“One of the Things I Love About the Wade Pfau E-Mails Is That You Can Hear In His Words How Much He Loves Helping People. As He Tapped Into New Insights, He Was Like a Kid Getting a Bike on His Birthday, Jumping Up and Down with Excitement About Things He Could Do Tomorrow That He Never Dreamed About Doing in the Past.”

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

They are not your friends and you aren’t even qualified to tie their shoes.

I couldn’t possibly disagree more, Anonymous.

One of the things I love about the Wade Pfau e-mails is that you can hear in his words how much he loves helping people. That is what caused him to enter this field in the first place. As he tapped into new insight about how stock investing really works following upon new insight about how stock investing really works, he was like a kid getting a bike on his birthday, jumping up and down with excitement about things he could do tomorrow that he never dreamed about doing in the past.

I am 100 percent confident that there was a day when my good friend Jack Bogle felt the same way. And that there was a day when my good friend Larry Swedroe felt the same way. And that there was a day when my good friend Bill Bernstein felt the same way. And that there was a day when my good friend Scott Burns felt the same way.

A Second Great Depression will cause vast amounts of human suffering, Anonymous. I have a funny feeling that these good people are going to respond to seeing that vast amount of human suffering playing out before them by swallowing their pride a little bit and learning how to pronounce the words “I” and “Was” and “Wrong.”

I’ll let you in on a little secret. I think that you, my friend, may do the same.

We’ll see.

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

Rob the Fellow Who Remains Confident of the Basic Goodness of His Buy-and-Hold Friends

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  1. Rob says

    That’s not so, Anonymous.

    There is not one person alive who does not want to know how to invest effectively. Not one.

    I am teaching them how to invest effectively. So I am obviously their friend.

    And I like learning stuff from them too. So it works both ways.

    Is there friction in evidence in my dealings with them?

    There is indeed.

    What’s that about?

    It hurts to realize that you have been taken, Anonymous. I am telling that they have been taken. I am saying things that cause them to feel pain.

    So they strike out at me.

    But they STILL want to learn how to invest effectively. The pain they feel doesn’t change that.

    The pain is a temporary thing. The learning experience is a forever thing.

    The bad stuff that we have to work through to get to the good stuff is small. The good stuff on the other side is huge.

    I am their friend.

    They don’t see it because of the pain, that’s all.

    If there were a way to avoid the pain, I would of course elect that path.

    There is no such way.

    All learning experiences begin with a realization that you don’t know it all. So that has to come first.

    If they could see what is on the other side, they would jump in two seconds. Our problem today is that they cannot yet see what is on the other side clearly enough to want to jump to it.

    But there is no other way. So that is what they will do in time.

    Once the pain is over, it is over for good. So the thing to do is to do everything possible to insure that the transition takes place as soon as possible.

    We have an entire nation of people in pain over what they once believed about investing, Anonymous.

    Please don’t let that reality get you down.

    The pain is in one sense a very good sign. The pain comes from the realization that you could have done so much better with your money. The more pain you feel, the better you could have done.

    We are seeing lots of pain. That means that there is lots of forward movement there to be achieved. The advance here is huge.

    It is the job of all investment advisors today to help people through this pain. Lots are not doing it because it is hard work. That’s wrong. It is hard work but it is also important work. And very fulfilling work. Once people get past the pain part, they never, ever, ever want to go back to the discredited strategies.

    There are no boils on any asses. We are all in this together. We are all friends.

    We are humans, of course. So we are scared. We may COMPLAIN of boils on our asses. That’s just us griping about the pain. The thing to do is to bring an END to the pain. We know who are friends are by checking to see who is putting the most energy into that project. The people who are NOT our friends don’t have the combination of guts and love to do it. The people who ARE our friends want to do everything they can to help us out of a tight spot.

    I’m your friend, Anonymous. I am not a boil on your ass.


    Rob the Boil (Not!)

  2. Anonymous says

    A friend is someone that acknowledges you, in turn, as a friend. Show just one email where this is the case with those mention. You are not my friend, by the way.

    A friend also does not lie about you and make prison threats. Those things are done by some that is like a boil on your ass (like you).

    You comments are nonsensical.

  3. Rob says

    A friend is someone that acknowledges you, in turn, as a friend.

    I don’t agree, Anonymous.

    I would describe a friend as someone who cares enough about you to want to see you do well.

    If you are drunk and about to get in a car, your friend is not the “yes, man” who says “good luck!” and walks away because he lacks the guts to take on your torrent of abuse. Your friend is the fellow who takes the keys from you and offers you his guest room for the night.

    That’s my sincere take in any event.


  4. Rob says

    You are not my friend, by the way.

    I am most certainly your good friend, Anonymous.

    If you want to say that you do not want to return my friendship, I suppose that that is on you. It makes me sad. But it’s not my call.

    But I am certainly YOUR friend. There is zero doubt in my mind re that one.

    Take care, FRIEND!


  5. Rob says

    No rational person who is interested in learning to invest effectively will be listening to you, Rob.

    I’m afraid that I’m not buying what you are selling, Goon.

    Please take good care.

    Rob the Cautious Buyer

  6. what says


    As per common definition, you have no friends. It has to be mutual. Unless we are all Quakers, we are not friends.

    I am not a Quaker.

    a person whom one knows and with whom one has a bond of mutual affection, typically exclusive of sexual or family relations.
    synonyms: companion, soul mate, intimate, confidante, confidant, familiar, alter ego, second self, playmate, playfellow, classmate, schoolmate, workmate; More
    antonyms: enemy
    a person who acts as a supporter of a cause, organization, or country by giving financial or other help.
    “join the Friends of Guilford Free Library”
    synonyms: patron, backer, supporter, benefactor, benefactress, sponsor; More
    a person who is not an enemy or who is on the same side.
    “she was unsure whether he was friend or foe”
    a familiar or helpful thing.
    “he settled for that old friend the compensation grant”
    (often as a polite form of address or in ironic reference) an acquaintance or a stranger one comes across.
    “my friends, let me introduce myself”
    a contact associated with a social networking website.
    “all of a sudden you’ve got 50 friends online who need to stay connected”
    a member of the Religious Society of Friends; a Quak

  7. Rob says

    a person who is not an enemy or who is on the same side.

    That’s me re you, What.

    The real question here is whether What is a friend of What.

    Being exposed to new ideas can never be a negative. In a worse case scenario, being exposed to a new idea can be a neutral. You might find no value in the new idea and thus not bother exploring it. That brings no cost to you.

    In all other scenarios you benefit because you find at least some value in the new idea or perhaps even great value.

    I have exposed you to new investing ideas. I have added to your life or, in the worst-case scenario, left it what it was before while at least raising the possibility of adding to your life. That’s a friend, What, Any way you look at it.

    What is not a friend of What. That’s the issue here. What suspects that What has been taken and feels pain about this. So What denies What opportunities to learn and thereby makes What’s life a poorer thing than What deep in his heart wants his life to be.

    I am speaking out for the part of What that loves What and speaking out against the part of What that hates What and wants to destroy What because he is so ashamed of What.

    I am What’s friend.

    Even if What cannot stand me!

    Take care, man.

    Rob, the Friend of What that What Hates With a Burning Passion

  8. Rob says

    The opposite of love is not hate. It is indifference.

    You hate me with a burning passion, What.

    That means that there is something about me that excites deep feelings in you. There is love there that has gotten twisted.

    You feel love for me because we believe in the same foundational investing principles. We both favor strategies supported by the peer-reviewed academic research. Your ideas re what the research says are in transition. So for the time being you feel a need to distance yourself from anyone who references the research of the past 32 years. But deep in your heart you seek the same things I do.

    Is Jack Bogle a Linduarhead?

    There are some who say he is.

    I do not.

    Yes, he has put forward statements suggesting an affinity or at least a tolerance for Lindauer.

    But Bogle has ALSO put forward statements suggesting an affinity for the peer-reviewed academic research.

    It’s the real Bogle, the deep Bogle, that makes those kind of statements.

    The Bogle that puts forward statements suggesting an affinity or a tolerance for Lindauer is a fake, frightened, prideful, stubborn Bogle.

    I love the real Bogle, not the phony one. That makes me a true Boglehead. Lindaurer loves the phony Bogle. That makes him a Bogle destroyer.

    People aren’t one thing for their entire lives, What. We are growing creatures.

    Our entire society is in a state of transition re investing issues. We are growing from the failed Buy-and-Hold Model to the model we have all been seeking ever since we made investing a matter of systematic study, Valuation-Informed Indexing.

    Did you ever see a little boy pretending that he hates a girl but constantly paying attention to her?

    That’s you re me or Bogle re Valuation-Informed Indexing. It’s love trying to pretend to be something different.

    Why do we play these stupid games when we find true love?

    Because true love is scary.


    Rob the Bogle Lover

  9. The Pink Unicorn says

    It is not surprising that Rob can’t even understand something as simple as to what a friend really is.

  10. Rob says

    It’s not surprising that someone who has given in to feelings of hate could compose the sentence you have put forward above, Pink.

    Yes, your hate hurts me. Yes, it hurts millions of others.

    Do you know who else it hurts?

    Your hate hurts you, Pink.

    I am sure.

    You have my best wishes, no matter how much hate I inspire in you by putting forward those horrible, horrible words.

    Love wins in the end, my old friend. It always does. You will see that when we find ourselves laughing and drinking beers and having fun together and exploring exciting new investing ideas on the other side of all this.


  11. The Pink Unicorn says


    The only hate I see is coming from you. You are the one that threatens people with prison time and lawsuits. You are the one that makes endless posts about “goons”.

    It all started with you when you got banned from the boards. You have spent your time weaving a story to fit your fantasy of people going to jail and you reaping millions of dollars.

  12. Rob says

    It all started when I pointed out the errors in Greaney’s safe withdrawal rate study, Pink.

    If the numbers in the studies that millions of us have used to plan our retirements are wildly wrong, then the entire model for understanding how stock investing works that was used to create those studies is wrong. Everybody gets that.

    The question is what to do about it.

    The Buy-and-Hold Mafia says we need to cover it up.

    I say we need to correct the model. Once corrected, the model is called “Valuation-Informed Indexing.”

    The kicker here is that there are consequences that follow from getting the entire model wrong. The consequence in this case is that we experience another stock crash, one so big that it puts us in the Second Great Depression.

    If we were smart, we would fix the model before experiencing the crash.

    But even if we are dumb, we are going to fix it following the crash. Why the heck wouldn’t we?

    So you end up in prison.


    If I had magical powers, perhaps I would offer you a deal where you avoid prison in exchange for permitting honest posting on investing topics on the internet.


    I can tell you a surefire way to get it reduced. People are going to be a lot less mad about what you have done if we avoid another crash than they are going to be if we experience another crash. So I can work with you to get the word out about the realities and thereby help us avoid another crash. That would translate into a somewhat SHORTER prison sentence.

    And I can spin things in a direction that leads to a shorter prison sentence. I can put up words about cognitive dissonance and all that sort of thing. I can do that honestly. So that’s something you can ask of me that I can actually do for you.

    But I cannot change 11 years of internet history, Pink. That’s beyond my abilities.

    You need to stop focusing on the past, which cannot be changed, and start focusing on the future, which can be. By taking smart actions today, you make your future a lot better than it would otherwise be.

    Or at least so Rob Bennett believes.

    My warmest regards to you and yours.

    Rob the Non-Superman

  13. Anonymous says


    Well, we may agree on the timeframe as to when your hate began, but obviously, not on the real cause.

    No one but you is talking about prison and it is all part of your fantasy.

  14. Rob says

    Okay, Anonymous.

    No one but me is talking about prison today. That is so.

    At a later day, when others are talking about it, I will be able to point to this page and show that I talked about it when something positive and constructive and life-affirming could be done about the situation.

    That’s what matters to me.

    The rest of it is out of my hands.

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


  15. X Files says

    Are you going to talk about Wade, goons, death threats, prison sentences and lawsuits at FinCon? It would be dishonest and corrupt to avoid those topics when mingling with your fellow bloggers, since that is ALL you talk about here.

  16. Rob says

    That is not all I talk about here, X.

    I have five calculators here that exist nowhere else on the internet.

    I have over 200 RobCasts and just about all of them are over one-hour long.

    I have 200 articles focusing on different aspects of what the peer-reviewed academic research of the past 32 years says about what works in stock investing.

    And I of course have links to the peer-reviewed research that I co-authored with Wade Pfau, the research that shows millions of middle-class investors how to reduce the risk of stock investing by 70 percent.

    I will obviously be talking about as much of that stuff as I possibly can.

    But, yes, I will also talk about you Goons and your death threats and your board bannings and your tens of thousands of acts of defamation and your threats to get academic researchers fired from their jobs.


    Because the first question I get from just about everyone who I tell that it is now possible to reduce the risk of stock investing by 70 percent is — Why don’t we hear about this from every expert in the field, Rob?

    The obvious answer to that question is that the Buy-and-Holders are not willing to admit the mistake they made and have been engaging in brutally abusive tactics to keep millions of middle-class investors from learning what the research says.

    We know all we need to know on the substance side to bring the economic crisis to an end and to enter the greatest period of economic growth in our history, X. We are on the 99-yard line. The last yard is getting you Goons sent to prison. When your prison sentences are announced, the news will go viral and Buy-and-Hold will be a dirty phrase at every web site on the internet.

    I talk about bringing an end to the ugly stuff because it is by bringing an end to the ugly stuff that millions of us get to experience the benefits of being lucky enough to be born at the greatest time to be investors in the history of Planet Earth.

    Does all that make good sense to you, my good friend?

    Rob, the Fellow Excited About Being Given the Job of Carrying the Football One More Yard and Making the 99-Yard Drive So Far Achieved Pay Off Big-Time for Every Single Person Involved

  17. Rob says

    An argument could be made that that would be the best bet for all of us humans, Anonymous.

    Take care, man.

    Rob the Insane

  18. Anonymous says

    Just amazing how so many people ate much more intelligent, more successful and far more wealthy are wrong and Rob is the only one right………because, of course, Rob can’t possibly be wrong.

  19. Rob says

    I CAN be wrong, Anonymous.

    Say that I am wrong. Would that make it acceptable for me to post dishonestly? It would not.

    All of us can make mistakes. None of us can be required always to be right.

    But none of us may post dishonestly. We must say what we truly believe.

    We are all better off being wrong and honest than being right and dishonest.

    Why is that?

    Because no human can ever be sure that he is right. We are all flawed creatures.

    The only way we will discover our errors is if someone coming from a different set of life circumstances is honest enough to point out our errors to us. That person is worth gold.

    I don’t say that I am certain that I am right. I say that I must post honestly and that there can never be any negotiation re that point.

    What if Bogle is wrong? He can be wrong too, no?

    Would he want Rob Bennett insisting on his right to post honestly and pointing out his (Bogle’s) errors?

    I am 100 percent sure that Bogle would want me to point out his errors.

    So I am going to continue to do it.

    If you care about Bogle, you should DEMAND that I continue to do it.

    There shouldn’t be even a tiny question in anyone’s mind re this one.

    Our system works only if we all say what we honestly believe.

    Once intimidation enters the picture, things get corrupted.

    That hurts each and every one of us.

    Please think it over, my old friend.

    Rob, the Fellow Who May Have It All Wrong But Who Properly Insists On His Right to Post Honestly All the Same

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