Set forth below is the text of a comment that I recently put to another blog entry at this site:
You put things out there that provoke people and then act like a victim.
Did my famous post of May 13, 2002, pointing out the errors in John Greaney’s retirement study provoke people?
I know because I was there. Lots of people who I consider friends used that study to make decisions as to when to hand in resignations from high-paying jobs and then live only on their savings for the rest of their lives. Those people’s lives were ruined by the trust they put in that now-long-discredited study.
I did provoke them, Reality. You’ve got me re that one.
I’m proud of it.
I’m proud that I worked up the courage to tell the truth re that important matter despite what I knew about how John Greaney would react. Today we have the Wall Street Journal saying that those studies are in error and the Economist saying it and Smart Money saying it and Financial Mentor saying it and Wade Pfau saying it and the Journal of Financial Planning saying it and lots and lots of other people saying it.
Journalists change the world for the better by daring to tell important truths that people of power and money want covered up. I did that. I did the thing that all journalists aim to do in a very big way when I worked up the courage to “cross” John Greaney by telling the world about the errors he made in his study.
If you think that I am someday going to apologize for the wonderful thing I did, you don’t know me. It hasn’t happened in 11 years. It won’t happen in 11 billion years. I gave more back to this world on the morning of May 13, 2002, than I had in earlier days even imagined as a remote possibility.
Do I like to see the people who placed their retirement hopes in that garbage study hurting so bad?
I do not.
If the question becomes “how can we help the people whose lives were destroyed by all the lies that were told to them PRIOR to May 13, 2002?” I am in.
For so long as the question remains “how many fresh lies can we make up to cover up the lies we used to cover up the lies we used to cover up the errors in those retirement studies for 11 years?”, I would be grateful if you would try to find someone else to do your dirty work.
The post provoked people.
For a very good reason.
Buy-and-Hold is a lie. The numbers in the Buy-and-=Hold retirement studies are wildly off the mark from the numbers you get from using analytically valid methodologies.
There will be a day in the future when we will ALL feel comfortable posting honestly about safe withdrawal rates and scores of other critically important investing-related topics. I very much look forward to that day.
On that day, we will all see the good side of provocative posts. Reports on huge advances always sound provocative on first hearing. Huge advances are wonderful.
It was once provocative to say that humankind would one day be able to fly above the clouds.
It was once provocative to say that some day in the future people with black skin would have the same civil rights as people with white skin.
It was once provocative to say women should be able to get jobs as doctors and lawyers.
My May 13, 2002, post was provocative as all get-out.
My warmest wishes to you and yours, Reality.