I would be embarrassed.
If someone on “my side” put forward a death threat, I would cringe. If someone on “my side” engaged in defamation, I would disassociate myself from the comments. If someone on “my side” sought unjustified board bannings, I would object if the site administrator went along. If someone on “my side” threatened to get an academic researcher fired from his job, I would rush to put up comments saying that I want to know what that academic researcher really believes, that silencing the researchers makes it impossible for any of us to trust what any of the researchers say from that point forward.
It’s a good idea to learn how to reduce your message to a few words, to figure out how you would make your pitch if you were trying to convince someone during the 30 seconds you would share in an elevator. So I am going to keep this one short.
Wade Pfau published research showing that Valuation-Informed Indexing has provided far greater returns than Buy-and-Hold at greatly reduced risk for the entire 140 years now in the historical record. The research of this Ph.D. from Princeton is the most important research ever published in this field. We all should be thanking him. We all should be exploring his ideas. We all should be making the shift to Valuation-Informed Indexing and encouraging our friends and neighbors and-co-workers to do the same.
John Bogle isn’t doing that. Bill Bernstein isn’t doing that. Scott Burns isn’t doing that. Jonathan Clements isn’t doing that. Larry Swedroe isn’t doing that.
They don’t believe.
It’s that simple.
If they believed, they would react differently to the news of the silencing of a great researcher. There are two legitimate responses here. One is to make the switch from Buy-and-Hold to Valuation-Informed Indexing. One is to make the case for why Buy-and-Hold remains a legitimate strategy despite the publication of the powerful new research findings.
Threatening to get the researcher fired from his job is not a legitimate response. Creating a “hostile atmosphere” (Wade’s term) for the researcher is not a legitimate response. Ignoring the research is not a legitimate response. Ignoring the story of the silencing of the researcher is not a legitimate response.
The Buy-and-Holders do not have confidence in their strategy. That’s 11 words. That’s the story here.
They follow it. There is a mountain of evidence showing that they follow it. They are not lying about that part.
But they don’t believe in it. Not deep in their hearts.
The only question that remains is when they will work up the courage to say that publicly and thereby let the effort to learn what does work to proceed.
I hope that happens soon. I have a funny hunch that deep in their hearts every last one of the Buy-and-Holders hopes the same thing. I promise to continue doing my part to bring them to a point where they feel able to say The Three Magic words and thereby to see their long-deferred dream of promoting a smart, simple, safe and truly research-backed strategy for millions of middle-class investors come true.
Hate is not a sound long-term investing strategy. Love is the answer. I know that much for sure.