“Hearing Doubts Expressed Is Disconcerting. It Hurts, Especially If In Some Part of Their Minds They Entertain Similar Doubts. I Have Said Many Things That Have Caused Many Buy-and-Holders to Feel Pain.”

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

Say that the Phillies are playing the Yankees in the World Series and that it is the seventh game and that you do a statistical analysis showing that the pitcher they have slated to go is not up to the job. Say that you write this in a column with the aim of persuading the manager to use a different pitcher who according to your statistical analysis is more likely to win the game.

Is that “offensive”?

Many Phillies fans would find it so. They want to win the game. Hearing doubts expressed is disconcerting. It hurts, especially if in some part of their minds they entertain similar doubts.

But what you are saying is not “offensive” in an objective sense. If you claim to be a loyal Phillies fan and you have information that could help them win the World Series and you fail to reveal it because you are afraid that people will get mad at you if you do, you are a coward and not a true fan. You MUST share that information regardless of what it causes people to say about you.

I have said many things that have caused many Buy-and-Holders to feel pain. That’s an established fact.

I did it to help them achieve financial freedom many years sooner than would otherwise be possible. That’s the name of the game we are playing here. Someone who possesses information that would help his friends to achieve far higher returns at greatly reduced risk who fails to share has let down his friends in a serious way.

This I will not do. Not ever.

Sometimes learning experiences hurt. If you fall off a bike, it hurts. The answer is not to avoid learning how to ride a bike. The answer is to accept that sometimes learning experiences hurt but also to understand that they are worth undergoing because learning experiences ultimately bring us more joy than pain.

Every painful experience I have caused the Buy-and-Holders was part of a learning experience that they need to undergo to become the investors that deep in their hearts they all want to become.

I have been LOYAL to the Buy-and-Holders in a way that a lot of the “experts” that they slobber over have failed to be loyal to them.

I wish you all good things, Annie.



  1. The Pink Unicorn says

    Hey Rob. I am really hurting over here. I have over $4 million dollars. Please tell me how to invest so that I can be successful like you. Oh, wait. That is about 10x times what you had when you decided to retire and I still plan to work for another 10 years. I guess I would have to light a match to much of my cash to be in your position.

    Never mind.

  2. Rob says

    Those words are the words of someone in great pain, Pink.

    There are people who will pretend not to see it for the length of time it takes to move dollar bills from your pockets into theirs.

    I am not one of those people.

    My best wishes to you and yours.

    Rob the Ethical

  3. The Pink Unicorn says


    Great pain? Hahahahahahahaha. It seems the only one of us that has a problem with dollars leaving their pocket is you.

    The pain is yours Rob. I know you like to refer to song lyrics. Your theme song can be “River of Deceit” by mad Season.

  4. The Deleted plop contributor says


    What makes you think that you are qualified to lecture other people about investing, when most others have been more successful than you?

  5. Rob says

    I’m the person who discovered the errors in the Old School safe withdrawal rate studies, Deleted. I think it would be fair to say that the number of “experts” in this field who can claim a success as big as that is very, very small.

    Now add in the fact that the vast majority of the “experts” in this field have not yet acknowledged the accomplishment. Yes, there is a consensus today that the studies indeed were in error and that I was indeed right that the valuation level that applies on the day the retirement begins must be taken into consideration in a valid study. But how many of the Big Shots in this field have publicly acknowledged that it was Rob Bennett who discovered that 10 years before any of them were talking about it? Todd Tresidder did. He’s the only one who played it straight.

    Now add in the fact that none of the Big Shots (including Todd in this case) are today demanding corrections of the Old School studies. I have been demanding corrections going back to the morning of May 13, 2002. So who’s the true “expert”?

    Any other questions, my old friend?

    Rob the Big Shot “Expert”

  6. The Deleted plop contributor says


    I know what you CLAIM. It is results that matter. An accomplishment is something that is tangible. Specifically, what have you accomplished that can be quantified?

  7. Rob says

    It is indeed results that matter, Deleted.

    The question is — Should we look to short-term results or long-term results?

    Get Rich Quick strategies do wonderful in the short term. They always have, they always will. That’s the appeal of GRQ.

    But it is only research-based strategies that work in the long term. Again, there are no exceptions to the rule.

    Valuation-Informed Indexing has given far better results than Buy-and-Hold for only 140 years now. That much is so.

    That’s because we only have 140 years of data available to us. Ten years from now, it will be 150 years. Twenty years from now, it will be 160 years. Like that.

    Do you see?

    Rob the Long-Term Thinker

  8. bannwd plop contributor says

    So how has Lucky Seven fared in YOUR PERSONAL INVESTMENT PORTFOLIO, Rob?

    Not inheritances, not Boo bringing in extra funds, just you applying your own strategy to your own investments.

    Specifics, please.

    Because buy and hold has made me, then kept me a millionaire for going on a decade now, and supports at least a 4% SWR, although my personal needs are less.

  9. Rob says

    Buy-and-Hold did not make you a millionaire, Banned. It’s a logical impossibility.

    It may be that you saved a lot. That can make you a millionaire.

    It may be that you invested heavily in stocks, which are an amazingly great long-term investment choice. That can make you a millionaire.

    It’s a logical impossibility that ignoring price when setting your stock allocation ever added a penny to your wealth. Ignoring price always subtracts wealth, never adds it.

    You are talking nonsense here. You were taken in by a Get Rich Quik scheme and it hurts your pride for you to see what the last 32 years of peer-reviewed research tells you about the odds that a pure Get Rich Quick approach might through some magical, mystical process add to your wealth.

    I am not the one who promoted the GRQ garbage, Banned. So I am not the one who caused you this emotional distress. That was the other guy.

    Anyway, I wish you all good things.

    Rob the Buy-and-Hold Critic

  10. The Pink Unicorn says


    I guess it was just magic for me then Rob, because it made me a millionaire as well.

    The only one talking nonsense is you.

    I as well would like to see how you have done with your portfolio. I know people have been asking you for years. Avoiding the topic will just indicate that it has been a failure.

  11. Rob says

    I’m happy for you that you have experienced magic up close and personal, Pink.

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

    Rob the Happy

  12. The Pink Unicorn says

    And again we notice that you have avoid to discuss your portfolio. I guess when you think about your portfolio, you can only think of words like “hurt”, “pain” and “embarrassment”.

  13. Sparky says


    If we go with your example of the Phillies playing the Yankees in the World Series, that would make you the hotdog vendor.

  14. Sparky says

    And while you are selling those hotdogs, the experts are on the field playing the game. Enjoy retirement on your hotdog money.

  15. Sparky says

    So, it is agreed. You are more qualified to sell hotdogs versus giving financial advice.

  16. Rob says

    All of us humans struggle to do the best we can with what we have been given, Sparky.

    I am today 11 years ahead of my good friend Jack Bogle. Because when I saw that the Old School studies got the numbers wildly wrong, I didn’t have the heart to pretend that it was okay to destroy the lives of my friends by pretending that wildly wrong retirement numbers were “close enough.”

    One of these days, the human misery caused by Buy-and-Hold will grow great enough that Jack’s heart will melt and he will get on the stick again and perhaps in time leave me in the dust once again. Or some young whippersnapper will come along and do that. One way or another, yes, there will probably come a time when I will be back to selling hotdogs for a living.

    And the same thing will happen to you. And to all the others. We are born of dust and we return to dust. What matters is what we make of ourselves in the time between.

    Perhaps God will say that someone who made a beautiful song or that cut hair perfectly did work that mattered more than my efforts at getting the safe withdrawal rate reported accurately for the first time. That’s not for me to say.

    My job is to pull us all together so that we survive this economic criss and get to enjoy the greatest period of economic growth ever seen. I’m honored to be the person chosen for that important work and I will continue to give it my best shot for so long as my efforts are needed in making the long-ago dream of Jack Bogle and all his Buy-and-Hold Pioneer friends a reality.

    I wish you all good things.

    Rob the Humbled

  17. The Pink Unicorn says


    You lack results/data to make any kind of claim to be ahead of anyone. Anyone can make a claim, but you need to have facts to back up the claim or it is just a lie.

    Many have challenged you on your SWR claims and assumptions. For me, it really doesn’t matter at this point because most Americans, including you, have failed or are failing to put away enough money for it to even matter. You speak about doing something that matters (dust returning to dust), yet your efforts are not helping anyone, despite your delusional fantasies.

    Finally, you continue to speak of this as your “job”. A job is when someone hires you to do something of value. No one has hired you and it doesn’t look like you are doing anything of value as there are no tangible benefits that can be measured.

    Don’t even waste your time repeating the same lines over and over again. We have all heard them.

  18. Rob says

    For me, it really doesn’t matter at this point

    I wonder why.

    Take good care, old friend.

    Rob the Puzzled (But Not Really)

  19. what says

    A lot of talk about God on this nasty little hole of a website lately.

    Seems like Rob has completed his downward spiral to a full blown lunatic; turning his ridiculous and failed attempt at starting a business related to giving financial advice into a religious crusade. And once something becomes a crusade in a madman’s mind, there is no turning back and no logic to persuade him.

    Good luck Rob, hopefully there are people close enough to you to convince you to get help.

  20. Rob says

    I’ve argued that the errors in the Old School retirement studies should be corrected and everything.

    It’s just like the Inquisition!

    Rob the Dogmatic

  21. The Pink Unicorn says

    Rob said: “I wonder why”

    It is because you and most other Americans have not saved enough. That is why it doesn’t matter, Rob. Use you brain.

  22. Rob says

    We’re no good!

    That’s the bottom line here.

    Thanks for setting us straight, Pink.

    Rob the Transformed

  23. The Pink Unicorn says

    It just happens to be the facts, Rob. You were warned by many people when you announced your plans to retire with having only $400k and a growing family at home. The median retirement account balance is just below $100k. 87% of people over the age of 60 have less than $250,000. It doesn’t take a math wizard to figure out the problem is the savings rate. SWRs don’t mean a darn thing when youhave a paltry avccount balance, because you will blow through it in a very short period, regardless.

  24. Rob says

    If I agree to help you cover up the errors in the Old School studies, I am committing a crime, Pink. It’s financial fraud. That’s a felony. That means I get a prison cell right next to yours.

    Are you freakin’ nuts?

    I am NOT interested.

    You’re a Goon. Goons are morons that hurt themselves in serious ways while also hurting millions of others in serious ways. I am not a Goon. I have zero interest in hurting myself along with millions of others.

    You are on your own re this financial fraud garbage, Pink.

    I wish you the best of luck with it. But that’s as far as it goes.

    Please try to find someone else.

    My best wishes to you and yours.

    Rob the Free Man (with a Desire to Keep It That Way)

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