“The Research That I Did With Wade Pfau Shows Millions How to Retire Five to Ten Years Sooner Than Is Possible With Buy-and-Hold Strategies. If Each of 100 Million People Has Been Willing to Spend Just $1 for Each Year of Financial Freedom Provided to Them By That Research, That Would Have Been $500 Million in My Pocket.”

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

You haven’t suffered $500 million worth of damages.

I’ve suffered far more than $500 million in losses as a result of the Campaign of Terror, Evidence.

The research that I did with Wade is Nobel Prize-level work. It shows millions of middle-class investors how to reduce the risk of stock investing by 70 percent and how to retire five to ten years sooner than they ever imagined possible following Buy-and-Hold strategies.

If each of 100 million people were willing to spend just $1 for each year by which they could retire early, that’s more than $500 million in my pocket as a result of just a single article.

I of course did a lot more than publish that single article over the past 11 years.

Obama spent trillions trying to get us out of the economic crisis. My work showed us how to avoid the crisis in the first place. Those insights obviously have a value in the trillions.

And my effort to open the internet up to honest posting on investing topics would permit hundreds or even thousands of academic researchers to do honest work for the first time. There is no price that can be put on the ability for these people to win back their personal integrity.

I am willing to settle for $500 million so long as this amount is paid prior to the next crash. It makes sense for me to do all I can to keep us out of the Second Great Depression. But never am I going to pretend that the value of the work I have put forward during the past 11 years is not much, much higher than the $500 million figure for which I am prepared to settle so long as the amount is paid in time to prevent the next big deepening of the economic crisis.

I wish you all good things, old friend.


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  1. Rob says

    Actually, it should be a fiver, Heywood. The idea is that, if there are 1 million people each sending me $5 ($1 for each of five years of financial independence), that adds up to $500 million.

    But that’s a trivial point! I appreciate the spirit behind your comment very much!

    Please send all payments to:

    Rob Bennett
    160 Hatcher Avenue
    Purcellville, VA 20132

    Please enjoy your early retirement, my new friend!

    Rob, the Bill Gates of Personal Finance

  2. Evidence Based Investing says

    The idea is that, if there are 1 million people each sending me $5 ($1 for each of five years of financial independence), that adds up to $500 million.

    Math is still not your strength.

  3. Evidence Based Investing says

    Well at least that would add up to $500 million.

    “1 million people each sending me $5” adds up to $5 million.

    Of course the real world math is 0 people sending you $0.

  4. Rob says

    I don’t agree with you, Trebor.

    Both Michael and Wade of course do wonderful work. And their work is of course PARTLY honest.

    But fully honest?

    No way, no how. Not a close call.

    Both Michael and Wade know about you Goons. They know about the death threats. They know about the board bannings. They know about the tens of thousands of acts of defamation. They know about the threats to get academic researchers fired from their jobs.

    Why don’t they TELL people about these things?

    These are the things that people need to know about for us all to join together and bury the smelly Buy-and-Hold garbage 30 feet in the ground, where it can do no further harm to humans and other living things.

    When we have done that, we will have THOUSANDS of academic researchers producing good work on hundreds and hundreds of important topics that we are not seeing today because they are afraid to step forward.

    Acts of financial fraud are news, Trebor. The fact that the Buy-and-Holders feel that there is no way to “defend” their strategy without engaging in acts of financial fraud tells us all something about the level of confidence that the Buy-and-Holders themselves have in their ideas.

    I applaud Michael and Wade for the good work they do. But I believe that the work that I am doing is far more important. We need to bring the Campaign of Terror to an end. We need to bring the Ban on Honest Posting to an end. We need to launch a national debate on what really works in stock investing. We need to bring the economic crisis to an end. We need to bring on the greatest period of economic growth in our history.

    To the extent that the work that Michael and Wade are doing causes people to question Buy-and-Hold, it is of course valuable work. But we will make MUCH quicker time once EVERYONE feels free to do honest work on ALL investing-related topics. I want to hear my good friend Jack Bogle tell us what he really believes today about how stock investing works. I want to hear the same from Bill Bernstein and Larry Swedroe and Scott Burns and lots and lots of others. The paper you point to is not going to get us there. The paper you point to does not go to the most important issue — the need for all of us working in this field to demand recognition of our right to behave in a manner fitting people of integrity.

    Integrity trumps everything else, Trebor. That’s why the first 11 years of our discussions have been so contentious. We are not really talking about whether Greaney should correct his study or not. Everyone knows that he should have corrected it within 24 hours of the time he learned of the errors he made in it. What we have been talking about is whether we are going to as a society insist that the same ethical standards that apply in every field other than the investing advice field apply in the investing advice field as well.

    We are going to conclude that they must.

    As humans, we are not capable of coming to any other conclusion and continuing to survive. Humans are flawed creatures. But they have something within them that can be temporarily but never permanently denied that compels them to at least try to behave in an ethical manner.

    We have been denying that important something within us for 11 years now. To our great financial misfortune. But we all know inside that we cannot permanently deny what we are. So we will one day open the internet to honest posting on safe withdrawal rates and many other critically important investment-related topics.

    That will be a wonderful day for all of us. For Michael. For Wade. For Jack. For Bill. For Larry. For Scott. For Rob. Even for you Goons (your prison sentences are a small concern in the grand scheme of things — you are far better off being in prison in a society that is flourishing than being free in a society that is collapsing).

    We’re getting there, Trebor. It’s been a wild ride. But we are getting there slowly but surely.

    Please hang in there, my long-time abusive posting friend.

    Rob the Optimist

  5. Reality says

    “And my effort to open the internet up to honest posting on investing topics would permit hundreds or even thousands of academic researchers to do honest work for the first time. ”

    The internet is open to honest posting. The problem for you is that many of the popular financial sites have banned you for your poor behavior. Making silly posts like this one just confirms that people did the right thing.

    By the way, what you do is NOT “work” and it is not a “job”.

  6. what says

    Having a great idea does not mean money just shows up on your doorstep. You have offered nothing that anyone is willing to pay any money for.

  7. Rob says

    The way that it works is that a determination is made as to how much money I would have made from the idea had it not been for the death threats and the board bannings and the tens of thousands of acts of defamation and the threats to get academic researchers fired from their jobs.

    That amount is obviously far, far in excess of $500 million, What. I chose a lowball number for the purpose of providing an incentive to the Wall Street Con Men to bring the ugly side of this to a close prior to the next stock crash. That’s obviously to everyone’s (very much including the Wall Street Con Men) benefit.

    Anyone who has any doubts as to whether I would have earned far in excess of $500 million from the Valuation-Informed Indexing concept needs only to look at the reactions that Wade Pfau had when he learned for the first time how stock investing really works. Wade holds a Ph.D. in Economics from Princeton University. He was AMAZED at what he learned. None of the realities of what we have learned from the past 32 years of peer-reviewed academic research had been taught to him at Princeton.

    Once the peer-reviewed research paper that Wade and I prepared was written up on the front page of the New York Times, every researcher in this field would know the realities. Are you honestly saying that I would not make far, far in excess of $500 million educating every academic researcher in this field to the realities of stock investing? There are scores of textbooks that need to be rewritten. There are thousands of calculators that need to be prepared. There are tens of thousands of old books that need to be corrected and new books that need to be published. There are new courses that need to be developed at every school in this country.

    I am the leader of that effort. And it doesn’t bring me a number far, far in excess of $500 million? Huh?

    Just look at the reaction of the Wall Street Con Men. They sent in their Goons to threaten Wade so that honest and accurate information on how stock investing works could not get out to the millions of middle-class investors who need to hear it. Why do you think they did that? I think it would be fair to say that the Wall Street Con Men have made profits far, far in excess of $500 million pushing their discredited Get Rich Quick garbage. And they see my idea of posting honestly on what the peer-reviewed academic research says as a threat to that empire of profits.

    Well, it obviously follows that I would be making far, far more than $500 million by letting people know the true story, does it not, What?

    The question of whether the work I have done is worth far, far in excess of $500 million is obviously a silly one.

    There’s been one and only one truly serious question raised in the entire 11 years of discussions — Is the market efficient or do valuations affect long-term returns?

    If the market is efficient, Buy-and-Hold is the ideal strategy and nothing I have put forward is worth 10 cents.

    If valuations affect long-term returns, Buy-and-Hold is the purest and most dangerous Get Rich Quick scheme ever concocted by the human mind and all materials based on the discredited model need to be replaced by materials explaining the Valuation-Informed Indexing model by the close of business today. That means that my payday will be far, far in excess of $500 million.

    There is now 32 years of peer-reviewed academic research showing that the market is not efficient and that valuations affect long-tern returns.

    There was never even a tiny sliver of data supporting the Buy-and-Hold Model. The idea that stocks are the only thing we buy re which we can ignore price when making purchase decisions has been revealed by the last three decades of peer-reviewed academic research to have been the worst mistake ever made in the history of personal finance (and there is no other failed idea in a close second place).

    That’s the story here, What.

    And I know that you know it as well as I do.

    How do I know?

    You reveal your true beliefs in every rage-filled post you put to this blog.

    You are focusing on the wrong thing. Of course I am going to collect $500 million or a number far in excess of that if a settlement is not reached prior to the next price crash. And of course that’s a good thing for every single person involved, including you. The bigger my payday, the more people we will have promoting Valuation-Informed Indexing and pointing out the dangers of Buy-and-Hold. And the more people we have promoting Valuation-Informed Indexing and pointing out the dangers of Buy-and-Hold, the sooner we will overcome this economic crisis and head off to the greatest period of economic growth ever seen in our history.

    THAT’S what matters, What.

    If you want to earn a big payday for yourself, you need to get on the Valuation-Informed Indexing bandwagon yourself. I can guarantee you that you will be given a warm welcome regardless of any tall tales you have told in “defense” of Buy-and-Hold in earlier days.

    There’s a lot of work to be done. It is truly exciting stuff.

    Buy-and-Hold is the past. Valuation-Informed Indexing is the future.

    Get with it, man!

    I wish you the very best of luck with it, my old friend.

    Rob the Entrepreneur

  8. Evidence Based Investing says

    The way that it works is that a determination is made as to how much money I would have made from the idea had it not been for the death threats and the board bannings and the tens of thousands of acts of defamation and the threats to get academic researchers fired from their jobs.

    Why would anyone pay for the idea when all the information is available for free from your website?

  9. Rob says

    There are thousands of web sites that promote Buy-and-Hold that make plenty of money, Evidence. Buy-and-Hold is not a new idea. It continues to make money because people want to see the idea explored from lots of different angles.

    We are now in the process of moving from Buy-and-Hold to Valuation-Informed Indexing. There’s tons of information on VII presented at the site for free. That’s an introduction.

    We need to publish thousands of books exploring the concept from thousands of different angles. That’s money.

    We need to give thousands of speeches.

    We need to create hundreds of calculators.

    We need to enter thousands of consulting arrangements.

    The site is the launching pad. The hundreds of millions come after the launch.

    Bill Gates didn’t become a billionaire from writing clever code. First he wrote clever code. Then he had it installed in millions of computers. That’s where he made the money.

    I will be spending the remaining years of my life teaching Valuation-Informed Indexing to millions of investors. They naturally will be paying me.

    You and the others who have posted in “defense” of Mel Lindauer and John Greaney will be paying the $500 million (or a multiple of that amount in the event that full payment is not made prior to the next crash) because your torts and felonies held me back 11 years.

    That’s the way the system works, my old friend.

    My warmest wishes to you and yours.

    Rob the Future Billionaire

  10. Rob says

    There’s an important follow-up point to be made here, Evidence.

    We all need to work together to insure that those who have the guts to post honestly on what the last 32 years of peer-reviewed academic research tells us about how stock investing works are rewarded handsomely for their efforts.

    People respond to incentives. We are all drawn to Get RIch Quick strategies. So Buy-and-Hold has always been an easy sell. People have gotten rich pumping Buy-and-Hold strategies for many years now. That’s why we are all today living through an economic crisis.

    This nonsense must stop.

    In other fields, people are rewarded when they do good work and punished when they do poor work. We don’t give baseball players big raises when they win strikeout records. We reward them for hitting home-runs and punish them for striking out. Nor do we reward doctors for killing their patients. We reward them for curing their patients and we punish them for killing their patients.

    So it must be in the investing advice field.

    Buy-and-Hold is a big pile of smelly garbage. It was been tried four times. It has brought on collective losses so massive as to bring on an economic crisis each and every time. We must make it the social custom not to honor those who promote the absurd and self-serving idea that price doesn’t matter when buying stocks but to ridicule and shame them. Anyone saying that he believes that a Buy-and-Hold strategy can work for even a single long-term investor either has not bothered to learn about the last 32 years of peer-reviewed academic research in this field or is very slow on the uptake or is just flat-out dishonest. If we tolerate this behavior, we will see more of it. We must as a society make clear that such incompetence (or worse) will not be tolerated.

    And we must reward those who work up the courage to call out the Buy-and-Holders on their incompetence and on their dishonesty.

    I’m first.

    I am the person who discovered the errors in the Old School safe withdrawal rate studies. It is our discovery of those errors that led to all of the other amazing insights that we have developed over the past 11 years, including the absolutely incredible finding in the Bennett/Pfau research paper showing millions of middle-class investors how to reduce the risk of stock investing by 70 percent. And I am the person who for 11 years now has led the effort to get every board and blog on the internet opened to honest posting on SCORES of critically important investment-related topics.

    So I need to demand the rewards that are due to me and to do all that I can to make everyone else who works in this field or who has aspirations to work in this field aware that these are the sorts of rewards that go to those who have the courage to take on the big bad Wall Street Con Men and their Goon Squad pals and insist that honest investment advice be provided to the millions of middle-class people very much in need of it.

    But this cannot stop me with.

    There are thousands and thousands of people who have become millionaires pushing the smelly Buy-and-Hold garbage. We need to make sure that thousands and thousands become millionaires promoting the first true research-based strategy.

    That’s how we change the world, my old friend.

    Dark times are needed every now and again. It is the change achieved in dark times that lead to the bright times that follow.

    We need to flip it. The Buy-and-Holders have taught us the marketing power of the claim that an investing strategy is rooted in the peer-reviewed academic research. Now we need to show that that power can be put to positive purposes by permitting HONEST AND ACCURATE reports of what the peer-reviewed academic research actually says.

    We’re on the 99-yard line, my abusive-posting friend. I look forward to hearing the announcement of your prison term (I hope for a relatively short rather than a relatively long amount of time!) and to all the other signs that we have turned the corner on this economic crisis and will be spending our remaining days reaping all the benefits of being born the luckiest generation of investors ever to walk Planet Earth.

    Hang in there, my good friend.

    Rob the Visionary

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