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.