Ed Rager, Mel Lindauer and Taylor Larimore to Rob Bennett: “You’ve Constantly Misquoted, Distorted, and Disrespected Jack Bogle and Bill Bernstein. Your latest Post “Jack Bogle’s Big Mistake” Was, in Our Opinion, the Final Straw. Jack and Bill Both Join Us at Our Private Events Because They Enjoy Meeting with Friendly, Like-Minded Diehards in a Relaxed and Secure Atmosphere….You Will Not Be Allowed to Attend.”

While I was looking through my old e-mails to recover the ones that I sent to the Morningstar site administrators and reported on in the last few blog entries, I came across the e-mails that I sent to sign up to attend the Vanguard Diehards Conference with John Bogle in 2007. I had intended to ask Bogle questions about the cover-up of the errors in the Old School safe-withdrawal-rate studies, which I had reported on at a Motley Fool discussion board on May 13, 2002, and which have not been publicly acknowledged by the “experts” in the investing advice field until recent months. I thought that these e-mails too were worth reporting on. I did not receive a response to the question I posed in the last e-mail.

Set forth below are the texts of three e-mails: (1) the e-mail that I sent to Ed Rager on February 17, 2007; (2) the response that I received from Ed on February 18, 2007; and (3) the reply that I sent on Feburary 19, 2007.


This is Rob Bennett (“hocus” on the boards). I’d like to make my reservation to attend Diehards VI.

I live in the area. So I do not need a hotel reservation.

My personal information is:


Please let me know what I need to do to transfer the registration fee of

Thanks for all the work you did putting this together.


Hi Rob:
Our Diehards get-togethers are private social meetings of friends and like-minded souls who love, admire, and respect Jack Bogle and his teachings.  You’ve constantly misquoted, distorted, and disrespected Jack Bogle and Bill Bernstein.  Your latest post “Jack Bogle’s Big Mistake” was, in our opinion, the final straw.  Jack and Bill both join us at our private events because they enjoy meeting with friendly, like-minded Diehards in a relaxed and secure atmosphere.  We want them to continue to enjoy and attend our private social events.  Therefore, we regret to inform you that you will not be allowed to attend.
Ed, Taylor and Mel
Ed, Taylor and Mel:Boo, baby!These statements are of course absurd.Have you notified Jack Bogle of what you have done?

If you have notified him, would you please let me know his reaction?



  1. what says

    Why would they bother telling Jack Bogle about you?

    In any case, it goes back to the fact that you are recognized as a troll, trouble maker, and malcontent. Your reputation is pretty much written in stone – you should find something else to do with your time.

  2. Rob says

    Anyone recommending Buy-and-Hold strategies in the Year 2012 is practicing financial fraud.

    Anyone practicing financial fraud should stop by the close of business today.

    My sincere take, What.

    I wish you all good things.


  3. Diversified Investor says

    As you should stop your ongoing character assassination of Wade Pfau.

  4. Rob says

    Oh, I am just getting warmed up, Diversified.

    I intend to get our dear mutual friend Wade Pfau nominated for a Nobel Prize for his work showing that Valuation-Informed Indexing has been far superior to Buy-and-Hold for the entire 140 years now in the historical record. That’s when the character assassination really gets going!


  5. Diversified Investor says

    It would be nice if that were your true intentions. Instead you are acting like a spurned lover hell-bent on making your ex miserable.

  6. Rob says

    I think Wade’s research on Valuation-Informed Indexing is the most important research published in this field in 30 years, Diverisfied.

    I want Wade to feel free to publish honest research.

    I want EVERY academic researcher to feel free to publish honest research.

    That’s how we get Buy-and-Hold buried 30 feet in the ground, where it can do no more harm to humans and other living things.

    That’s how we bring this economic crisis to an end and move on to much better things.

    I wish you well.


  7. What says

    So what is your plan to get wade that prize? Hopefully it is more sane than your 500 million dollar plan.

  8. Rob says

    I’ll tell you a little secret, What.

    You know all them there “experts” who pretend to think that Buy-and-Hold can work?

    They know better.

    And they didn’t get into this field to con people. They are like humans everywhere. Of course they want to make a buck. They have families to feed. But they also very much want to help their clients and their readers. They want to feel good about themselves. They want to make a positive contribution.

    Their problem today is that, like Wade, they fear that if they spill the beans, the Buy-and-Hold Machine will destroy them.

    What if we turned the Buy-and-Hold Machine off?

    Does anyone lose out?

    Not anybody that I can identify.

    We all become better investors. The economic crisis comes to an end. We enter the greatest period of economic growth yet seen in U.S. history. The Goons get to direct their energies to more productive uses than trying to intimidate the seemingly unintimitable Rob Bennett.

    What about The Stock-Selling Industry? They make out like bandits too! No one buys stocks during a Depression. Restore the economy and The Stock-Selling Industry cashes in (in a good way).

    Bogle needs to say three words (“I” and “Was” and “Wrong”). He needs to tell the New York Times in advance so that they can send a reporter to write the thing up on the front page.

    What are we waiting for? Time’s a wasting!


  9. Rob says

    Oh, so Wade is dishonest?

    He put up a post in defense of John Greaney at his blog, Diversified.

    But you knew that, didn’t you?


  10. Rob says

    Wade continues to publish freely and openly on safe withdrawal rates

    Before the Greaney Goons threatned to send defamatory e-mails to his employer to get him fired from his job, Wade sent an e-mail to the authors of one of the discredited SWR studies asking for a correction of it.

    Wade now says that I am “unethical” for demanding corrections in retirement studies that get the numbers wildly wrong.

    If those retirements fail, as the historical data shows they almost certainly will, who do you think should be liable for the losses — the investor who put his confidence in this fellow who claims to be an investing “expert” but who lacks the courage to stand up to the most brutally abusive individual in the history of the internet or the fellow who says now that corrections just aren’t proper in investment studies because the Buy-and-Hold Machine will destroy any academic researcher who publicly expresses his honest belief that they are needed?

    Wade is engaging in financial fraud, DIverisfied. I will be encouraging all of the millions of middle-class people who suffer failed retirement because of the ten years of fraud in which these studies have remained uncorrected to bring lawsuits for damages against Wade and against all the other “experts” who failed to speak out against Lindauer and Greaney and their Campaign of Terror against our board and blog communities.

    When the “experts” tolerate and even encourage obvious acts of financial fraud, someone has to pay the bill, Diversified. In no other field would even one expert tolerate the behavior of the Lindauerheads and the Greaney Goons for even one day.

    When Wade and the others are stuck with the bill for their wildly irresponsible behavior, I think it would be fair to say that all of the experts in this field will be offering far more responsible investing advice than the garbage we are getting out of them today.

    There are responsibilities that go with setting yourself up as an investing expert, Diversified. It’s not all a big joke. A failed retirement is a serious life setback.

    That’s my sincere take re this horrible national tragedy, in any event.

    Please take good care.


  11. Diversified Investor says


    Your own emails with Wade showed that the “Goons” didn’t threaten Wade’s employment. You need to move on to some new delusions.

    It’s been interesting to watch your delusions morph over time:

    1) Errors in SWR studies
    2) Buy and Hold a) caused the economic collapse, b) caused WWII c) is a get-rich-quick scheme;
    3) There has been a massive cover-up of errors in retirement studies
    4) There have been millions of busted retirements

    Can’t you see that your constant misrepresentations and hyperbole make it impossible for you to make any positive contributions to an area that you seem to care a great deal about?

  12. Rob says

    Your own emails with Wade showed that the “Goons” didn’t threaten Wade’s employment.

    Good point, Diversified.


  13. Rob says

    Can’t you see that your constant misrepresentations and hyperbole make it impossible for you to make any positive contributions to an area that you seem to care a great deal about?

    There have been moments when I have thought that I might break down into tears, Diversified.


  14. Diogenes says

    How ironic.

    Misquoting and disrespecting Jack Bogle is one of the primary activities of Taylor Larimore and Mel Lindauer who seem to spend every waking moment censoring, distorting, and twisting the quotes and writings of Jack Bogle to suit their own purposes.

    I don’t necessarily agree with anything Rob Bennett says, but the Bogleheads are a total fraud.

  15. Rob says

    I certainly don’t agree that the Bogleheads are a “total fraud,” Diogenes.

    My view is that Bogle gets about 10 important things 100 percent right and that the Bogleheads get about 10 important things 100 percent right and that both Bogle and the Bogleheads get one very, very important thing (valuations) 100 percent wrong.

    I certainly don’t think that Mel or Taylor have any ill will toward Bogle. Frankly, I think it i crazy of you to suggest that. They both love the guy. Nothing could be more clear.

    However, I do think it is fair to say that both Mel and Taylor shame Bogle with their behavior. We are all known by the company we keep. And Mel’s behavior and Taylors behavior reflects on Bogle given that he does not object when he sees behavior that is obviously not appropriate.

    So we disagree for the most part. But not entirely.

    I wish you well.


  16. Diogenes says

    Also, in defense of Rob’s “morphing” opinions, it is hard to figure out what’s going on when dealing with such inherently vindictive and evil people like Mel Lindauer and Taylor Larimore.

    Once the Bogleheads® make a scapegoat out of someone they use such underhanded tactics (slander, censorship, legal threats, physical threats, stalking day and night, etc) that it’s easy to assume that this is always how they behave behind closed doors, but apparently not
    …apparently the Bogleheads® try to brown nose people they think might aid in their scam with as much fervor as they try to destroy those who seek to expose them.

    Bogleheads.org (home of the Bogleheads®) is a fraud and a scam being perpetrated by the likes of Alex Frakt, Mel Lindauer, Taylor Larimore, Larry Swedroe, among others.

  17. Rob says

    I have the feeling that you got up on the wrong side of the bed this morning, Diogenes.

    Take a pill, man.


  18. Diogenes says


    I’m not saying that Taylor Larimore or Mel Lindauer have any ill will towards Jack Bogle…I’m saying that Taylor Larimore and Mel Lindauer are frauds who have hijacked the good reputation of Jack Bogle for the benefit of their book business and other profitable ventures of their associates (such as to pump Larry Swedroe’s advisory business, http://www.buckinghamassetmanagement.com/). Bogle’s like an innocent cow that the Bogleheads® are milking and exploiting for all it’s worth.

    For example, last time I posted at bogleheads.org I gave the following quote from Jack Bogle,
    “My advice about indexing runs counter to those who are trying to build an investment advisory business. When their clients realize that total market indexing is best in the long run, it won’t be long before they start asking, What do I need you for?”
    …and it was promptly deleted/censored by Taylor Larimore for that excuse that he (Taylor Larimore) hadn’t read or heard Bogle say that before.

    Yeah right! First of all, is Taylor Larimore so presumptuous to think that he’s the sole tester of all facts and that only he (and not the reader) can determine which facts are true and which aren’t? Second of all, a quick google search is all it takes to find the source of this quote.

    No, in fact, the reason Taylor Larimore suppressed and censored this particular advice I passed on from John Bogle is because Taylor Larimore is trying to use John Bogle’s other advice to lull potential Bogleheads® victims asleep…but in order to do that only those pieces of Bogle’s wisdom which are amenable to misquoting and distortion can be discussed, the rest must be suppressed.

    It’s easy to see this perusing the bogleheads.org where you’ll find lots of statements from ignorant users about how this or that research is “the only thing that is known/been discovered”…no it’s not, this or that research is the only thing that the fraudulent censors Taylor Larimore, Mel Lindauer, and Alex Frakt allow those they’ve fooled into trusting them to see. Bogleheads.org is a sham!

  19. Rob says

    Thank you for giving an example that adds some specificity to your expressions of concern, Diogenes.

    I strongly agree with the part about Taylor being presumptuous to think he is the sole tester of all facts. That hits it on the head, in my assessment.

    I personally don’t think money is the motivator. It seems to me there are easier and quicker ways to make money.

    I agree completely on the research point.

    I agree that Bogleheads is a sham as it is operated today. However, I also think that there are hundreds of smart and good and generous people posting there. I think the forum has huge potential to be a force for good.

    Are you saying that Bogle doesn’t know that this sort of thing is going on? That seems a little far-fetched to me. I can believe that he doesn’t know all the particulars. But he must possess at least a general sense of the problems poisoning a board that carries his name. No?


  20. Diogenes says


    Honestly, I think there’s a lot of dishonorable people with their hands in the pie over at http://www.bogleheads.org :
    1. Some, I suspect, are too stupid to figure it out for themselves and are just imitating the others…they’re brainwashed by a group/cult mentality that cares more about the existing precedent/examples within the group than whether or not that precedent makes any sense. Taylor Larimore might fall into this category and he might have deleted my quote from Bogle because the Bogleheads® precedent is to accuse their scapegoats of “misquoting, distorting, and disrespecting Jack Bogle” and so he automatically assumes that anyone disagreeing with him couldn’t possibly be agreeing with Jack Bogle.
    2. Some, I suspect, are just typical internet control freaks whose sense of power and control they get from being in charge is worth more than all the money in the world. They will lie, cheat, and steal to get what they want just as someone might do to get money, except power is what they’re after (whatever pathetic crumbs there are on the internet) and it is their lying and cheating that largely set the precedents and beliefs of the stupid cult followers mentioned above. Mel Lindauer might fall into this category.
    3. Some, I suspect, are in it for the money. The #1 stupid cult followers and #2 control freaks are sitting ducks for them because they have the incentives and the means to brown nose the control freaks and change the precedents of the cult. Larry Swedroe might fall into this category and notice how much the Bogleheads® philosophy has changed under his influence (due to his tireless efforts “educating” people to buy the products of him and his associates such as Eugene Fama and his careful development of rapport with the control freaks to exclude other investment managers). Note the very sophisticated double speak about risk vs alpha vs valuation that he has used to pull a bait and switch and popularize his “index” funds in lieu of Bogle’s.

    Also there’s probably a degree to which the multiple traits are exhibited by the same dishonorable leader (for example, even if Mel Lindauer is a control freak he also has the financial incentive of being a Bogleheads® author so money might also have something to do with his dishonorable behavior).

    And no I don’t think Bogle really knows what’s going on…he’s got too many other things, books he’s writing, etc to be concerning himself with the little pikers over at http://www.bogleheads.org But, given how much they kiss his ass, it is naturally hard for him not to show a little appreciation even if he doesn’t care enough to look at the details of how they’re manipulating and distorting his words and message.

    Bogle is a sensible investor that clearly advises keeping valuations in the back of your mind (even if not explicitly) for those who understand enough about investing to do so, but the Bogleheads® just want people to do what they say…used to be investing in index funds, but now investing in quant funds recommended by guys like Larry Swedroe (though he calls them “index” funds John Bogle wouldn’t call them that and, in fact, the quant strategies are much more valuation based with close relationship to Rob Arnott’s RAFI strategy than the Bogleheads® will admit because to admit that means Swedroe loses money, Lindauer loses control, and Larimore loses the comfort of his cult).

  21. Diogenes says

    …so do I deny that there are “smart and good and generous people posting” at bogleheads.org?

    No I don’t deny it, but I think that by and large the smart ones are manipulating the good and generous ones and I’ll have nothing to do with such immorality.

    Given the history and means of censorship practiced by the Bogleheads® leaders it seems unlikely that any seemingly smart and good advice given at bogleheads.org isn’t going to have some sort of hidden catch. Mel Lindauer and the others have proven that they would never allow anything to be posted that makes them look bad and they have banned hundreds if not thousands of users over the years to enforce it…so anything/anyone that manages to slip through the cracks is suspect.

    Plus it seems that a lot of the discussion is allowed only as a way to provide straw men for scammers like Larry Swedroe. For example, the Bogleheads® repeatedly boast how they challenge anyone to demonstrate consistent market beating performance and they allow people to post about this so long as it remains foggy, but as soon as someone posts something that is truly convincing they are automatically banned (so that the Bogleheads® can keep boasting that “no one” has met their challenge). I personally know some people who have had this happen (hedge fund guys who I know for a fact beat the pants off the market because I also personally invest some money with them).

  22. Diogenes says

    Taylor Larimore might seem like a nice guy, but I have no doubt that he would torture someone by pulling their toenails out if he saw Mel Lindauer do it first and if Mel Lindauer or Alex Frakt told him that the person was an “enemy” or “attacker”. I have no doubt that he would commit the most heinous deeds no questions asked.

    This is the face of evil which I’ve learned a lot about in my time at http://www.bogleheads.org : why or how people are compelled to do such things and how they justify it. IMO the Bogleheads® “community”/cult is a real microcosm of all that’s wrong in the world.

  23. Rob says

    Okay, Diogenes.

    I cannot personally testify to all you say here. But your discussion of the parts re which I have some personal experience generally fits what I have seen with my own eyes. So my guess is that you are not too terribly far off the mark with most of what you say.

    The only part re which I would register a small bit of dissent is your closing line: “The Bogleheads community/cult is a real microcosm of all that’s wrong in the world.”

    Perhaps. But it is ALSO a microcosm of much that is right in the world.

    There is good stuff posted at BHeads every day of every week. Its impact is undermined by the bad stuff that is also posted every day of the week. But there is good stuff going on there.

    Also — Why do people buy into all this bad stuff? No one is holding a gun to their heads, are they?

    The core reality is that we are gaining knowledge all the time re what really works in stock investing. The BHeads are stuck in a time warp. They preach stuff that was thought to work in the 1960s and 1970s. But that stuff sells. That’s why they get away with preaching it. If more people worked up the courage to call the “leaders” out on their b.s., they couldn’t get away with it.

    And I do think that my good friend Jack Bogle has to take at least a measure of the blame for this big mess. Jack is one of my heroes. I learned about the errors in the Old School SWR studies by reading Jack’s book. But you’d have a hard time persuading me that Jack doesn’t know that there’s a lot of funny business going on there. Not after he saw the entire board moved to escape me. Not after he was copied on an e-mail from Rob Arnott saying that my ideas on stock investing are “sound.”

    And of course Jack is not alone in this either. There’s a lot of blame to go around.

    The other side of the story is that we are well on our way to correcting the mistakes that caused the economic crisis. The humans are mess-ups. They are also heroes. Both things are so.

    So the Bogleheads of Tomorrow may be a very different entity than the Bogleheads of Today.

    Hang in there, my new friend.


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