“You Try to Dominate All Conversations. Your Posts Make Up 80 Percent of the Content. You Rarely Consider Other Comments…The Volume of Your Posts Was Huge, Like Always, and in the Course of 24 Hours, You Turned a Mild Supporter Into a Detractor.”

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

Rob, just do a quick search of your past interactions. In almost every thread, you try and dominate all conversations. Your posts make up 80% of the content. You rarely consider others comments unless it furthers your position or if you can use it to distort a conversation. I was reading through some old FMF posts the other night and noticed a thread that you jumped in on. Most FMF threads get 20 or less comments. In this one, it quickly passed 100 and FMF shut it down. You seemed to be demanding a guest post and then the debate started. The volume of your posts were huge, like always, and in the course of 24 hours, you turned a mild supporter (Apex) into a detractor.

Do want to change perceptions? If so I suggest you do the following:

Make massive apologies (starting with Wade);

Establish credibility (it is earned, not given away);

Listen 90% of the time, and comment less than 10% of the time- note the percentage of conversation on other blogs;

Be humble;

Don’t insult your audience.

I’m not going to be making any apologies, Pink.

There’s one exception. I am willing to apologize for waiting too long to put forward the post that I put forward on the morning of May 13, 2002. That was wrong.

Outside of that, apologizing is the worst possible thing I could do.

It’s not a problem that Buy-and-Holders and Valuation-Informed Indexers do not agree. That’s a good thing. That’s healthy. For so long as we disagree, the Buy-and-Holders can keep the Valuation-Informed Indexers honest and the Valuation-Informed Indexers can keep the Buy-and-Holders honest. We all benefit from being exposed to the other point of view on a regular basis.

The problem we have is that the Buy-and-Holders got used to being dominant during the insane bull years. They made so much money in so little time that they began thinking that they knew it all. They became arrogant, and, worse, got away with it. They became accustomed to shouting down other points of view. Yuck!

The Buy-and-Holders are responsible for their own bad behavior, Pink. But you know what? The Valuation-Informed Indexers played a role in causing the messed-up situation we have today too.

The Valuation-Informed Indexers failed to speak up when they should have spoken up. Buy-and-Holders advanced death threats and most of the Valuation-Informed Indexers (but not me!) tolerated it. That was wrong. And it didn’t just hurt the Valuation-Informed Indexers. It hurt the Buy-and-Holders too. It led them to believe that behavior that is 100 percent intolerable might be tolerated.


That’s the thing that we all very much want to change deep in our hearts.

I’ll apologize if I get something wrong. That’s a very, very different story.

But I am not going to apologize because I discovered the errors in the Old School safe withdrawal rate studies. That discovery helped everybody. In some part of their consciousness, the Buy-and-Holders want to get the numbers right. My post helped them do that. So no apologies for the exceedingly helpful and brave post of May 13, 2002.




  1. The Pink Unicorn says


    You have learned nothing and can’t. Like always, you don’t “listen” and go immediately to your own talking points. We can only draw the conclusion that you have a mental illness. I do mean this as a serious comment and not as just a casual insult.

  2. The Deleted plop contributor says

    Rob said:”I’ll apologize if I get something wrong”

    That could fill a book, Rob. Better get started. Your book of apologies could be the best thing you have written and I would buy a copy.

  3. Rob says

    That’s true for all of us, Deleted.

    We all have a tendency to see the splinter in our brother’s eye while not being able to see in the log in our own.

    I wish you all good things.


  4. Trebor Martin says

    You need help. Please seek it out immediately. There is no downside. Spend time with your wife and kids and stop your deepening spiral into the abyss of self indulgence. Simply repeating the same nonsense again and again doesn’t make it true no matter now much you want and need it to.

  5. Rob says

    I need help.

    I’m the one who said that we should have demanded corrections in all of the Old School safe withdrawal rate studies within 24 hours of the time we learned of the errors in them and I am the one who needs help.

    That makes sense, Trebor.

    Please take good care.


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