Valuation-Informed Indexing #131 — Why My Claims About Buy-and-Hold Sound “Strident”

I’ve posted Entry #131 to my weekly Valuation-Informed Indexing column at the Value Walk site. It’s titled Why My Claims About Buy-and-Hold Sound Strident.

Juicy Excerpt: Experts and researchers and article writers are like everybody else, they want to be liked. Investors want to believe that the phony pumped-up prices we see in bull markets are real because they are counting on those phony pumped-up prices to finance their retirements. So the experts and researchers and article writers learn to keep their mouths shut. They do more than that. To be able to live with themselves, they need to persuade themselves that failing to tell people about the need to engage in long-term timing is not such a bad thing. To be able to persuade themselves of that, they need to close their minds as well as their mouths.

But no one is ever able to really put the thought that price matters out of his or her head. All of the experts and researchers and article writers who are trying to ignore this basic reality face a struggle doing so. So do all the investors listening to the experts and researchers and article writers.

What happens when some fellow comes forward with the numbers?

He hurts people’s feelings. He forces people to hear things they don’t want to hear. He causes people to experience feelings of anger and fear and shame. He delivers a message that comes to be perceived as strident.


  1. banned plop contributor says

    Based solely on your own material, you have horribly misquoted Arnott. Again. As you are often wont to say, “Please fix!” Mr., self-professed ‘Journalist/’

    Your case of self-indued delusional thinking is the worst I think I’ve ever run across.

    You recent claimed “Cut-throat” told you how good and valuable the calculator is that you inherited from a dead pensioner. That’s an outright lie. I know enough of that poster to know he would NEVER endorse such an unvalidated program, whose source code and ACTUAL data set remain cloaked in mystery, even (especially?) to the current admittedly innumerate non-technical care-taker, who even-so, has the ego to claim the product as his own.

    You constantly claim that people are going to be criminally charged for disagreeing with you on the internet. Bizarre.

    You claim your VII ‘system’ not only beats “Buy and Hold”, you further claim ‘Buy and Hold’ could never work, ever, ever, ever,- nyah nyah nyah. Even in light of the overwhelming direct tangible evidence to the contrary. For instance, your personal IRR on investments (not inheritances!) was so meager that given your own admitted WR, and needs of a family of four, you would have been LITERALLY and ACTUALLY bankrupt had you attempted to live out the ‘plan’ you told people you were following way back on Motley Fool. Not only do you still not own up to that simple and unavoidable fact; you continue to double down on the crazy! From your writings, it appears that of a little old lady pensioner leaves her nest egg in one place too long as PE10 gyrates, you would have her sent to prison. Thank God people like you are usually discovered and removed from any position of authority long before they can act on their twisted and self-deluded nefarious plans to lord over the lives of others, at the peril of prison or worse. Given the chance, I cannot imagine a mind more inclined toward evil, despotic, self-aggrandizing totalitarianism than is yours.


    That’s some dark place for an unemployed, innumerate, angry and hapless father of two to find himself at just past midlife.

    Get help, Rob. Seriously.

  2. Rob says

    My sincere take is that you are so emotional re this subject that you are not capable of thinking clearly about it, Banned.

    Set forth below are the words of the e-mail that I received from Cut-Throat. I certainly agree with you that he put forward many, many insanely abusive posts back at the Early Retirement Forum. That said, the words below sound sincere to me. He was afraid to give voice to his sincere beliefs at the Early Retirement Forum because he knew from experience what the Lindauerheads and the Greaney Goons would do to him if he did so. He was wrong to post dishonestly. But you Goons were also wrong to intimidate him and hundreds of others.


    I used to have discussions with you on the ER forum years ago, when you were known as Hocus. i never agreed with your philosophy of timing the market for valuations of stocks, but I do agree with your calculators that show a higher SWR based on Valuations. I am using a Variable Withdrawal based on a constant percentage of portfolio. I take 3%.

    One comment that I would like to make is that your calculators look very useful. However I noticed that your interest rate adjustments may not be low enough in light of todays record low interest rates. It looks like you have them set for TIPS, which only go as low 1%. What is your thinking on this?


  3. Rob says

    I cannot imagine a mind more inclined toward evil, despotic, self-aggrandizing totalitarianism than is yours.

    It’s hard for me to argue with this statement given that the Post Archives show that I discovered the errors in the Old School safe withdrawal rate studies 10 years before any of the Big Shot “experts” in this field.

    I wish you well, Banned.


  4. banned plop contributor says

    Rob, this very comment thread is continuing to prove my exact point! Can you still not see it? Or are you some new age special ‘performance artist’ bringing trolling to heights never before imagined?

    “I certainly agree with you that he put forward many, many insanely abusive posts back at the Early Retirement Forum. ” Ahem. I NEVER SAID THAT. He never said that. And yet, you put the words in my mouth, and your mind ticks off another point of ‘validation’ out of something you created out of pure fantasy!

    Prior to chiding you on ERRORS in your approach (‘interest rates too low’), he does the totally normal and all-too-human mistake of trying to praise, and only then correct: “your calculators look very useful”. He did not say hey WERE useful. He did not say he endorses them. He did not say they were accurate. In fact, this is mere preface to his actual point: THE CRITICISM OF YOUR OVERSIGHT (AKA ERROR) IN THE CALCULATOR. Rob, I daresay Cutthroat could call this the ‘shot heard round the world’ and ‘a red letter day for finance’ and all that sort of hype, with every bit of authority that YOU claim to have discovered some ‘error’ in some study somewhere!

    Your claim of 70 or 114 or whatever the number it is on your ‘about’ page ‘endorsing’ your approach or work or whatever. That position has been debunked time and again — while people might from time to time leaven their more stern or critical remarks with human niceties, THOSE PEOPLE IN FACT, ALMOST UNIVERSALLY DECRY YOU, YOUR APPROACH, AND YOUR IDEAS!

    Ignoring the fact outlined above — that your approach as a matter of fact and theory, was DESTROYED by your own failure, in the attempted practice of it! Had your parents not fortuitously expired, you would be on the streets today, with cup in hand. FACT.

  5. banned plop contributor says

    had your parents not fortuitously expired, you would be on the streets today, with cup in hand. FACT.

    Uh oh.

  6. banned plop contributor says

    PS — You still have not fixed the overt and obvious misquote of Arnott, Mr. Journalist.

  7. banned plop contributor says

    You claimed Cut-throat’s email to you contained an admission that he had been ‘bullied by goons’ — an admission so stark, that you intended to preserve it and later use it as evidence in a criminal matter.

    Rob, I seem to be missing that particular passage.

    So, would you be kind enough to point it out, WITH SPECIFICITY, please?


  8. banned plop contributor says

    So that’s a public admission that you simply CANNOT point out any such reference to bullying by Cut throat (or to death threats or to errors in studies, etc) because these fantasies are all simply figments of a very sick imagination, residing inside a tortured mind, housed within the body of an out of work and rapidly deteriorating paunchy middle-aged troll.

    Got it.

  9. banned plop contributor says

    PS — You still have not fixed the overt and obvious misquote of Arnott, Mr. Journalist.

  10. Rob says

    So that’s a public admission that you simply CANNOT point out any such reference

    It’s a public admission that I wish you all the best that this life has to offer, Banned. That much is certainly fair to say.

    Don’t let the bad guys get you down, man.


  11. sparky says

    Geesh Rob. This is like watching a train wreck. That first example alone is really a doozie (quote:” I certainly agree with you……….”). Come on now Rob, the whole context and conversation is right here in the thread without having do do any research into the truth.

    The rest is equally disturbing.

    Rob- you seem to make so many comments that you just can’t back up with proof. What’s up with that?

  12. banned plop contributor says

    The link you provided is completely unresponsive to the question sparky asked you. Which is sadly consistent with your MO Rob.

    How does it feel to be pegged as an innumerate lying loser and be totally unable to provide any believable and specific evidence to the contrary?

    Even if you continue to exhibit no personal shame, surely you do still have *some* measure of concern with the public legacy that you are leaving your young kids to stumble across some day, right?

    This is why I just do not understand your self-destructive lies and actions. If you were merely misunderstood, then one would think that you would have worked assiduously to clear the record and be more plain, provide specifics and clarity. Instead, you appear to be bent on just digging an ever deeper and more fantastic* pack of lies, out of nothing more substantial than your momentary delusions.

    *(‘fantastic’ in this context is very much not a ‘good’ thing at all, Mr. Journalist)

  13. sparky says


    This circles back to the pink unicorn example.

    By the way, you clearly owe banned an apology for putting words into his mouth, as referenced in my previous post.

  14. banned plop contributor says

    A quizzical and apparently puzzled Cut throat gives Rob some direct feedback, while debunking many of Rob’s various bogus claims regarding Cut throat’s supposed beliefs and stance.

    nfs then comes by and provides an excellent if somewhat scary picture of what’s actually behind the curtains of Rob’s inherited online Gronkulators.

    Bottom Line: I sure would not bet the retirement on them. And Robert “100 TIPS + sweet inheritance” Bennett himself sure didn’t do so, either!

  15. sparky says


    I did a bit of reading on your posts. Honestly, you have posted so much volume (much of it just repeating stuff)) and it would take years to go through all of that. However, it appears that you believe that people should go to jail and/or pay you huge amounts of money due to their disagreements with you as well as for having you banned from boards due to confrontation.

    Is this a correct assumption or is there a different basis for your belief. Perhaps you can enlighten me.

  16. banned plop contributor says


    Right here at your own blog, you appear to be reduced to just providing nonsense links to your prior bloviations, instead of actual coherent and germane written replies.

    Are you proud of yourself and what you’ve become Rob?

    A public laughing stock.

  17. banned plop contributor says


    My disdain for you has nothing to do with my investing style nor with your investing ‘advice.’

    It has to do with your long-running bizarre behavior on the internet.

    Nothing more.

    I would imagine this is true for most or even all of the folks you like to fashion as ‘Goons”, in order to allow you to avoid asking yourself the truly difficult personal questions about yourself and how you’ve squandered literally years of your life.

  18. banned plop contributor says


    That link says “Retirement Calculator that gets the numbers right.”

    Two quick points:

    1) nfs debunked that notion totally with the Post Hear Round The Hocopen™ on 02/16/13 at 10:29:02. That is when all the ‘old school’ calculators that did not include an adjustment for interest rates were all shown to be in ERROR. I can’t lie about. No can do. Not this boy! So please quit asking me to.

    2) Yet you still have the link up, with an uncorrected calculator (“ERROR”!!!!!), even after it was clearly shown that you are wrong. I thought you said you would never post dishonestly on SWR? Right? That was you saying that, correct?

    Please fix.

  19. banned plop contributor says

    I guess that’s your way of saying you refuse to fix the ERROR in your calculator. For the good of our entire nation’s economic heath, I supposed I’ll have to sue you for (puts finger in corner of mouth) ONE BILLION GAJILLION MEGA DOLLARS! And I will testify in your criminal trial, too, of course. It’s the least I can do.
    I’ll not be able to argue for a lighter sentence, naturally, given the horrific nature of your crimes, but I will suggest that you be allowed a sugar cube once per week, be allowed to post one “PG” rated 80′s TV-themed poster on your wall, and be given a half hour of outdoor exercise per month. I think that should illustrate how humane I am.

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