of him: “It’s certainly a good thing that more people are writing about the errors in the Old School studies.”

    Uh, Rob, the word ‘error’ does not appear in that article. Just like it also does not appear in your very own post to Motley Fool of 13 May 2002 or whenever!

    I think the position on how to use and interpret their work, from the actual Trinity author, extensively quoted in someone else’s prior post above, put the matter into the most clear, lucid, and understandable terms possible.

    And yet still, Bennett persists in regenerating his unsupportable personal delusion.

    I would get that looked at Rob*. Pronto. Before close of business today if possible.

    *(not a death threat)

  73. Rob says

    In fact, his careeer appears to be positively thriving.

    And there was a day when he was 100 percent happy to thank the people in the Retire Early and Indexing communities for all the help we gave him, Drip Guy.

    He deserves the success. He is the most important researcher in the field today. But his success was built on the backs of thousands of people who have worked up the courage to “cross” the Goons by posting honestly. Wade owes a debt to those people and he will feel better about himself when he is able to acknowledge it publicly once again.

    Rob

  74. Rob says

    it isn’t anywhere near as bad at that 1.8% number I was coming up with before for 2010 retirees.

    The Retirement Risk Evaluator did not put the number at anything close to 1.8 percent for 2010 retirees. So I agree that that is off.

    Still, I think Wade did a good thing by putting out the earlier study and then discussing it and learning about its strong and weak points. That’s how knowledge advances.

    Rob

  75. Rob says

    In the end, I think this latter approach may be more suitable for thinking about safe withdrawal rates.”

    Note the phrase “I think.”

    We need to be looking at all sorts of things, Drip Guy. That’s how we learn together.

    We need to get the Old School studies corrected, open the entire internet to honest posting on ALL investing topics, and then just learn and learn and learn and grow and grow and grow.

    Is anyone even able to imagine any possible downside?

    Rob

  76. Rob says

    So, Rob, there is no evil cabal trying to stop people from posting whatever they like about SWRs

    There are the Lindaurheads and the Greaney Goons, Drip Guy.

    There is Drip Guy!

    You exist, my long-time abusive posting friend!

    I’m sure of it!

    Rob

  77. Rob says

    What there is, though, is a threshold on what individual blog owners will put up with in terms of abuse and trolling from a known crank before banning him, and him alone because of his purposely disruptive and highly unstable brand of attention-seeking.

    That makes a lot of sense, Drip Guy.

    If I promise never again to post honestly on safe withdrawal rates or any other important investment-related topic, do you think I can be forgiven?

    Rob

  78. Rob says

    If you have evidence, PRESENT IT.

    The entire site is my evidence, Drip Guy.

    I put up the SWR post on the morning of May 13, 2002. Every investing article and podcast and column and calculator and blog post followed from that.

    Get Rich Quick is LosersVille. It wipes out your portfolio and rots out your soul.

    This is my sincere take based on all that I have seen over the first ten years of our discussions.

    Rob

  79. Rob says

    As I understand it, all of those dialogs went tremendously well, and with mutual respect and admiration. Unlike his rough treatment (still!) by one loner crank.

    I’ll begin reporting on my e-mail correspondence with Wade next Friday, Drip Guy. You can then read his own words about what he learned or didn’t learn from his interactions wit this One Loner Crank and what he really thinks about you and Lindauer and those who post in “defense” of you and Lindauer.

    Rob

  80. what says

    “The studies need to be corrected, however. It shows how deep the corruption is in this field that the errors in the study have been public knowledge for ten years now and they still have not been corrected.

    Keeping the cover-up going helps precisely no one, Drip Guy. I mean, come on.

    So, there is deep corruption and cover-ups, but no widespread conspiracy. Only a small conspiracy.

    Interesting.

  81. Rob says

    The economy is slowly but surely recovering Rob.

    Not if stocks continue to perform in the future anything at all as they always have in the past, Drip Guy.

    The promotion of Buy-and-Hold “strategies” has caused four economic crises so far in U.S. history. The first three caused such devastating losses that we did not see the economy turn around in a permanent way until stock prices dropped to one-half of fair-value price levels. That’s a 65 percent price drop from where we stand today.

    There are people who say that it is recovering. But there were people who said that it was a good idea to invest heavily in stocks in January 2000. People say all sorts of things.

    Actions speak louder than words.

    Has the Ban on Honest Posting been lifted at every board and blog on the internet?

    When you see the ban lifted, that will be a solid sign that people’s hearts are melting and that we are working up the courage to begin a rebuilding process.

    We have made lots of progress in the past three years. But we ain’t cyet close to being where we need to be to turn this around, in my assessment.

    Wish us luck! And courage for the important work ahead of us!

    Rob

  82. Rob says

    Uh, Rob, the word ‘error’ does not appear in that article. Just like it also does not appear in your very own post to Motley Fool of 13 May 2002 or whenever!

    We all have a cowardly side, Drip Guy. I was a coward not to put the post up prior to May 13, 2002, and I was a coward not to include the word “error” in it when I did put it up.

    Still, I did a very good and important thing to put up the article, however cowardly I was in the way I phrased things.

    The guy who wrote this article is not God. He is flawed like all the other humans.

    Still, it’s hard for me to imagine that he is not doing good by throwing more doubt on the Get Rich Quick studies.

    Tiny steps for tiny feet, Drip Guy. I’d rather see small steps forward than large steps backward. Can we be thankful for what we have instead of moaning about what remains to be accomplished?

    Rob

  83. Rob says

    I think the position on how to use and interpret their work, from the actual Trinity author, extensively quoted in someone else’s prior post above, put the matter into the most clear, lucid, and understandable terms possible.

    I don’t see anything in that language that rules out the possibility of correcting errors in the study when they are discovered.

    I’m fine with the language. But I very much believe that the errors should be corrected. It is by acknowledging our mistakes that we learn and grow and advance.

    Rob

  84. what says

    “But his success was built on the backs of thousands of people who have worked up the courage to “cross” the Goons by posting honestly. Wade owes a debt to those people and he will feel better about himself when he is able to acknowledge it publicly once again.”

    This is an amazingly twisted perception, bravo Rob.

  85. Rob says

    So, there is deep corruption and cover-ups, but no widespread conspiracy. Only a small conspiracy.

    Yes, that sounds like a good summary to me, What.

    There are huge amounts of money to be made in this field. So the temptation to engage in trickery is greater than in most other fields.

    That said, there are lots of good and smart people in this field who value their reputation for integrity. So that’s a protection from extensive corruption developing.

    Now –

    A mistake was made in the early 1970s, when Buy-and-Hold was developed. No corruption there. Shiller had not yet published his research.

    Then –

    Shiller publishes his research, revealing the mistake.

    What to do, what to do?

    That’s when people should have begin backing away from Buy-and-Hold. Not everyone understood all the implications of Shiller’s research on the first day. So this was still not corruption. But everyone understood enough to know that SERIOUS QUESTIONS HAD BEEN RAISED BY SERIOUS PEOPLE AS TO WHETHER BUY-AND-HOLD CAN WORK.

    So there should have been a backing away from dogmatic claims. Instead, the Buy-and-Holders took it in the opposite direction. They became insecure and defensive and took a MORE dogmatic position to block the questioning that they came to fear.

    That’s still not corruption. That’s cognitive dissonance. It’s not expertise in any real sense. But it’s not corruption.

    Then the internet came along.

    Now you have people like me pointing out how Shiller’s research discredited Buy-and-Hold in a fundamental way. We see thousands of community members showing excitement about these ideas. What to do, what to do?

    This is where we see corruption. Death threats are corruption. Defamation is corruption. Board bannings are corruption.

    So, yes, we have crossed that line.

    The Goons are corrupt through and through.

    But most in this field are not. Most are suffering from cognitive dissonance. They love the money brought in by Buy-and-Hold and they don’t want to see the gravy train come to an end. But, no, they have not engaged in corrupt acts.

    The Goons have. And those who have encouraged the Goons or tolerated the Goons have. Death threats have no place.

    Do you know who agrees with me re that one, Drip Guy?

    Mike Piper.

    He’s one of the most confirmed advocates of Buy-and-Hold alive on Planet Earth today. But talk to him privately and he will tell you that he sees no place for death threats or defamation or board bannings. He hates what the L-Heads and the G-Goons have brought to the table.

    The field is INTELLECTUALLY corrupt. There are lots of financial planners who put making money over serving their clients and rationalize continuing to pump out the Buy-and-Hold garbage for that reason. But those who have plotted behind the scenes to destroy people’s reputations are a small group of out-and-out internet Goons.

    It is of course a form of corruption for people like Bogle and Bernstein and Swedroe and all these others to ASSOCIATE themselves with the corruption of the Goons. I don’t see a conspiracy there, however. They are scared to death. They have painted themselves into a corner. They don’t know where to turn.

    I am telling them to DISASSOCIATE from the Goons. I am telling them to come clean. The Goons are losers. No one of any intelligence or integrity should be associating with people like you, Drip Guy. I mean, come on.

    Rob

  86. Rob says

    This is an amazingly twisted perception, bravo Rob.

    I think it would be fair to say that I know the man a whole big bunch better than you do, What.

    And care about him and his work 500 times more than you do.

    I have directed my efforts to bringing him to greater and greater successes. You have directed your efforts to dragging him down into the mud with you and the other Goons.

    Wade knows somewhere in his heart who his true friends are. The problem with victories over good people obtained through the use of intimidation tactics is that they are always temporary victories.

    Rob

  87. Evidence Based Investing says

    No one of any intelligence or integrity should be associating with people like you, Drip Guy. I mean, come on.

    I think it is a good step that you have admitted that you have no intelligence or integrity.

  88. Drip Guy says

    Anatomy of a troll:

    1) ROB: “I am 100 percent sure that the Greaney Goons threatened to get him fired from his job by sending defamatory comments to his employers.”

    2) DripGuy: “You are 100% wrong. If you have evidence, PRESENT IT.”

    3) ROB: “The entire site is my evidence, Drip Guy. I put up the SWR post on the morning of May 13, 2002. (etc etc etc)…”

    Ta-DA!

    Thanks for the lesson in trolling 101, Rob. I guess the question would be….. “why”?

  89. Rob says

    I think it is a good step that you have admitted that you have no intelligence or integrity.

    There is no one who has spoken out in opposition to the Campaign of Terror in stronger language than I have, Evidence.

    I publicly called for Greaney’s removal from the Motley Fool board on November 23, 2002.

    There are Post Archives.

    Rob

  90. Drip Guy says

    Rob ‘threatened’: “I’ll begin reporting on my e-mail correspondence with Wade next Friday, Drip Guy. You can then read his own words about what he learned or didn’t learn from his interactions wit this One Loner Crank and what he really thinks about you and Lindauer and those who post in “defense” of you and Lindauer.”

    Knock yourself out, Rob. Although, if you were really Wade’s friend, I’d think you would just stop constantly trying to denigrate him and drag his name through the mud along with your own.

    Fortunately, the quality of those you rate as ‘goons’ and sellouts speaks for itself, as does the character of the one lone troll who thinks anyone who does not instantly agree with him is an arch-enemy.

    If experience is a judge, then your upcoming bloviations should be entertaining.

    So, as long as you provide his complete, unabridged, in-context words, I am sure Wade will acquit himself through those words as a sane, rational, and reasonable person.

    In other words, you know — the Anti-Rob!

  91. Drip Guy says

    Rob: “No one of any intelligence or integrity should be associating with people like you, Drip Guy. I mean, come on.”

    And yet, here you are.

    ;-)

  92. Rob says

    Rob ‘threatened’:

    Buy-and-Holders view it as a “threat” for someone to announce that he is going to report on this researcher’s sincere beliefs.

    But there is no corruption in this field today!

    Rob

  93. Rob says

    you would just stop constantly trying to denigrate him and drag his name through the mud

    One of the things you will learn when you read the e-mails is that I told Wade to disassociate himself from you Goons in our first series of e-mail exchanges.

    Rob

  94. Rob says

    So, as long as you provide his complete, unabridged, in-context words, I am sure Wade will acquit himself through those words as a sane, rational, and reasonable person. In other words, you know — the Anti-Rob!

    That makes a lot of sense, Drip Guy.

    The researcher who had done the most to advance the cause of Valuation-Informed Indexing is against the guy who has been the primary developer and advocate of the concept.

    Rob

  95. Rob says

    And yet, here you are.

    I’m here because of the influence you Goons have had on lots of good and smart people.

    I have done everything I could to have you banned from every board and blog on the internet. I have announced plans to bring lawsuits against you.

    But you knew that, didn’t you?

    Rob

  96. Drip Guy says

    Rob, your last three replies are even more nonsensical than usual. Please take the time to THINK, then compose, then REVIEW before you post here. We don’t need the business that bad on this board that I am working so hard to create my community at.

    If you find can’t follow those simple rules, then don’t let the door hit ya where the Good Lord split ya.

    Thank you in advance.

    Drip Guy.

  97. Drip Guy says

    Rob: “Board bannings are corruption.”

    Rob: “I have done everything I could to have you banned from every board and blog on the internet.”

    So much crazeeee……

  98. Rob says

    We don’t need the business that bad on this board that I am working so hard to create my community at.

    I started a thread at Motley Fool asking my fellow community members whether Greaney should have veto power over what could be discussed there because he was the one who requested Motley Fool to open the board.

    The consensus was that all community members should say what they believed regardless of whether Greaney signed off on those views or not.

    I agree with that consensus view. Greaney had a right to express his views, I had a right to express mine, and every other community member had a right to express his or hers.

    That’s how it works, Drip Guy. Slavery was outlawed in the United States a long, long time ago.

    Rob

  99. Rob says

    So much crazeeee……

    There’s nothing crazy about the rules that govern posting at our boards and blogs, Drip Guy.

    Those rules reflect thousands of years of knowledge of how people need to interact with each other to remain civilized.

    We see in this matter what happens when those rules are thrown overboard. People have been tempted to behave in the manner in which Lindauer and Greaney have behaved going back to the beginning of time. It is those rules of civility that prevented them from doing so.

    Are Lindauer and Greaney better off because we as a community failed to follow the rules?

    The rules benefit all of us. We all agreed to follow them. The rules matter. The rules are what permit us to maintain our humanity while interacting with a large number of people holding a large number of different viewpoints.

    Community Rules!

    Rob

  100. Evidence Based Investing says

    “There is no one who has spoken out in opposition to the Campaign of Terrorcivilized discussion in strongercrazier language than I have, Evidence.”

    There, fixed that for you.

  101. Rob says

    I’ll continue to post honestly on SWRs and other important investment-related topics in any event, Evidence.

    I wish you well.

    Rob

  102. Drip Guy says

    Rob: “Board bannings are corruption.”

    Rob: “I have done everything I could to have you banned from every board and blog on the internet.”

  103. Evidence Based Investing says

    The rules are what permit us to maintain our humanity while interacting with a large number of people holding a large number of different viewpoints.

    Of course you don’t find “a large number of people holding a large number of different viewpoints” at boards where you are permitted to post. However you do find “a large number of people holding a large number of different viewpoints” at boards where you have been banned.

    There is a correlation.

  104. Rob says

    Rob: “Board bannings are corruption.”

    Rob: “I have done everything I could to have you banned from every board and blog on the internet.”

    I stand by both statements, Drip Guy.

    Rob

  105. Rob says

    Of course you don’t find “a large number of people holding a large number of different viewpoints” at boards where you are permitted to post. However you do find “a large number of people holding a large number of different viewpoints” at boards where you have been banned.

    How many people post regularly on the need for correction of the Old School SWR studies at the Bogleheads Forum, Evidence?

    Rob

  106. what says

    The tail chasing of a lunatic. I think Rob has got at least another decade of this in him!

    Makes me very curious to know what your personal financial situation is.

  107. what says

    I’ll send them an email telling them that some Internet nut thinks their study has ‘analytical’ errors and direct them to this website. Let’s see how seriously they take our dear friend’s materials.

  108. Rob says

    I think Rob has got at least another decade of this in him!

    I’m not so sure about that, What!

    Rob

  109. Rob says

    Makes me very curious to know what your personal financial situation is.

    It will be looking a whole big bunch better on the day I receive that $500 million settlement check from our mutual friends in The Stock-Selling Industry, What.

    Holy moly!

    Rob

  110. Rob says

    I’ll send them an email telling them that some Internet nut thinks their study has ‘analytical’ errors and direct them to this website. Let’s see how seriously they take our dear friend’s materials.

    I would certainly be grateful to hear an honest report on their response, What.

    Rob

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