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