Set forth below is the text of a comment that I recently put to another blog entry at this site.
So you are NOT going to tell them to their faces that they will be going to prison.
I don’t see how you draw that conclusion from what I said, Slanegirl.
If I see Mike Piper at the conference and he asks me whether I think he is going to prison or not, I will say to his face just what I said here.
If I see Rick Ferri, I will say something a bit different because what I said here re Rick Ferri is a bit different. But what I say to Rick Ferri’s face will again be consistent with what I have said about Rick Ferri here.
If I see Jack Bogle, I will say to Jack words consistent with the words that I have said about Jack here. I have sent three e-mails to Jack re this matter. Did I hold back in those e-mails? I sent e-mails to Wade Pfau following his deal with you Goons. Did I not say in my e-mail to Wade the same thing that I say here? I wrote: “Think, man. This is insane!” Is that not strong enough language to get the point across?
You are accusing me of something that is not true. But you are touching on an important point.
All of us humans hate to make other people feel uncomfortable. That’s part of our nature. But in this particular case, this part of our nature is causing us to do harm to ourselves and others. A lot of people are thinking “Yeah, it’s obviously the case that those Old School safe withdrawal rate studies got the numbers wildly wrong — they wouldn’t write about it in the Wall Street Journal if there weren’t something to it. But I don’t want to point out that Rob Bennett has been saying this for 11 years now. Rob has been reporting the accurate numbers for many years and a lot of big names in this field have been participating in a cover-up. Those people may be going to prison. I don’t want to do something that is going to cause people to go to prison. I am going to keep my mouth shut.”
These people are trying not to cause trouble. That is generally a good impulse. But it is not at all a good impulse in this particular case. There are some circumstances in which you absolutely MUST cause some trouble because, if you do not, there’s going to be trouble ten times worse. When the house is on fire and there are people sleeping in it, you don’t keep it to yourself because you don’t want to trouble their sleep. You scream. You shake them. You pull them out of bed.
We have as a society been asleep re the safe withdrawal rate matter for 11 years now. Our collective attitude has been: “Oh, it will work itself out somehow, let’s not go there.” We need to go there. We need to examine the problem closely and we need to fix the problem. That means that, for starters, we need to start talking about the problem and what caused it and why it has remained unfixed for 11 years now and about how our knowledge that these mistakes were made changes what we have long believed about how stock investing works.
We need to do that for all sorts of reasons. One of those reasons is that more people will get sent to prison if we fail to talk about it and those who do get sent to prison will get sent there for a longer period of time if we fail to talk about it. I don’t tell people to their face that they may be going to prison and then laugh at their misfortune. I tell people to their face that they may be going to prison as part of an effort to insure that acts are taken that will help them to get their prison sentence REDUCED.
It is 100 percent crazy that people are going to prison over this. Our discovery of how stock investing really works is 100 percent good news. It’s a dream come true. It’s like discovering the Fountain of Youth. We need to stop fighting over it and start enjoying our good fortune. If we had only corrected the retirement studies within 24 hours of the time that the errors in them became public knowledge, no one would be going to prison. I of course said that we should correct the studies way back on the morning of May 13, 2002. And there were of course hundreds of community members who backed me up on that and who want to see this taken to a place where it is early retirements we are all talking about instead of prison sentences either long or short.
You have placed yourself in circumstances where you are going to be serving a long prison sentence a little bit down the road, Slanegirl. As your friend, I tell you to your face that you better do something about the situation now, when it is still possible for positive actions to be taken. Your idea of committing multiple felonies to insure that Greaney does not need to correct his study is not working out so hot. Yes, you are hurting me. And yes, you are hurting millions of middle-class investors. And, yes, you are hurting every expert in this field, including our mutual friend Jack Bogle. But that’s not the complete list of the humans you are hurting. You are hurting Slanegirl very, very, very much. Please stop doing that.
My warmest wishes to you and yours, my long-time abusive posting friend.
Please note that I said that last part to your face as well. And that my eyes let you know that I mean every word of it.
Rob the Tough-Love Dude