Carol Osler, Program Director for the Lemberg Masters in International Economics and Finance at the Brandeis International Business School: “I Certainly Have Seen the Academic Profession in Action Squelching Unfashionable Ideas….My Other Suggestion Is to Tone Down Your Rhetoric (‘Goons,’ Etc.). Prose Like That Almost Always Backfires.”

I’ve been sending e-mails to numerous people letting them know about my article reporting on The Silencing of Academic Researcher Wade Pfau by the Buy-and-Hold Mafia. Set forth below is the text of a response I received from Carol Osler, Program Director for the Lemberg Masters in International Economics and Finance at the Brandeis International Business School:

“I certainly have seen the academic profession in action squelching unfashionable ideas and have often been on the wrong side of it. While there’s no magic solution, especially in the short run for individuals with jobs at stake, I sometimes find it calming to see that both philosophy and science are on our side about academics sometimes being profoundly unreasonable. For philosophy, Kuhn was a good start for me. He shows how most pathbreaking scientific ideas are rejected at first, usually for decades. Popper was also helpful. He has very harsh words for scientists who worship math, for example. For science, I am just now reading Jonathan Haist’s book on the psychological basis of morality, The Righteous Mind (2011). He shows, for example, why most ‘scientists’ behave like Kuhn documented, and support the group’s big ideas even in the face of strong evidence to the contrary.”

She continued: “My other suggestion is to tone down your rhetoric (‘goons,” etc.) if you want ‘to make friends and influence people.’ Prose like that almost always backfires. Rightly or wrongly, most readers infer that the writer cannot think dispassionately and therefore logically, and dismiss the whole thing (it’s unpleasant and not their fight, right? So why bother stressing themselves?) Personally, I’d guess the inference is hard-wired, but I’m not a psychologist. I look forward to reading about your insights – which sound distinctly plausible upon reading the abstract — and wish you luck.”

I replied:

“Carol:

“Thanks for your response. I believe that you hit it right on the head with all of your comments.
>
“In one of the conversations I had with Wade, he pointed to a saying in the field that no paper wins the Nobel prize without being rejected numerous times. That of course is a bit of a paradox. But it makes sense because it is only small advances that are immediately accepted. Big advances seem “odd” BECAUSE they take us to unexplored territory. So it takes time for them to win acceptance. I do indeed believe that is what is going on here.
>
“I get your point about the “Goons” language. I know with 100 percent certainty that you are right about this. That sort of language is a big turn-off for most people. I’m in a difficult spot with this, however. I am not a researcher, I am a journalist. And I do my work on the internet. The internet is a very powerful medium in that it permits the rapid spread of new ideas. So those who are threatened by new ideas have had to develop ways to stop the new communications medium from achieving its potential. As a result, I really have been exposed to a lot of behavior that even in all charity cannot be characterized as anything less than “goonish.” I have had people threaten to kill my wife and children. I have had people try to destroy my business and make it impossible for me to earn a living. I have had people destroy discussion board communities that it took me years of effort to build. People threatened to send defamatory e-mails to Wade’s employer in an effort to get him fired from his job. He told me in his e-mails to me that he took those threats seriously (he had seen these people carry through on similar threats on numerous occasions).
>
“I’m not sure that it is possible to tell this story fully and accurately without letting people know about that aspect of things. So I have over time made my peace with just telling the story as it happened, knowing that people will draw unfair conclusions about me when I use language that in this particular case in entirely appropriate. The “Goons” of course count on the reactions that they know most normal people will have; their idea is that, if they are outrageous enough, they can get away with anything because we all refrain from calling people out on such ugliness. It is much akin to the phenomenon in which women who are raped are reluctant to report the crime because it is such an ugly reality that some will conclude that the woman involved must have done something to provoke it (we cannot bear to think that something like this can just happen to an innocent party). At some point, you just have to tell what happened and let people figure it out on their own schedule. The real problem here is of course not the behavior of the Goons, which would in ordinary circumstances not be tolerated by respectable people. It is the disinclination that respectable people have to acknowledge that behavior of this type really does take place and really does have influence on our new communications medium.
>
“Anyway — your words are very insightful and helpful and encouraging. It cheers me to know that there are people who hear the words and the message as clearly and perceptively as you obviously hear them. I thank you for taking my words seriously and for offering me your best wishes.
>
“Things are getting better, by the way. It’s been a slow process. But people are gradually coming around. Many, many people have tried to help and in time those efforts will bear good fruit. The full truth here is that even the Goons want to get to a better place — they are suffering from cognitive dissonance and it causes them emotional pain to come to terms with what they have done to their own retirement plans and to the retirement plans of their friends.
>
“Thanks again. Please let me know if there is ever a time when I can answer any questions or help you in any other way. You have brought a nice measure of cheer to my Thursday evening (there was a technical problem that caused a delay in my receipt of your response).”

Comments

  1. banned plop contributor says

    “I have had people threaten to kill my wife and children.”

    A lie. Please provide ANY specific evidence of this often repeated lie. Note that merely linking to YOU repeating the same lie is not evidence. Well, evidence of your mental disorder maybe. But not evidence of any act by any person, per your outlandish claims.

    “I have had people try to destroy my business and make it impossible for me to earn a living.”

    Ditto, another lie.

    “I have had people destroy discussion board communities that it took me years of effort to build.”

    Ditto.

    “People threatened to send defamatory e-mails to Wade’s employer in an effort to get him fired from his job.”

    Ditto.

    “He told me in his e-mails to me that he took those threats seriously (he had seen these people carry through on similar threats on numerous occasions).”

    Ditto.

    Five egregious, ridiculous, unsubstantiated, outlandish, narcissistic lies.

    Provide proof Rob. Prove me wrong. It’s your forum. If evidence to support those claims exists, surely you could link to it here, with impunity.

    But you won’t.

    Because you can’t.

  2. Evidence Based Investing says

    “She continued: “My other suggestion is to tone down your rhetoric (‘goons,” etc.) if you want ‘to make friends and influence people.’ Prose like that almost always backfires. Rightly or wrongly, most readers infer that the writer cannot think dispassionately and therefore logically, and dismiss the whole thing (it’s unpleasant and not their fight, right? So why bother stressing themselves?) ”

    Excellent insight from Ms Osler. I have a feeling that her suggestion will be ignored.

  3. The Pink Unicorn says

    Yes, it is true. I was sliding down the rainbow in Sparky’s backyard, when a pack of goons came up and threatened me. You now know it is true since I have posted this information on this site. If you still don’t believe me, I will repeat it a few more times, since that is what it takes to create facts.

  4. an honest person says

    Guess I’ll have to email Dr. Osler and tell her the truth of the matter. Won’t that help your cause?

  5. Rob says

    That makes perfect sense, Honest. All of your earlier acts of intimidation have turned out well for you.

    My warmest wishes to you and yours.

    Rob

  6. sparky says

    Rob,

    Just a few more questions

    How many boards have banned you?

    How many emails have you sent to Wade?

    How many emails have you made about Wade?

    How many posts have you made about Wade?

    How many people do you think should go to jail?

    On what basis do you believe people will be charged with a crime that would lead to jail time?

  7. Rob says

    There have been roughly 15 bannings.

    Wade and I exchanged scores of e-mails.

    The count for the e-mails that I have sent was at 9,500 this morning. I sent 100 more today. So it’s 9,600 at this moment in time.

    I have an article that provides links to all the blog entries about Wade. My recollection is that there were 140. That was before I began the e-mail campaign.

    I’m not able to answer the jail question. My personal preference would be to find some way that no one would go to jail. For years I did all in my power to make that a reality. I don’t think that’s possible today. Too many people have been hurt in very serious ways. I believe that there will be a good number of people going to prison. The question of who and for how long will be one that we will decide as a society. I will be arguing for prison sentences somewhat reduced from those that are supported by the consensus of opinion. I would like to see us focus on the positive side of all this rather than on retribution and all this ugly stuff. I believe that we need to work hard to keep our eyes on the prize.

    No one will go to prison for believing in Buy-and-Hold. There are obviously millions of good and smart people who believe in Buy-and-Hold, The prison sentences will be for those who have engaged in financial fraud over a prolonged period of time. If you have failed to correct a retirement study after learning of an error you made in it, that’s obviously financial fraud. If you threaten to kill people to cover up errors you made in a retirement study, that’s obviously financial fraud. If you ban honest posting at your web site, that’s obviously financial fraud.

    It’s not possible for any one person to say what is right re the prison question or what will happen re the prison question. We have never faced circumstances like this before. People are going to be very angry. And there’s no way to pay them their money back — the money was all pretend in the first place! So there are going to be calls for prison sentences for those who threatened academic researchers and all this sort of thing. I see it as my job to try to rein in emotions and to keep people focused on the positive. That’s why I am working hard today to bring the cover-up to an end. I see bringing the economic crisis to an end as our best option for keeping the prison sentences as limited as possible.

    The charge will be financial fraud. You need to be careful here. The academic research showing that there is zero chance that a Buy-and-Hold strategy can work in the long term was published in 1981. So in an objective sense anyone who has recommended Buy-and-Hold strategies over the past 30 years has engaged in financial fraud.

    The full reality, though, is that the vast majority (perhaps all?) of those who have recommended Buy-and-Hold are suffering from cognitive dissonance. They know in one part of their minds that Buy-and-Hold cannot work. That’s why Buy-and-Holders become so defensive when their strategies are questioned. But they also “believe” in the strategy in another part of their minds. They follow it. I have not seen any evidence that the people endorsing Buy-and-Hold strategies are not following them themselves.

    So you don’t have bad intent. Bad intent is an element of the crime of financial fraud. So an endorsement of Buy-and-Hold in itself is not fraud despite the 30 years of research showing that it cannot work.

    But what about when you have death threats or board bannings or defamation or threats to academic researchers?

    Those acts show bad intent. Those acts turn a misunderstanding of what works in stock investing into financial fraud, a crime under the laws of the United States.

    That’s my sincere take re this matter, Sparky. It obviously would be a good thing if others chimed in. If some want to argue that there is no financial fraud here, we need to hear from them, If others are as concerned about the prison sentences as I am, those people should be speaking up. It is only by speaking up that we can help our Buy-and-Hold friends either avoid prison sentences altogether (in cases in which they have not yet evidenced bad intent) or have their prison sentences reduced (by helping to bring the economic crisis to an end and thereby diminishing the public anger that otherwise might result in very long prison sentences.

    I hope that helps a bit, Sparky. Don’t let the bad guys get you down, man.

    Rob

  8. canyon wanderer says

    so, you can’t tell anyone what law has been violated then. got it. you are just butt hurt that you are a failure. that’s not a crime.

  9. sparky says

    9600? Isn’t that harassment?

    Saying that someone will go to jail for board bannings is just plain silly.

    As for the death threats, you have been asked many times to prove it and you haven’t. All you do is give a link of you just repeating it. Also, I have yet to see any evidence directly from Wade that states he was at risk of losing his job (as you claim). Don’t give me another one of your links just repeating it. Show exactly where Wade said it.

  10. Rob says

    9600? Isn’t that harassment?

    Trying to bring an end to an economic crisis is not harassment, Sparky.

    If I could, I would tell the Wade Pfau story on the front page of the New York Times. I hope and expect to do that some day in the future. I will reach millions of people with that article. And that will be a very good thing.

    It’s not the number of people you reach with a message that makes it harassment. It is the content of the message.

    An e-mail that tells people what they need to know for us all to pull together and bring an end to the economic crisis is not harassment. it is a wonderful thing.

    I wish that I had the drive and energy to send 200 of the Wade Pfau e-mails each day instead of just 100.

    I wish that you would help, Sparky. If you sent 20 each day and Dab sent 20 each day and John sent 20 each day and Norbert sent 20 each day and GW sent each day, that would be another 100! That would bring our daily collective total to 200!

    Can we count on you for just 20 e-mails per day, Sparky?

    Rob

  11. Rob says

    Saying that someone will go to jail for board bannings is just plain silly.

    It depends on why the board banning was carried out, Sparky.

    If you ban someone because he is abusive, that’s obviously not a problem. If you ban someone because he doesn’t post on the topic of the board, that’s obviously not a problem.

    If you ban someone because you got an important number wrong in a retirement study and you don’t want people to find out, that’s financial fraud, Sparky. That’s a crime. That’s something for which you get sent to prison.

    Look at it from the standpoint of the millions of people who will be suffering failed retirements. Do you think they will look at this 10-year cover-up as having been a funny joke? I sure do not.

    If the people who have banned honest posting had permitted honest posting, those millions of people would not have suffered failed retirements, right? The millions of failed retirements will be the biggest social crisis we have yet experienced as a nation, right? Do you really think that we are not going to hold the people who caused this huge social problem, that it will take decades to overcome, accountable for their actions?

    Why is it that all of these sites have language in their posting rules saying that they will protect us from the sorts of individuals who have posted in “defense” of Linduaer and Greaney if they see nothing wrong with banning honest posting? The published rules lead people coming to the boards to believe that honest posting is permitted. But when it comes to making a buck off the promotion of Get Rich Quick investing strategies, all those promises mean nothing.

    I think people will be held accountable both in civil trials and in criminal trials.

    You are of course permitted to think otherwise. It doesn’t make me dislike you that you think otherwise.

    Fair enough?

    Rob

  12. sparky says

    Rob,

    I know you justify in your mind what you are doing, but IT IS HARASSMENT. It is also easy to see why you were banned from the boards as you seem to be the instigator of a hostile environment. See a common thread?

  13. Rob says

    I care about my country, Sparky.

    I am going to give it my best shot.

    I wish you all good things, old friend.

    Rob

  14. Rob says

    Here’s an article where I report on the Campaign of Terror of which Wade and I and many other good people have been victims:

    http://www.passionsaving.com/internet-harassment.html

    I have contacted my congressman, Sparky. I have contacted the Purcellville police. They have a file re this matter. I have contacted the FBI. I have contacted numerous lawyers. I have contacted a special division of the Virginia law enforcement authorities that deals with internet crimes. I have contacted the site owners who permitted abusive posting or criminal behavior at their sites. I have sent 9600 e-mails (it will be 9700 by the end of today) to my fellow citizens letting them know of the 10-year cover-up of the errors in the Old School retirement studies and how it has been carried out through the use of actions that constitute criminal financial fraud. I have written scores of guest blog entries on this matter. I have created five unique calculators that help people learn what they need to know to overcome the effects of this fraudulent enterprise. I have posted hundreds of thousands of comments at discussion boards and blogs. I have prayed. I have written and talked this over with a good number of the biggest names in the field, including Jack Bogle and Rob Arnott and Scott Burns and William Bernstein and Larry Swedroe. I have recored 200 hour-long podcasts. I encouraged John Walter Russell to create an entire web site featuring his amazing research. I worked with Wade Pfau for 16 months telling him what he needed to know to prepare the most important research paper published in this field in the past 30 years. I write a daily blog devoted soley to discussion of these matters. I have 200 articles at my web site relating to these matters. I have attended two years of the Financial Bloggers Conference, letting all my fellow bloggers know how important it is that we all work to bring the Campaign of Terror to a full and complete stop by the close of today’s business. I talk about this to my friends at parties and Little League games and picnics and when I bring my boys to the pool. I have prepared a first draft of a book on the subject.

    I have a funny feeling that I am covered re this one, my old friend.

    Just one of those crazy hunches that I experience from time to time.

    I naturally wish you all the best that this life has to offer a person.

    Rob

  15. sparky says

    Rob,

    Since you believe that you are right and everyone else is wrong, you must have a massive net worth by now. Care to share the details?

  16. Rob says

    We all believe we are right, Sparky.

    You believe you are right. If you didn’t, you wouldn’t be here.

    The difference between me and you is that, while I believe I am right, I ALSO believe that it is possible that I could be missing something and that I could be wrong. So I believe in letting the other guy have his say. That way, if it turns out that HE is right and I am wrong, I get to learn from him and correct my error before it destroys me.

    That’s the practice that you should follow too. I am right about that one! I am sure!

    Rob

  17. Rob says

    I don’t believe everyone else is wrong, Sparky.

    I learned about the errors in the Old School studies from reading Bogle’s book. If I thought he was wrong, I wouldn’t have put up that famous May 13, 2002, post, right?

    I learned that valuations affect long-term returns from Shiller. If I thought he was wrong, I wouldn’t have created the Stock-Return Predictor, right?

    I learned that we today are capable of reducing stock risk by 70 percent from Wade Pfau. If I thought he was wrong, I wouldn’t be sending 100 e-mails per day trying to get the word out about his research, right?

    I don’t even think YOU are wrong about everything.

    I don’t know which Goon you are. But I recorded two podcasts that were rooted in questions posed to my by Drip Guy at the Goon Central board. How would he know to pose those questions if he was wrong about everything? What you are saying here just does not add up.

    You’re not angry with me because you think that I think you are wrong. If you thought that I thought that you were wrong, you wouldn’t care what I thought. You would do your thing and you would be content for me to do mine. It wouldn’t be an issue.

    You are angry with me because you are trying to suppress a part of yourself that knows that I am right. You want to treat those bull market gains as real. And, if you allow yourself to think about what the word “overvaluation” means, you can’t do it. So you suppress the part of your thinking process that leads you to that conclusion. And I remind you of that. So you hate me. BECAUSE YOU HATE THE PART OF YOURSELF THAT CAUSES YOU TO SUPPRESS YOUR CAPACITY TO ENGAGE IN REASON RE INVESTING ISSUES.

    That’s the source of the hate, Sparky. We are so alike and we agree on so many issues that you cannot dismiss what I say. And yet you must! If you were to acknowledge that what I say is OBVIOUSLY so, you would have to acknowledge that you have thrown away opportunities to earn far higher returns at greatly reduced risk. That hurts. That hurts a lot.

    You know what?

    It hurts more to delay the resolution of the hurt. All you are doing is extending it. That’s a lose/lose/lose. It is because I am your friend that I always urge you to experience the pain and thereby put it behind you.

    All the others are doing the same thing.

    Not because they are dumb. Not because they are bad people.

    Because we the humans did not come to this planet with perfect knowledge. We pick up insights here and there and try to put the puzzle together over time. Lots of good and smart people came before me and put lots of important pieces together. I happened to be the person who was standing over the last piece and happened to notice it and picked it up and made the entire thing click.

    So the heck what?

    I don’t say that I get all the credit for Valuation-Informed Indexing. YOU say that. And they you become enraged to hear it. I never said it. I offered my friend John Greaney the opportunity to have his name on the first New School SWR study. He would have the biggest investing site on the internet today if he had taken me up on that offer. He pissed away the chance. Not at my urging. I urged in the other direction. A lot.

    I don’t say that I am better than you, Sparky. I say that science is better than superstition. I say that love is better than hate. I say that data is better than intimidation tactics. YOU are the one who aligns Sparky with superstition and hate and intimidation tactics. YOU are the one who keeps pulling you down, thereby making me look better and better and better in contrast. I have nothing to do with any of that. The only role I have played is to urge you over and over and over again to knock off the funny business.

    I wish you well.

    That says it, Sparky.

    Only you can turn off the hate inside you. No one else has the power to do it.

    Rob

  18. Rob says

    you must have a massive net worth by now. Care to share the details?

    I’ve got my name on the biggest advance in our understanding of how stock investing works in the history of the planet.

    Are you f’ing kidding me?

    Do you have your name on anything like that?

    Did you ever in your wildest dreams think you would ever have something like that?

    Well, I didn’t either.

    And yet here we are.

    Your envy hurts YOU, Sparky. We are moving to an entirely new model for understanding how stock investing works. That means that there are hundreds of important projects that need to be done. There are books to be written. There are calculators to construct. There are discussion boards to start.

    Get to friggin’ work, my old friend!

    It’s fun!

    And it helps people.

    That’s why you got interested in this stuff in the first place — to have fun and to help people.

    Do it, man!

    Stop wasting your life crawling around in garbage.

    Wake up, man!

    Yes, I have a massive net worth. And for so long as you are still alive you have a chance to acquire a massive net worth too. But it doesn’t come to you by you dreaming up new forms of Goonishness. That stuff is NoWheresVille with a capital “N.” Please make the effort to acquire a basic clue!

    Please do that important thing by the close of business today!

    We all get only so many years, my old friend. I have a funny hunch that you were put on earth for better than the activities you have been directing your energies toward for the past 10 years.

    I only hope that that’s not too “controversial” a statement.

    Holy moly!

    Rob

  19. Rob says

    I cannot give you the 10 years back, Sparky.

    But you can give yourself the gift of the next 10 years.

    It’s your call.

    Rob

  20. Rob says

    I answered the question, Sparky.

    You are feeling too much pain to hear the answer.

    I pray for you.

    I care and I will help you when you become able to accept help.

    That’s the best offer I am able to make to you.

    Hang in there, man.

    Rob

  21. sparky says

    Rob,

    No you didn’t. Your net worth is expressed in a dollar amount. Try again.

    By the way, everything you said about me has been wrong and you are using it as a way to avoid answering the question.

  22. Rob says

    Your net worth is expressed in a dollar amount.

    You couldn’t possibly be more wrong, Sparky.

    This is why you are so full of hate. You know that’s not so. The experiences you have lived through for every day of your stay here on Planet Earth tell you that that is not so. But you are too afraid of the obvious reality to face it. So you play this stupid game in which you tell yourself” “Oh, a person’s entire net worth is expressed in a dollar amount! Oh, yes, that’s so! I’m not a loser! I’m a winner! A person’s entire net worth is expressed in a dollar amount! It is! It sure is! Everyone knows this! This is so!”

    I am not saying you are a loser, Sparky. That’s you saying that.

    I am saying that you should stop ACTING like a loser.

    Do you see the difference?

    I am saying that you are a HUMAN.

    It has its scary side to it. But it has its good side to it too.

    I’m sure.

    Rob

  23. Rob says

    everything you said about me has been wrong and you are using it as a way to avoid answering the question.

    Got it, thanks.

    Rob

  24. Rob says

    You’re saying that, if I agree to post dishonestly re safe withdrawal rates, I’ll be able to make a big bunch of money exploiting human weaknesses.

    I get it.

    The other side of the story is that I will feel like a creep. I will begin to hate myself, like someone we both know and care about.

    Has my net worth increased or diminished when I put a few bucks in my pocket at the price of coming to hate myself?

    I say “diminished.”

    What say you?

    Does personal integrity count for anything in your calculations of net worth?

    It counts in mine. Part of the job of achieving A Rich Life is living a life rooted in personal integrity.

    You cannot skip important steps.

    It will not work in the long run.

    Rob

  25. Rob says

    What is your dollar net worth.

    Zero if I give up my personal integrity.

    If I give up my personal integrity, I am not longer the person I have been striving to become for 56 years now.

    If I maintain my personal integrity, I am the person primarily responsible for the biggest advance in our understanding of how stock investing works. In that case, my net worth is essentially infinite.

    Infinite net worth vs. zero net worth.

    It’s not taking me a long time to figure out how to play this one, Sparky.

    Rob

  26. sparky says

    Rob,

    If you want to talk about philosophy, write a blog about philosophy. Answer the question. What is your dollar net worth?

  27. Rob says

    Your problem (and this really is your core problem, not some little thing) is that you think it is possible to separate what you call “philosophy” from what you think of as “dollar counts” or “money issues.”

    Buy-and-Hold was a huge advance over what we had before. There is no one alive who has greater respect for the Buy-and-Hold pioneers than I do. The Buy-and-Holders almost got it right.

    The trouble is that almost doesn’t cut it when it comes to financial planning. You have to actually get it right. The part that the Buy-and-Holders missed was the thing you call “philosophy.” It’s probably better referred to as “humanity” or “emotions.”

    Stocks are bought and sold by humans. If that were not so, Buy-and-Hold would work. But it is so. It is the single most important reality of stock investing. Ignore it and you get it all wrong. Create a numbers-based approach and ignore it and you get a numbers-based approach that gets all the numbers wrong.

    This is why we are where we are today Sparky.

    We all want the same things. The Buy-and-Holders are proud of their work and rightly so. I am impressed by their work and feel gratitude to them for the work they did. But I also want their work to help people. I want their work to bear good fruit. For that to happen, they need to get the numbers RIGHT. For that to happen, they need to fix the part of the story that they missed when writing their first draft. They missed the human part, the emotions part, the “philosophy” part.

    You can’t get from where you are today to where you deep in your heart very much want to be tomorrow without traveling through Human Land, or Emotions Land, or Philosophy Land, or whatever you want to call it, Sparky.

    I am here to be your guide. I am 100 percent happy to help out in any possible way.

    I 100 percent refuse to say the words you want to hear, that it is possible to calculate one’s net worth without making a stop to Human Land or Emotions Land or Philosophy Land.

    On the day I post dishonestly re safe withdrawal rates, my net worth drops to zero.

    It ain’t gonna happen, my old friend.

    Give up that sick dream and we can become good friends again and have lots of fun together.

    It hasn’t happened in 10 years. It won’t happen in 10 billion years.

    It ain’t gonna happen.

    Rob

  28. Rob says

    If you want to talk about philosophy, write a blog about philosophy

    What I want to do is to write a blog about money issues that isn’t a big pile of b.s., a blog about money issues that actually helps people.

    That’s the project. That’s the job that I have taken on.

    Posting dishonestly on SWRs does not advance the mission.

    So that’s out.

    It’s not a close call.

    Rob

  29. sparky says

    Rob,

    Do you take dieting advice from an obese person? Let’s talk about money. Quit avoiding the question. What is your dollar net worth?

  30. Rob says

    Do you believe in accrual accounting?

    My net worth, measured properly, includes the settlement I will be receiving from The Stock-Selling Industry, no? I have suggested that I would be willing to consider a settlement payment of $500 million.

    Say that I have 5 million today. That’s inconsequential in a portfolio of over $500 million, no?

    Now say that I have 5 cents today. That’s ALSO inconsequential in a portfolio of over $500 million, no?

    What I have today is something between 5 cents and 5 million. Whatever the number is, it is inconsequential given the total size of my portfolio of something in excess of $500 million.

    What matter is the $500 million.

    That’s one of many reasons why I am unwilling to post dishonestly on safe withdrawal rates. That would be financial fraud. That would land me in prison. Where I couldn’t spend the darn $500 million!

    I want to spend the darn $500 million. So I have zero willingness to post dishonestly.

    Do you see?

    Rob

  31. Rob says

    Would you take dieting advice from a marathon runner?

    Someone who is worth in excess of $500 million is a marathon runner in the money realm.

    You should be asking yourself — What has that fellow figured out that I have not figured out that he has $500 million and I do not?

    The answer is — I figured out that it is not possible to engage in effective financial planning without holding onto your personal integrity.

    I am happy to share insights. I am happy to help you learn what you need to learn to earn your own $500 million.

    I am not willing to lose my $500 million by engaging in financial fraud. I am not willing to post dishonestly on the numbers my friends use to plan their retirements.

    I wish you all good things.

    Rob

  32. sparky says

    Rob,

    You are avoiding the question once again with you non-existent legal claim. What is your real dollar net worth. Answer the question.

  33. Rob says

    I’ve answered it about eleven times in this thread alone, Sparky.

    You need to work through your emotional pain on your own time and on your own dime and then return here for productive discussions of how to invest effectively.

    I cannot do that for you, my good man, It is an inside job.

    I certainly wish you well.

    Rob

  34. Rob says

    What is your dollar net worth.

    I cannot give you a number down to the penny, Sparky.

    It is well in excess of $500 million. Any one who has been paying even a little bit of attention for the past 10 years knows that much.

    The $500 million is the number that applies if the settlement offer is made prior to the next crash. The number is obviously going to be a multiple of that if the offer does not come until after the crash. The entire purpose of putting forward the lowball offer is to encourage the Wall Street Con Men to come clean before they cause another price crash.

    The fact that I am worth over $500 million and you are not should tell you something about the value of maintaining one’s personal integrity in circumstances in which there are people applying heavy pressure on you not to do so.

    My guess is that you will not be able to hear that message today.

    But I hope that someday you do.

    I’ll be there for you on that day, my long-time abusive-posting friend.

    Rob

  35. sparky says

    You don’t have your fantasy $500million. It is all part of your diversion. What is your dollar net worth.

  36. Rob says

    Are the 150 glowing endorsements of my work that appear at the “People Are Talking” section of my site a fantasy, Sparky?

    Are the five calculators that appear at this site and at no other site on the internet a fantasy?

    Are the 100 investing articles a fantasy?

    Are the 200 hour-long podcasts a fantasy?

    Is Wade’s Nobel-Prize-worthy research that is the product of our 16 months of working together a fantasy?

    The fantasy here is the idea that a Get Rich Quick strategy can work in the long term.

    There’s not one academic researcher who longs to be doing honest work today, Sparky. There are hundreds, perhaps thousands.

    When those people are freed to do honest work as a result of my efforts, is there going to be one person in the United States who will not agree that I am entitled to a payment much, much larger than $500 million? I doubt that there will be one, including you.

    The research showing that Valuation-Informed Indexing lowers the risk of stock investing by 70 percent is not a fantasy. It is real.

    What is a fantasy is your idea that by threatening the researcher whose name in on the research you will be able to keep the millions of middle-class people who need to know about that research in the dark indefinitely.

    You can’t do it.

    When they find out what you have done, you will be going to prison.

    I have a funny little hunch that that experience won’t turn out to be anyone’s idea of a fantasy.

    I wish you all good things, my old friend.

    Rob

  37. sparky says

    Rob,

    Stop diverting with your trip to fantasyland and answer the question. What is your dollar net worth?

  38. Rob says

    It’s something in the neighborhood of $500 million, Sparky.

    When you pass the $100 million mark, you stop worrying about whether you are up $1 million this month or down $1 million this month.

    It’s something in that general neighborhood in any event.

    My best wishes.

    Rob

  39. Rob says

    Oh, yes!

    I’m hiding that I agreed to participate in your 10-year cover-up of the errors in the Old School SWR studies so that you would drop your smear campaign against me.

    Did I mess up somewhere down the line?

    Is word starting to leak out?

    Oops!

    Rob

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