The purpose of this blog entry is to set forward in one place links to the responses that Academic Researcher Wade Pfau has made to my reporting on our 16 months of e-mail correspondence.
1) Wade’s first response came when I told him of my plans to report on our e-mail correspondence. He said of this e-mail at a later date: ““About that first email I sent you in our exchange, please under no circumstances try to summarize or excerpt from it. If you must use it, please include the entire message with nothing left out. I think that is only fair, because you will then have free reign for your rebuttal, and I won’t be around for further rebuttals to that.”
Juicy Excerpt: “I don’t have any hard feelings toward you, but it is hard to have public communications with you after all the attacks you made toward me at your blog following the Bill Bengen incident. You strongly misinterpreted what I wrote at your blog and attacked me so thoroughly, and that makes it hard to see any paths forward in communicating with you publicly.”
2) Wade’s second response came in the form of a post to his blog. In this blog, he praised John Greaney, the leader of the Goons, as the hero of our ten years of discussions on safe withdrawal rates.
Juicy Excerpt: “Rob desperately wants someone besides him to say that the Trinity study needs to be “corrected,” but I’ve explained that this isn’t how research works. Rather, new studies with new methodologies come to replace old studies. This is a case, however, in which old studies were already available to suggest that we shouldn’t project the findings of the Trinity study forward to future retirees.”
3) Wade’s third response came in a comment to one of my blog posts reporting on our e-mail correspondence. I refrained from responding at the time on the thinking that it was more fair to let Wade have the floor to himself for at least that one blog post.
Juicy Excerpt: “You shouldn’t have posted my private emails. That is so unethical. And it really doesn’t help to build you up. Posting my outdated private emails will only give second thoughts to anyone in the future who might have been willing to give you the benefit of the doubt.”
4) Wade’s fourth response came in a comment to another of the blog posts reporting on our e-mail correspondence. In this case, I set forth my responses in comments that followed his comment.
Juicy Excerpt: “If I *did* lack personal integrity, I could have made this all stop just by saying the meaningless sentence you want so desperately to hear: “I think the errors in the traditional safe withdrawal rate studies must be corrected by using Rob’s analytically valid method.” But I don’t believe that.”
5) Arty, a long-time contributor of comments to my blog (and a mighty fine one!), offered a comment that I think can fairly be said to express Wade’s views. I suggest that those looking to understand Wade’s take re all this consider giving Arty’s comment a look. I responded to Arty’s comment at the blog.
Juicy Excerpt: “Speaking only from a human point of view, if Wade requested you not share personal correspondence, I hope you can find a way to honor his request for those things he wishes to remain between the two of you only…. we can discuss his work—as it should be on its own merits— without the private communications.”
I will be advancing my responses to a number of points raised by Wade (and Arty) in blog entries that I will post in coming days.
Addendum: Wade posted a sixth presentation of his take on things in a comment made to a blog entry in which I reported on an article on my work that appeared at the The Big Picture blog. My take on the points raised by Wade’s comment follow as additional comments to that blog post.
Juicy Excerpt: Congrats Rob, It’s your finest hour. I hope you can learn a lesson from this. The blogger completely bypassed ‘the Wade Pfau story’ and wrote solely about the underlying investment ideas. In this regard, I’m glad to see his post. Your 1,000 email campaign probably would have been a lot more effective had you stuck to the issues that the blogger discussed, rather than turning it into a personal vendetta against me. No one likes to see a negative campaign.