Yesterday’s blog entry reported on an e-mail that I received from academic researcher Wade Blog on January 5, 2011, in which he expressed the view that an appropriate title for a thread at the Bogleheads board would be “Yes, Virginia, Valuation-Informed Indexing Works!” My response is set forth below.
I obviously would love to see you use that title, Wade. And I think that would do a lot to move things in a positive direction.
As I am sure you understand, there are some delicate matters in play here. I am of course grateful for anything you are able to do to open things up and I will of course participate in a constructive way to the extent that it ever becomes possible to do so.
People are defensive and embarrassed (and even ashamed and even fearful of facing legal liabilities). I think that’s the true reason why there were so few views on your third thread. What usually happens in that a few of the regulars posts to a thread and then the far larger number of non-regulars feels comfortable joining in. In the case of that third thread, the regulars did not want this message being heard (because of the board’s history re this message). So they let the thread die. There was a day when every SWR thread got HUNDREDS of posts in that community.
It has never been my intention to make anyone feel bad. That community has huge potential. I have learned a great deal from lots of people there and I have lots of friends there who have said many kind thing about me and my work. The problem is that some have taken dogmatic positions and feel that they cannot back down no matter what. I believe that everyone should be expressing his or her sincere views, but “everyone” obviously includes me and the others who believe that valuations affect SWRs.
I believe that it will all get worked out in the end. The sooner that happens, the better it will be for every single person involved. But there are limits to what I can do to make good things happen. I need to wait for events to turn in a positive direction. When that happens, I will be doing all that I can to bring things to a better place for every single person involved.