Set forth below is the text of a comment that I recently put to the Goon Central board:
If this place is the cesspool of only Goons that you claim, why are you participating here
We are on the 99-yard line, Drip Guy.
Humankind has been working for centuries to learn how stock investing works. If you tool all the knowledge that we had acquired as of 1960, we were at the 25-yard line. We knew a few things. But not much. We had never made stock investing the subject of sustained and systematic academic research. So we tended to go around and around in circles.
The Buy-and-Holders came up with the idea of rooting their strategies in peer-reviewed academic research. That was huge. That took us to the 50-yard line by the time the book A Random Walk Down Wall Street was published in 1974.
The Buy-and-Holders got lots of things right. But all those things added together amounted to about 20 percent of what a person needs to know to invest effectively. They made a perfectly understandable mistake re the big one, valuations, which alone covers 80 percent of what we all need to know. Shiller provided the missing piece to the puzzle with his “revolutionary” (his word) research in 1981.
Unfortunately, a bull market slowed down the learning process. So long as people were able to keep a good percentage of the bull market “gains,” they were not too interested in learning experiences. Some of Shiller’s insights leaked out despite the general reluctance to consider them. But Shiller took us only to the 75-yard line.
In the past 11 years, the work that I have done with John Walter Russell and Wade Pfau has taken us to the 99-yard line. The research that I co-authored with Wade shows us how to reduce the risk of stock investing by 70 percent. Stocks are today for those willing to look at the peer-reviewed academic research in this field an essentially risk-free asset class. That’s Investor Heaven! We are home.
But we have not crossed the goal line!
Because it is not enough to have available to us the peer-reviewed academic research that permits us to reduce the risk of stock investing by 70 percent. We must get the word out re that research!
We must get it reported on the front page of the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal. We must form hundreds of new blogs that focus on VII rather than BH. We must persuade Jack Bogle to give his “I Was Wrong” speech so that the thousands of good and smart people who today are afraid to say what they really believe about how stock investing works are no longer afraid. We must get you Goons in prison cells so that we can wake up each morning knowing that all that ugliness is behind us and that it is only good stuff piled on top of good stuff up ahead. And on and on.
We’ve got one pass yet to complete, Drip Guy. And the pass is a PROCEDURAL pass, not a substantive pass. We need to have everyone who wants to bring the economic crisis to an end (and that is everyone alive on Planet Earth today) participating IN AN HONEST WAY in our discussions.
I don’t talk about the process stuff because I enjoy talking about the process stuff. I talk about the process stuff because the process stuff is the stuff holding us all back from talking about the substantive stuff.
Stock investing matters.
It matters enough that we all should want to talk about it honestly and to hear all others participating in our discussions talk about it honestly.
Very few of us have the courage it takes to talk about stock investing honestly in places that permit participation by the sorts of individuals who have put up posts in “defense” of Mel Lindauer and John Greaney.
So we need to get those people removed from every board and blog on the internet.
How do we do that?
By enforcing the darn laws of the United States! How else?
That’s why my focus is what it is today, old friend.
No one is going to be talking about your prison sentence once we have closed the doors and thrown away the key.
Your prison sentence is an issue today only because it has not begun yet.
Once you are gone, the rest of us will have the discussions that we built these boards and blogs to have. We will have civil and reasoned discussions.
I built the Retire Early board at Motley Fool for that very purpose.
What an irony!
Take care, man.