“People Won’t Tell You to Your Face That You Are an Ass. You Admit That You Have Been Doing This for 11 Years. Do You Notice That Your Message Is Not Going Anywhere? Wake Up, Rob!

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

Rob,

Even us unicorns know that people won’t tell you to your face that you are an ass. People, on the whole, will be polite in face to face discussions. There is no evidence of a vast conspiracy. You have been banned from so many sites because of your actions and demeanor. It is clear you are wrong and you made that more evident when you called Wade a liar. Additionally, my personal experience also shows you to lack credibility when you lied about me. There is clear evidence that you lie about others on here on a regular basis as we can look at their posts and watch you respond.

You admit that you have been doing this for 11 years. Do you notice that your message is not going anywhere, yet you have some delusion that it will go “viral”.

Wake up, Rob!

People who think you are an ass don’t say to you “your site is the best site I have seen in this area, I just love your investing ideas and have read every article you have written in an effort to learn more about them.” Give me a friggin’ break, Pink.

Now, the person that sent that message to me (I paraphrased but that was indeed the message) ALSO banned me from his site. So there are bits and pieces of what you say that are so. But the explanation of the EXCEEDINGLY strange situation is not that people think I am an ass. The explanation is that even the smartest people in this field are afraid today to go public with their doubts about Buy-and-Hold.

Whether there is a “conspiracy” or not depends on how you use the word. There are not people meeting in smoke-filled rooms plotting all this. But there are lots of people behaving in a similar manner when faced with similar sorts of circumstances. That’s been demonstrated THOUSANDS of times at this point.

You say I have been banned because of my “actions and demeanor.” Yes and no. It is an ACTION to report the safe withdrawal rate accurately. It is part of my DEMEANOR that I offer no apology for having done so when Buy-and-Holders react with anger. If that is what you mean by saying that my action and demeanor caused my bans, then sure, you are right.

How the heck do you think we are ever going to make the transition from Buy-and-Hold to Valuation-Informed Indexing without someone advancing that sort of action and demeanor, Pink? We need to get from Point A to Point B. It doesn’t happen if I say “oh, here’s my personal withdrawal rate” and then leave the discussion. I need to say “calculations of the safe withdrawal rate that do not contain an adjustment for the valuation level that applies on the start-date of the retirement are in error.” It is that statement that the Buy-and-Holders consider an action and a demeanor that cannot be tolerated. I am trying to REPLACE Buy-and-Hold with Valuation-Informed Indexing. The Buy-and-Holders are trying to defend Buy-and-Hold. We are working at cross purposes.

I have every right in the world to tell millions of middle-class people what they need to know to lose confidence in Buy-and-Hold. The move from Buy-and-Hold to Valuation-Informed Indexing is the biggest advance we have achieved as a people in the history of investing analysis. So please don’t suffer any illusions that I am going to back off that project. That is the project that I have been pursuing since the morning of May 13, 2002. With great pride. With great tenacity. With great diligence. With great hope. With great love.

I hope that part is crystal clear at this point. Please don’t ever suggest again that there might be some future date at which I would agree to say things in some gibberish way that would cause the Buy-and-Holders to let me post on the internet but that would not permit me to get the message out to millions of middle-class investors that the millions of middle-class investors very much need to hear. Those are my people, Pink. Those are my friends. I am going to get this message out to those people or I am going to die trying. There is zero chance of any deals being worked out re that point. Please give up that stupid, pointless dream!

Wade will be tried to a court of law. He will present his evidence and the state will present its evidence. That’s the way the system works. I will do everything in my power to spin things in Wade’s favor. I will not commit perjury. Fair enough?

I will handle things in precisely the same manner in your trial. Obviously the things I say will be different because the realities are different. But the spirit in which I will approach my obligation to testify will be the same in both cases. The rule I follow is to be as honest as it is possible to be without crossing an important line and becoming uncharitable while also being as charitable as it is possible to be without crossing another important line and becoming dishonest. That’s the story re that one.

Your take on the 11-year history couldn’t possibly be more different than my own, Pink. I have accomplished things over these 11 years that I never would have dared dream possible. I had a conversation just yesterday with a woman who is doing some technical work on my site. She marveled over the endorsements I have obtained. I was humbled. If you had told me back when I was a boy growing up in Northeast Philadelphia that scores of the biggest names in the personal finance field would be saying the sorts of things that scores of the biggest names in the personal finance field have said about Rob Bennett’s investing work over the past 11 years, I would have said that you were 100 percent loco nutso mixed-up crazytown. And yet here we are.

I am 100 percent convinced that the message will go viral, Pink. I have zero doubt.

I worry that it will take a Second Great Depression to make it happen. That prospect scares me to death. So I don’t mean to suggest that I am comfortable about where things stand today. I am not even a tiny bit comfortable. I am very concerned about where things stand today.

But I do not CONTROL that question. I have to accept that things are how things are. It is not my call. There are other people who have to get involved to make good things happen and, as of this morning, those other people have not elected to get involved. That’s the story there.

If Shiller is right (there is now a mountain of evidence that he is), the next price crash is going to put us in the Second Great Depression. That can be proven with numbers, Pink. If you don’t think that news that we are in Second Great Depression and that the Wall Street Con Men’s decisions to continue pumping out this Buy-and-Hold garbage for 32 years after the peer-reviewed academic research showed that there is precisely zero chance that it could ever work for a single long-term investor is going to go viral, then you are a dang fool. No personal offense intended. I know of no softer words to convey the essential point.

I’m awake, Pink. I was awake on the morning of May 13, 2002. Getting the numbers that people use to plan their retirements right matters. I am not guessing. I am SURE.

I naturally wish you all the best things that this life has to offer, my old friend.

Rob

Comments

  1. The Pink Unicorn says

    Rob,

    Just another delusional post and I could say so much. The Internet is a great thing. It gives us the opportunity to check the truth behind comments and support them with facts. For example, it is easy to find hundreds of threads in which people think you are an ass, delusional, suffering from a mental illness,etc. to the opposite, we do not see any wide spread support for you and it is easy to note that your comments section on this website is lacking supportive posts. If people really found your site valuable and your comments valid, they would be posting here on a consistent basis and that is not happening. The overwhelming comments point out your fallacies and there would be significantly more similar comments if you didn’t continue the massive deletion campaign.

    You continue to act like you are saving the middle class with your repetitive SWR campaign, yet that is not e problem with middle class America. Time and again, you have been given facts with direct links that show it is the lack of savings as the cause of the pending retirement shortfall and yet you continue to avoid that topic because of your own personal issues with low retirement savings.

    As always, your stupid comments about trials, prison, etc. are just tired and are weak attempts at threats in hopes people go away. The problem for you Rob, is that the facts have gotten in your way. You don’t like them, and despite your repeating the same mantra, the facts will still stay the same and you will continue to be wrong.

  2. Rob says

    Thanks for taking time out of your day to share your thoughts with us, Pink.

    Rob

  3. Superman says

    People ask “why isn’t Superman using his super powers to help people?” Well, of course, I could. My super powers are unlimited. With no more effort than it takes you earthlings to get out of bed, I could end war, hunger, poverty and disease forever.

    And I will! Seriously. I just haven’t gotten around to it yet. Lots of items higher up on Superman’s to do list. But I’ll get to it. You can count on that, baby. Not sure when, but rest assured, that day will come. You’ll see.

    In fact, you don’t even need Superman’s help to do all those things. You have it within your power to create a utopia on Earth. I could tell you exactly how. I have it all written down. But it’s a secret.

    Anyway, it might help Superman’s motivation just a bit if you didn’t all keep calling Superman a deluded crackpot. Maybe I should just tell General Zod “go ahead, knock yourself out.” But I won’t. Superman wouldn’t be very super with an attitude like that. Superman loves all the people of earth, even those who hate him and deserve to be in prison. But still, come on. You catch more flies with honey than vinegar!

  4. Rob says

    I left this one up because it reveals the mindset of the Goon, Superman.

    My best wishes to you and yours.

    Rob

  5. Rob says

    John Bogle is a man.

    John Bogle changed the world in an amazingly positive way.

    Do you laugh at him?

    People did before his ideas had been proven successful.

    There is something within the human mind that makes us feel hate for those who see ways to achieve huge advances for all of us. We say: “Who does he think he is?” instead of “Thanks, man.”

    I’ll continue to do the best I can to help you and all the other Goons and all the Normals and all the Experts. If we don’t see progress until the next crash, we don’t see progress until the next crash. If we all choose to work together following the next crash, I think we will make it to a better place. If even the next crash doesn’t do the trick, I don’t believe we will make it. That will make me very sad. But the call as to whether we want to survive as a society or not is of course not a call that is mine alone to make.

    In any event, I wish you all good things.

    Rob

  6. The Deleted plop contributor says

    The difference, Rob is that John has credibility and is supported by those of his peers that also have credibility. You do not.

    Your comment about “survive as a society” list of egotistical and silly comments that detract from gaining credibility.

    Beyond things mentioned before, credibility comes from a track record of success, which you lack.

  7. The Deleted plop contributor says

    Rob said: ” I left this one up because it reveals the mindset of the Goon, Superman.”

    Since you public ally confirm that you delete posts, perhaps you can tell us how you feel it is not hypocritical of you to complain about board bannings, yet do the same by merely deleting posts.

  8. Rob says

    The difference, Rob is that John has credibility and is supported by those of his peers that also have credibility.

    No.

    The difference is that the Wall Street Con Men have billions of dollars to use promoting their smelly Get Rich Quick garbage and I do not.

    Rob

  9. Rob says

    credibility comes from a track record of success, which you lack.

    There have been four times in U.S. history when the Wall Street Con Men have been successful persuading large numbers of investors to follow Buy-and-Hold strategies.

    The first time, every investor who bought into the Get Rich Quick garbage suffered a massive wipeout of the accumulated savings of a lifetime. The collective losses were large enough to bring on one of the four economic crises we have suffered since 1870.

    The second time, the same.

    The third time, the same.

    The fourth time, the same.

    I’ll take a pass on achieving your vision of “success,” Deleted.

    Please try to find someone else.

    Rob

  10. Rob says

    perhaps you can tell us how you feel it is not hypocritical of you to complain about board bannings, yet do the same by merely deleting posts.

    There’s not a thing wrong with board bannings that are supported by the published rules of a site, Deleted. I have argued in support of board bannings for the sorts of internet sewer rats who have put up posts in “defense” of Mel Lindauer and John Greaney on many occasions.

    To ban someone solely because he posted honestly on the subject matter of the board is an act of financial fraud if retirement planning is the subject matter of the board. Engaging in financial fraud will sooner or later get you landed in prison.

    I do not like the idea of going to prison myself and I do not even like the idea of seeing my Goon friends go to prison. So I have spoken out in the strongest possible terms in opposition to your thousands of acts of financial fraud, Deleted.

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

    Rob

  11. The Deleted plop contributor says

    Rob said:”I’ll take a pass on achieving your vision of “success,” Deleted.”

    Rob, it is about individual credibility. So, you confirm that have none.

    Rob said:”There’s not a thing wrong with board bannings that are supported by the published rules of a site, Deleted. I have argued in support of board bannings for the sorts of internet sewer rats who have put up posts in “defense” of Mel Lindauer and John Greaney on many occasions.”

    So you have violated this by deleting many of my posts and others that do not fit the conditions you just listed. I do believe people can control their own boards. I am just pointing out the hypocrisy of your statements.

    As said MANY times by MANY people (to which links can be provided) you were banned due to behavior. I, and others, would be happy to provide those links to you.

  12. Rob says

    it is about individual credibility. So, you confirm that have none.

    Yes, I possess zero individual credibility because I got the safe withdrawal rate numbers right 10 years before any of the Big Shot “experts” in this field.

    That makes perfect sense. Deleted.

    Rob

  13. Rob says

    As said MANY times by MANY people (to which links can be provided) you were banned due to behavior.

    For so long as posting honestly on safe withdrawal rates is counted as “bannable behavior” at all boards dominated by the Wall Street Con Men and their internet Goon Squads, I will continue to take great pride in being banned at every such board in existence, Deleted.

    I would be grateful for anything you might be willing to do to spread the word far and wide across Planet Internet.

    My best wishes to you.

    Rob

  14. Rob says

    So long as the Wall Street Con Men are able to destroy the careers of those who engage in the terrible “behavior” of posting honestly on what the academic research in this field says about what works in stock investing, the economic crisis will continue to worsen.

    In all other fields of human endeavor, honesty is viewed as good behavior.

    We are going to have to break the Buy-and-Hold Mafia.

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

    Rob

  15. The Deleted plop contributor says

    Rob,

    So now you admit your behavior had something to do with it and you are trying to justify it. While you are at it, you forgot to address my point on your hypocrisy in deleting posts as you have deleted posts that do not fit your justification for banning or removal.

  16. Rob says

    My behavior had everything to do with it, Deleted.

    I am the person who discovered the errors in the Old School SWR studies.

    That discovery meant the end of Buy-and-Hold if the reasons for the errors were acknowledged.

    So the Wall Street Con Men have engaged in an 11-year cover-up.

    I want no part of it.

    My ongoing behavior is to say “find someone else to help you with your massive act of financial fraud.”

    Hang in there, my good buddy.

    Rob

  17. The Deleted plop contributor says

    Rob said: “My behavior had everything to do with it, Deleted.”

    You are admitting that it is your behavior, but then are saying it is your message. Those are two different things and you are only trying to justify your position. People post things all day on message boards that are wrong, but don’t get banned.

    I am also STILL waiting for you to comment on your hypocrisy.

  18. Rob says

    If there was anything in what I was saying that was wrong, I never would have been banned at a single place, Deleted. It is because there is a part of you that knows that I am right that what I say drives you so crazy.

    All humans possess both common sense and a Get Rich Quick urge. Bull markets come about when we suppress our common sense and let our Get Rich Quick urge run wild. There’s a part of you that hates it that you follow a Get Rich Quick strategy. My citing of the academic research makes it very hard for you to ignore the merit in what I am saying. Thus, you hate me with a burning hate.

    In the long run, your hatred of the academic research will be transformed into a hatred of your mistake in letting your retirement money ride on a pure Get Rich Quick approach. What then?

    Rob

  19. The Deleted plop contributor says

    It is the behavior, Rob. You have admitted it and you are still tying to spin it.

    The only hate I see is coming from you.

    I am comfortable with my retirement plan, but it looks like you are not.

  20. The Pink Unicorn says

    Rob,

    You seem to be putting a lot of effort this past week in trying to justify your actions. What’s up with that? Trying to get over some guilt?

  21. Rob says

    I respond to what is in front of me, Pink.

    The Great Debate has been going on for 11 years. There’s a sense in which the debate has been over the same question since the first day — Do valuations affect long-term returns or do they not? That’s the only substantive question that has ever been at issue.

    While that element has always remained the same, the emotional element — which is the element that matters because the answer to the substantive question has been 100 percent obvious going back to the first day — is ever changing. So for a time the “defense” of the Old School studies was that the idea that valuations matter wasn’t supported by the data. Then John Walter Russell provided the data and the “defense” became the claim that Russell’s work was not peer-reviewed and only peer-reviewed research counts. Then Wade Pfau published peer-reviewed research showing the same thing that Russell showed and the “defense” was transformed into “well, Pfau no longer talks about his findings because we threatened to get him fired from his job if he did so and Bogle’s unwillingness to stand up for him convinced him that he would be all alone if he insisted on posting honestly.”

    The emotional impulse behind the “defense” of Buy-and-Hold remains strong. But the intellectual defense started out plenty weak and has grown weaker and weaker and weaker over the past 11 years. In recent years, those trying to “defend” Buy-and-Hold have had no choice but to engage in criminal acts. They enjoy no other options other than to acknowledge the obvious reality, that Buy-and-Hold was a mistake and there is no study showing that a strategy in which the investor fails to exercise price discipline can ever work for even a single long-term investor.

    I prefer to write about matters of substance over the matters of process that I have focused on in a number of recent blog entries. For three reasons. One, the process stuff is a nasty business and so it is not a fun thing to write about. Two, readers hate discussions of the process stuff. And, three, once we all make the transition to Valuation-Informed Indexing, the substance stuff will have great value while no one is going to care about the process side of a debate that has come to an end. So I generally focus my efforts on the substance side while writing about process to the extent necessary to bring the stupid Debate About Having a Debate to an end and thereby get us to the debate that we all very much need to have, the debate about what the last 32 years of peer-reviewed academic research really says about what works in stock investing.

    It’s becoming increasingly obvious over time that, no matter how much I would like to avoid exploration of the process questions, we are not going to get to the substantive debate we all very much need to engage in without full exploration of them. To put it bluntly, we are going to need to see some of you Goons be sent to prison before as a society we are going to give up our vain hope that we can somehow avoid working through these issues. I don’t want it to be this way and I have dragged my feet re going down this road for 11 years now. But this is not my call. We need politicians and economists and academics and bloggers and journalists helping us bring all this ugliness to an end. To persuade them to work up the courage to get involved, we are going to need to put these matters on the table.

    I don’t want you to go to prison, Pink. I have never wanted that. I worked very, very hard for many years to set things up so that you would not go to prison. I wan’t able to pull that off. I believe that today it is too late for you to avoid a prison term. It would be irresponsible for me to ignore that reality. So I now am more inclined to talk about it than I was in earlier days. My goal today is to shorten your prison term. I am not going to achieve that goal without cooperation on your part. Part of what I need to do to obtain your cooperation is to be up front with you about the prison term and about what you can do to shorten it. So I work hard not to let my natural resistance to talking about such a sad matter hold me back as much as I have let it hold me back in the past.

    Once we get to substance, we obviously will not be talking about prison terms. We will be talking about all the wonderful stuff on the other side of The Big Black Mountain. I believe that there still will BE prison terms. But I don’t believe that anyone is going to want to spend much time talking about them, not when we could instead be talking about how lucky we are to be the first generation of investors who ever walked Planet Earth with the ability to invest in stocks on a virtually risk-free basis.

    My job is to help us all achieve as much of the good stuff as we can possibly obtain as quickly as we can possibly obtain it while keeping any negatives to the absolute minimum. If I could wave a magic wand in the air and take us back to May 13, 2002, for a do-over, I would obviously do that. I have a funny feeling that you would be happy to go along now that you see how things turn out if you elect not to do so. But I don’t have a magic wand. I have to respond to what is in front of me.

    What is in front of me is a situation where a failed investing strategy has put us in an economic crisis on its way to becoming the Second Great Depression. We know that a large segment of the population feels a deep interest in exploring the academic research that gets us out of that economic crisis and on the way to the biggest economic boom in our history. We also know that there is a group of internet Goons willing to engage in any behavior imaginable, including criminal behavior, to stop the millions of middle-class people who very much need to learn what the academic research says from doing so. In such circumstances, what is the responsible thing to do?

    The responsible thing to do is to PUBLICIZE the criminal acts in hopes that it will cause some influential people to work up the courage to do what it takes to bring the madness to and end and thereby to keep the prison sentences as limited as they can possibly be given the amount of water that has already passed under the bridge.

    My focus is going to continue to be on the substantive side. I still write the VII column and so on. But I am working hard to gain the courage to be more open in my discussion of the criminal side of this story. Not because I enjoy talking about those things or seeing you serve prison time. Because I want to leave the ugly side of this behind and move on to enjoyment of the vast wonderful side. I want to see the economic crisis brought to an end and I want to see the huge economic boom begin. And I want Pink’s prison sentence reduced to the absolute shortest time-period to which it can be reduced given the realities that prevail today. Any lack of courage evidenced by me at this stage PROLONGS your prison sentence, Pink. Not good. Not good for you. Not good for me. Not good for anyone.

    That’s the thinking behind the small change in focus that you are picking up on, Pink. I naturally wish you all the best things that this life has to offer.

    Rob

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