Set forth below is the text of a comment that I recently put to a discussion at this site’s blog:
I’ve spoken to hundreds of experts in this field, Deleted. Nearly every one tells me the same basic story.
In private, they say that they LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the idea of being able to tell their clients what they truly believe about stock investing.
In public, they want no part of it. They have seen the millions of acts of intimidation that the Buy-and-Hold Mafia have employed to keep investors from learning what the academic research says and they want no part of it. (I have of course not personally seen millions of acts of intimidation but I have seen tens of thousands just in a few small internet communities — the total number of acts of intimidation that have been employed since Shiller published his research in 1981 is obviously in the millions).
Once Bogle gives his “I Was Wrong” speech and it is is written up on the front page of the New York Times, there will obviously be no problem. No one is going to be afraid of being sued or of having his career destroyed once the big newspapers have written about the decades-long Campaign of Terror against those who prefer research-based strategies over the pure Get Rich Quick approach and once they have seen that the vast majority of us oppose these ugly tactics in no uncertain terms.
We are in a Catch-22 today, Deleted. 90 percent of us want to hear the truth about stock investing. But the 10 percent of you Goons possess a power far greater than your numbers should provide you because you are utterly ruthless in the tactics you employ. Bogle is obviously afraid of you. Benrstein is obviously afraid of you. Burns is obviously afraid of you. Pfau is obviously afraid of you.
My view is that any “expert” who fails to say publicly what he truly believe about the subject matter in which he possesses expertise because he is afraid of what Goons will do to him if he does is not a true expert. I feel for these people. But, if they do not possess the courage to stand up to you, they need to find a new way of making a living. Pretending that there is some mystical blue pixie dust that is going to cause the stock market to start behaving in a manner in which never before in history it has behaved is just not cutting the mustard. True experts tell the truth REGARDLESS of how much it may hurt the feelings of the social misfits among us.
The investing field is 100 percent corrupt today. We cannot trust anything that anyone says until you Goons have been put in prison and as a society we have thereby sent the message that the same standards of ethics that already apply in every other field of human endeavor are going to be made applicable in the investing advice field as well.
We don’t need surveys. We already have thousands of researchers and economists and academics and journalists and bloggers and investing experts who know what the last 32 years of academic research says about the subject of stock investing. We need prison sentences for those who employ death threats and board bannings and defamation and threats to get academic researchers fired from their jobs to keep the word from getting out. Prison sentences for those who have violated our laws send a very different message than surveys. It is prison sentences we need for the millions who have expressed a desire to learn the realities to feel safe exploring and discussing these issues in a serious way.
I wish you all good things, my soon-to-be-prison-dwelling friend.