“You Are Angry With Me Because You Are Trying to Suppress a Part of Yourself That Knows That I Am Right. You Hate Me Because You Hate the Part of Yourself That Causes You to Suppress Your Capacity to Engage in Reason re Investing Issues”

Set forth below is the text of a comment that I recently put to a discussion thread at this blog:


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?

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!

I don’t believe everyone else is wrong.

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.



  1. sparky says


    Stop acting like a child and deleting posts.

    The point of my question is that we can can look at outcomes to see who is right and who is wrong. We each have a score card in that we can look at returns and net worth. I, as well as others, have asked you about your net worth and to this point, you have either deleted posts asking the question, avoided the question or have given an answer that does not address the specific question asked.

    Skip the B.S. about “hurting” or “hate” or some other diversionary tactic and address a very simple question.

  2. Rob says

    The scorecard is the academic research, based on the 140 years of historical data available to us.

    The last 32 years of academic research shows that Valuation-Informed Indexing ALWAYS works in the long term and that Buy-and-Hold has NEVER yet worked for a single long-term investor.

    There have been scores of Buy-and-Holders who have looked at my personal situation and who have found that I am FAR, FAR ahead of where I would have been had I followed a Buy-and-Hold strategy. There has never been one who has found otherwise.

    Yes, we need to talk about the emotional pain that this causes you, Sparky.

    There is no other possible explanation of your behavior for the past 11 years.

    It hurts to realize that you have been taken.

    I get it.

    I didn’t do this thing to you. I did things to help you. I continue to do things aimed at helping you.

    We cannot change the past, Sparky. We CAN make the future better than what the past has been.

    Opening up your heart is an inside job. I cannot do it for you.

    I certainly wish you the best of luck in all your future endeavors, my old friend.


  3. Rob says

    Skip the B.S. about “hurting”

    Dealing with investor emotions is not b.s., Sparky.

    It is pretty much the entire ballgame.

    It is the numbers-based exercises that the Buy-and-Holders engage in that are b.s. (for so long as they do not include adjustments for valuations/emotions in their calculations).

    The research that Wade and I prepared together shows us all how to reduce the risk of stock investing by 70 percent.

    Please stop to think for a moment how amazing that is.

    How is it that we are even capable of doing something so amazing?

    It is because we have been ignoring investor emotion, which is the most important piece of the puzzle.

    Stop ignoring the most important piece of the puzzle and instead snap it into place and you can reduce stock investing risk by 70 percent.

    That’s the story here.

    It is a very, very, very positive story.

    For you. For me. For my good friend Jack Bogle. For everyone.

    I wish you all good things.


  4. Rob says

    I wish you well, Sparky.

    And I think you are being emotional if you conclude that my wishing you well constitutes a “diversion.” I consider it pure substance.

    It is because I wished you and thousands of my other fellow community members well that I worked up the courage to put forward my famous May 13, 2002, post on safe withdrawal rates.


  5. sparky says

    It is diversion, Rob, justblike this latest response. Anything short of answering the question is diversion.

  6. Rob says

    I suppose it could be argued that the capacity for human reason itself is a diversion from a desire to follow Get RIch Quick strategies.

    Thank the heavens for a few diversions!


  7. Rob says

    A squirrel is a diversion now?

    A squirrel?

    A squirrel is of the essence!

    What are you? Some sort of Buy-and-Holder?


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