I’ve been sending out e-mails containing links to my article on The Wade Pfau Matter. While I was going through old e-mails to get names to whom to send some of the e-mails, I came across the name of a poster named “Retired at 48.” Retired at 48 was a super-popular poster who was banned at the Bogleheads forum and then harassed at the Morningstar forum because he put up posts that caused many people to question Buy-and-Hold dogmatism. I exchanged several e-mails with him some time back about our experiences trying to help our fellow community members learn about stock investing in the face of the brutal attack posts of the Lindaurheads.
I wanted to report on the words of one of Retired at 48’s e-mails to me here. I place great value on the “People Are Talking” section of this site because it tells the story that the Goons don’t want people to know — that there are lots of good and smart people who have grave doubts about Buy-and-Hold and who respect and admire me for having the guts to speak up in the face of the Goon brutality. Retired at 48 put forward some words I want to include in that section of the site because they do a good job of summing up the purpose of the work I do at the various boards and blogs. Here are his words:
Whew. I didn’t realize the extent of the harrassment. I need some more time to fully read and digest what you forwarded.
I take it I was coming while you were departing. Yes, it became more and more apparent that the Bogleheads were not that interested in investment theory…but rather a dogmatic type adherence to a set of investment principals.
But you may not be aware that certain members and moderators are forming a business there, selling (in their words) for $295 portfolio reviews based on a four index fund, buy and hold, forever, model. So a big conflict of interest exists if one provides alternate ways to invest. And the head of that business sure made an aggressive personal attack against me on my posts, especially a post entitled “200-Day Moving Average Market Timing.”
I’m debating with myself on the extent of my involvement on the M* Diehard forum.
BTW I would occasionally get a response post saying I was “the best since hocus challenged us to think.” So I had heard your name often.
I’ll E-Mail you as I digest more of your input. And thanks, for it may influence my future direction on the forums.
Bob…retired at 48, aka R48
It made me feel good to know that there were people telling Retired at 48 that my posts challenged them to think. That’s my goal. I have often noted that I am one of the flawed humans and that thus it is possible that I am wrong about what I say about investing. I argue that, even if that’s so, I should be permitted to offer my thoughts because there is zero chance that the expression of those thoughts can do any harm. If I am right, permitting me to express my thoughts is a huge plus for everyone. If I am wrong, I will obviously be exposed by the Buy-and-Holders and the experience of having the Buy-and-Hold ideas publicly challenged and then reaffirmed will help more people to see the merit in those ideas. So permitting honest posting is a win/win/win.
I’ll add Bob’s words to the “People Are Talking” section of the site with the posting of this blog entry. I thank him for his kindness in letting me know what several of his fellow community members said of my work.
One final thought along these lines is worth noting. Academic Researcher Wade Pfau learned about Valuation-Informed Indexing by reading my posts at the Bogleheads Forum (it was called “Vanguard Diehards” in those days). If Wade’s research someone wins a Nobel Prize in Economics, I hope people will remember that we would not all have that amazing research available to us today if not for the decision of the Morningstar site administrators to refuse Mel Lindauer’s demands for a ban on honest posting for the first 20 months of his Campaign of Terror against that board community. The community was wonderful. It was the Buy-and-Hold dogmatics that brought the ugliness to the forum.